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How To Encourage Your Dealership's Employees to Use Facebook

First and foremost, it is critical for your dealership to set up standardized rules and guidelines for your employees to abide by when engaging in social networks. Need a sample? Feel free to use DMEautomotive Guidelines and/or also visit Altimeter for additional assistance. Your dealership should incorporate the social media guidelines within your dealership’s employee handbook because, as indicated on DealerRefresh, “that’s where all employees gain the same base of knowledge of company practices…and the company ensures that each staff member thoroughly understands its view of and approach to social media”. The handbook should make recommendations about specific (and acceptable) amounts of time that your employees can dedicate to adding content, commenting, responding and general research during the “normal business hours”.

Once you set up your expectations and guidelines, get your employees involved! Tap into the knowledge base of your employees…whether it’s your Sales Manager who can talk about the sales process…to your F&I department who has insights about the financial aspects of buying a car…to a Service Technician who will talk about important service milestones. Encourage them to discuss their “expertise” on their personal Facebook profiles to build additional rapport and trust with their extended social network.

To help your employees successfully engage in social media on your dealership’s behalf, you should provide them with dealership-specific content to use on their personal profiles. Content can include (but not limited to): videos, photos, dealership news, manufacturer news, specials and coupons.

Urge all employees to become a fan of your dealership’s Page (as well as other relevant industry pages) and to post or comment on posts to drive the conversations, which will aid in the development of your thriving community. Why should your employees engage on your dealership’s Fan Page? Once your employees start engaging with your Facebook Page, their friends and other connections will see their activity, which may entice them to join in. Some companies have even begun to employ internal Facebook Fan Page promotions where employees receive incentives for bringing in X number of fans. Others are hosting company parties when their Fan Page reaches a certain milestone (i.e., 1000 fans). The important factor is that your dealership can use your own employees to help spread the word about the services and vehicles you provide…all of which is done through the credible and effective word of mouth.

Next up: Case Study on Employee Use of Facebook in the Auto Industry

~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager @ DMEautomotive.

Bio:

Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!

Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals

Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna C** Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at missy.jensen@dmeautomotive.com

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Originally published on DMEautomotive's Automotive Direct Marketing Blog.

Views: 9

Tags: Customer, Interaction, automotive, dealers, facebook, marketing, media, social

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Comment by Stacy Mueller on June 17, 2010 at 11:21am
Phillip and Jesse:
Thank you both for taking the time to comment and provide insights.

@Phillip, I think you have hit the nail on the head...by establishing yourself as trustworthy and credible, you can really enhance your capabilities in the service department. There are such opportunities out there for fixed ops!

Thanks guys!
Missy
http://www.dmeautomotive.com
Comment by Phillip Cannon on June 17, 2010 at 7:40am
@Jesse
Your dealer is actually more progressive than most. I know of a great many dealerships that cannot get on facebook because it was decided on the corporate level not to let them have access to it. But the networking aspects of facebook and social media are just too big to ignore.

If I was a service manager in a dealership I would be networking online and joining as many local groups as possible establishing myself as trustworthy, credible and most of all an "expert" in auto repair without necessarily pushing that I worked for a dealership. Customers can start contacting you directly with questions (which you can send them to the dealership or give little tips and tricks) and eventually you can softly push out specials, promotions or reviews of your work.

The more people see you as their personal "online expert" the more people will be come to you looking for your expert opinion.

Great article!
Comment by Jesse Pappas on June 16, 2010 at 5:30pm
Great article. It is hard to believe that 3 years ago the dealer I was at hated seeing people use social media on company time. What a shift in business philosophy.

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