Automotive Digital Marketing

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Classified Websites v. Social Media

People that argue that social media is not effective really do not have a valid arguement, in my humble opinion of course. Social media is still advertising and traffic and social media sites are placed high on search engines. For example, the Alexa rating on Facebook is the 2nd most viewed site in the world, only outdone by Google itself.

I will say that the social media revolves heavily around the "friends or groups" of the account being used. If you are doing advertising in multiple different states and your facebook friends are only in one particular region, Albert Einstein would not have to point out the holes. It does not change the search engine ranking, but whoever is controlling the Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Corkin page, etc must also be very active on it to outweigh keyword searches for areas.

To sell to a consumer, you must think like a consumer. The more you know the harder it gets, but I think it is fair to say if you are searching for a vehicle and type into a search engine, "2005 Ford F-350 Honolulu" it encompasses what a potential customer would typically write. Okay, I pulled that car out of my head and used Hawaii because I have been doing work for a participating dealership there, but let us do an expirement and see what "2005 Ford F-350 Honolulu" pulls in a search engine.

I use google.

1st hit: e-cars-hawaii-detailing-this company does a detailing service.

2nd hit: Craigslist ad.

3rd hit: Craigslist ad.

Not one hit on the main page attributes to any social media sites. Do I think it is valuable for car dealerships to develop their own? Absolutely, but as far as incorporating it into a marketing strategy if you are venturing all over the United States can pose specific problems.

I am probably the closest thing to a Craigslist proffessional there is and am proud to say that I find Craig Newmark one of the most genius and great Internet guys out there. Posting on classified sites such as Craigslist, Backpage, Kijiji,, etc is no doubt a source to more traffic imaginable and in my humble opinion and factual discoveries, far outweighs any social media attempts.

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Comment by Clarence U Romero on March 5, 2010 at 5:34pm
I agree with Keith 100% dealers need to set the foundation before they start on the walls and roof of the building. If they are not advertising their vehicles properly, all the social media in the world isn't really going to help. Ken Beam is on this stream he is the poster child of how to market your vehicles.

Dealers that aren't marketing their inventory properly will do social media poorly. I see them all the time on facebook, myspace posting pictures of vehicles on peoples walls talking about DEAL OF THE DAY!! To people two states away? People don't want to open their facebook page and find a wall full of dealer babble. They end up getting deleted and all your page is left with is vendors.

Basics Basics Basics, but social media is where dealers need to be, not to run a sale but to manage their reputation and communicating in a subtle way. Social media has been around for a while, it's only now that vendors are bringing it to their attention. Blogs have been around for a while, and customers and shoppers would rip dealers apart on those forums, dealers would only pay attention or notice when there page would have a couple of rip off reports or don’t' go to messages right under their page. If someone was watching and taking care of their online reputation it would never go this far. Good or happy customer will tell one, maybe two people. An angry customer will tell anyone that will listen.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on March 5, 2010 at 2:53pm
I think dealerships that aren't using Craig's List for used cars but would jump on the Social Media bandwagon are leaping over sales and running past profits they need. Right now, especially, we need to focus on the clear and crisp sales return of known advertising while still chasing the consumers running over to Social Media. NOT one or the other, but both. Really, a lot of "boths" have to be done to get the sales we want now!
Comment by Sarah Myers on March 4, 2010 at 6:58pm
I agree with you both of you. If you ever have a Craigslist question or boggle, contact me. I know more about that website than I would prefer, but it is truly the most valuable site for traffic and sales for car marketing, which is why I am the closest thing to a Craigslist proffessional I can find!
Comment by Ken Beam on March 3, 2010 at 7:51pm
Amen Sarah!
I totally agree with you & Check on this one. Sure you should appear on as much social media content as possible.... keeping your reputation visible & all. However, you certainly do not want to spend the majority of the day creating content on Facebook & such! The "Adult version of MySpace(Facebook), can be somewhat of a black hole..... & is certainly not the "Holy Grail" to auto sales by any means(though some on seem to live & die by the Facebook!(not the sword!).

I do believe all of these avenues of Digital Marketing have a place in the world of sales....but none are a means to an end. Especially Social Media.

I`ve been in the car biz for 22 years now & I can tell you that I attest my significant following from building strong relationships with my clients, their friends & friends of their friends & family members over the years.

For all of you younger sales consultants just starting out here`s a little advice.....
"Build it & they will come"...remember that from "Field of Dreams"?? Well believe it or not kids, that still works in sales relationships. Trust me.

To be honest, I like what Chuck said, "I`m a Craigslist person... it makes me $$$$" -

**Invest more time on Craigslist, rather than Facebook & watch your investment grow....rapidly! So get off that FB & get on the CL NOW!

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