Automotive Digital Marketing

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Yes you can!

With a bit of trial and error I was able to prove that you can indeed sell cars using social media sites like mySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

A couple of years ago I started selling Audis at AutoGallery in Woodland Hills, California. I created a profile on mySpace and named it AUDiGUYS! I put up some pictures of the dealership, the cars and the staff. Over time I started to build a nice small group of friends. I focused my bulletin and blog posts around news about the product and customer involved events. I did very little promotion of the actual dealership.

One day I received a message on mySpcae form a 15 year old asking about the soon to be released Audi S5. I let him know that we had one sitting in the service department being prepped for a media tour. I then informed him it was not ours to sell but if he wanted to get a sneak peek I’d be glad to show him the car. That one gesture led to a sale. On his 16th birthday mom and dad came in and bought him a brand new Audi. He became the envy of his high school social circle and I had a new Brand Ambassador!

I decided to jump into the social media space with both feet. I opened a twitter account, started a facebook page and launched two more mySpace pages for our Porsche and Ferrari stores. Those pages were soon followed by profiles on Flickr, YouTube and Yelp for Business. I even started a blog. In just a few months several more sales were made to friends we had met using these sites.

The residual effects of using social media came to light when I was going over my google analytics report and noticed a small but consistent blip on the Traffic Source data. I started looking into it and discovered a regular burst of traffic every time I posted a bulletin, blog entry or a new set of pictures. The social media content was driving traffic to my web site!

Needless to say the ROI story is what everyone in upper management really cares about and I’ve been hard pressed to come up with a real metrics model that shows a complete cost/benefit ratio for using social media. The higher visibility factor, the improved customer relations in both sales and service and the increase in your market reach are all residual benefits of using these sites but how do you measure them? If we looked at just the new car sales we made to prospects directly connected to these sites, the time investment might not seem worth it. But when compared to the time and dollars spent doing a shopping mall promotion or a charity fund raiser ....… Yeah you do the math!

Keep in mind that most of the content you produce for the Internet will be working for you 24/7 from now until the servers it resides on dies. How can you measure ROI on a time line that long and still get your GM to believe in you enough to keep you on the payroll? You most likely can’t. Does this mean you should avoid the social media space? NO! Get involved and keep pressing on. There are so many opportunities to connect with your customers and the best sales professionals know it’s all about the connections.

I believe the success comes from within so if you are a Dealer, GM or CMO and you have talent inside your organization ENCOURAGE, SUPPORT and FUND them adequately to take full advantage of all social media has to offer. I’m thankful I have a DP that gets it and I’m doing everything I can to make sure he stays fat n’ happy. (sorry boss but….)

~Jay Huffschmidt
Beverly Hills Porsche

Views: 39

Tags: Angeles, Beverly, Hills, Los, Porsche, Woodland


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