Social Media Marketing Used Effectively in Automotive Customer Acquisition
Many car dealers and car companies are successfully using social media networks and social media marketing practices to acquire customers and opportunities to do business (leads), according to [pdf] the “State of Inbound Marketing Report” from the widely known and respected internet marketing firm Hubspot.
Major Social Media Channels are Source of up to 40% of Sales Leads for Car Companies and Auto Industry 3rd Party Lead Providers
More than 40% of car companies and third party lead providers to the auto industry have acquired customers from the four major social media channels. Forty-one percent of car companies have acquired customer leads from both TwitterLinkedIn. That figure rises to 44% for Facebook and 46% for leads generated via a car company's blogs.
The difference is most stark in customer acquisition figures for Facebook, from which 68% of car dealers (B2C) have obtained a sales or service customer from information posted on Facebook by consumers or employees of the dealership (whether dealer knows it or not). Yet, only 33% of car company originated leads have their roots in Facebook posts (B2B).
When it comes to LinkedIn, however, the usefulness
trends reverse. Forty-five percent of car companies (B2B) have obtained a customer from LinkedIn, compared to only 26% of car dealers (B2C companies).
Figures for company blog customer acquisition are closest in range, with 57% of B2C companies (car dealers) and 43% of B2B (car companies) obtaining a customer through this channel.
Blog Post Frequency Makes a Difference
The more posts a company makes, the more success it will have driving new business. One hundred percent of companies posting multiple times a day on their blogs acquired a customer, and 90% posting daily acquired a customer. This figures declines to 69% for companies posting two to three times a week, down to 13% for companies posting less than monthly.
Most Business Blogs Post Weekly
The majority of business blogs in 2010 post weekly (38%). Another 29% post two to three times a week, and 17% post monthly. Only 3% post multiple times a day. Only 58% of companies making weekly blog posts acquire a customer, meaning most companies are leaving a significant tool for customer acquisition on the table.
Drive More Business
More Blogs Bring More Leads
Business blogs begin generating significantly more leads when they have a median of 24 or more articles posted, according to other research by Hubspot.
Businesses with blog article numbers above this critical threshold are likely to have enough content to make a significant impact on search engines through additional indexed pages and new keywords with which to associate.
In addition, other sites are more likely to link to a blog that offers a steady stream of content. Businesses with blogs of 24-plus articles are more likely to be committed to updating their blog frequently and, thus, are likely to generate more traffic from referring sites.Business blogs that have 0-11 articles posted will generate a median of three leads. Once blogs reach the 12-23 posted article threshold, this median dramatically rises to 10.
However, blogs with 24-51 posted articles generate a median of 13 leads, and will generate a median of 23 leads when the posted article threshold reaches 52. This represents 77% lead growth, more than twice the 30% lead growth that occurs when the number of posted blog articles reaches 24.
How Do Dealers Find The Time To Blog?
For dealers who choose their "Pro Package", the team of Social Marketers (SoMar), professional writers and bloggers at ADP Social Media Reputation Management write a minimum of 10 articles and stories every month to be posted on the dealership's blog accounts and profiles. The stories are often times related to activities by the employees of the dealership that are related to charitable work and civic organizations, with an emphasis on the contributions being made to the local community. Some of the stories are about awards and certifications, enthusiasts who work at the dealership and their cars or trucks, and even sometimes about strange happenings, such as stray dogs that adopt a dealership customer vehicle storage lot, and then find true love and happiness while helping the dealer sell over 10 extra units each month...
What we have learned is that most car dealerships are a tremendous source of interesting and fascinating "goings on" that more people find interesting than most dealership employees would ever guess. Blogs that are accompanied by photos and videos embedded into the blog articles work the best and serve as a means of engaging with the people living in a dealer's local market area, and a way to build the type of relationships between employees and the dealer himself, and the customers that transcends the lure of low ball price quotes from other dealers...
Combined with a strong Automotive Internet Reputation Management strategy and practice, the use of blogs is a great way to drive business to a dealership via phone, walk-in traffic and even the occasional web lead form!
Dealers can certainly get it all done on their own if they are willing to assign the role to an employee as a full time job, because that is what it takes to do it right... For some dealers, getting professional assistance while engaging many of their employees on a part time basis works out well. This is what my team does at ADP/BZ Social Media Reputation Management; we provide all the heavy lifting and the dealer's employees simply tell their stories. We write those stories, publish and syndicate them while creating and managing HUNDREDS of Social Media site accounts and profiles. This gives our dealerships an extra large social media presence and footprint so they get the most benefit from the program and the comprehensive strategy that we partner with the dealer on... Visit our online community at http://www.ADPsocial.com because we not only sell it, we live it!