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How to Use Facebook for your Dealership

Ladies and gents, Facebook is something to take notice of! I recently read a blog article that gave me some interesting facts and figures. Here’s the summary:

* Facebook accounts for 4% of all time spent online.
* Facebook is growing at over 250,000 new users PER DAY!
* Facebook has more than 53 million active users
* Facebook’s fastest growing demographic consists of users 25 and older.

To read the full articles with more facts, please check out these articles from the Inside Facebook and Hubspot blogs.

Those are a lot of eyeballs! Now the question is, how do you jump in and leverage Facebook for your business?

First thing to remember is that Facebook is one way to connect with people that you personally know. These people are friends, family and classmates at first. Please keep this in mind when you’re putting a social media strategy in place. The last thing you want to do is spam the people you are friends with (and want to stay friends with)!

Build a Facebook page for your dealership. Why a Facebook fan page and not a group? The Search Engine Journal wrote an article on that very topic that can be found here, but it boils down to better analytics tracking tools, availability to non-Facebook users, being searchable on the web and giving a more professional impression overall. You can find guidelines to building your fan page here.

Add video, discussion topics and pictures. Fill out your page and pay attention to how it comes across to your customers. Take time to see what other fan pages have done. Learn from the industries around you!

Once you have your page set up, get your contacts involved to get the ball rolling. Write a note and tag your friends in it. Ask them to become a fan your page if it’s interesting and ask for a referral to their friends if your page is useful.

Ask for suggestions. A Facebook fan page is just another medium that you can get feedback from. Ask your fans for opinions, ideas or tweaks to your online communication strategy and implement the suggestions they give.

Keep your fan page current. A fan page is a great way to keep the public informed about sales you might be having, new vehicles you have listed and anything else you would like to broadcast!

Keep learning! The funny thing about the web is that it’s always changing, developing and growing. With these developments, there will be new Facebook marketing strategies, new people to reach, new markets to jump into. Facebook is a great tool, and in order to use it well, you will need to stay informed of those changes.

That’s what I’ve got for now. If you have questions, comments or concerns, please let me know! I’d be happy to help in any way I can!

Meg

Views: 30

Tags: Advertising, Automotive, EveryCarListed.com, Facebook, Marketing, Media, Social

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Comment by Chris Hanson on February 27, 2009 at 4:42pm
Not only does Tracy Myers own/run very successful dealerships, he also sells cars because of his networking on facebook and other sites. Ask him how many he sells each month from facebook. He doesn't mess with stuff that is a waste of time, he has a business to run. His customers love making comments on his videos and pictures. Why? Because he is their go to car guy. He is the guy they are going to get their next great deal from. And they will tell their family and friends about it to. This of course is basic 101 sales.

I know this is a facebook conversation but I think many people might say the same thing about LinkedIn (at least I personally have heard that from a lot of people) as far as actually generating business from LinkedIn. I connected with someone on LinkedIn two months ago (we "met " for the first time on LinkedIn) and not only did that turn into consulting business for me (we are going on our third month) but just TWO months later because they are so happy with the results that I am now working with a total of 8 dealerships. How did that happen? They referred me into other stores! And you know what, they connect with me on other forums like this too. Why is that. Because we are "partners" now. I'm a part of their team now. WOW, was building my LinkedIn account ever worth my time!!

I know salespeople who are trying to connect with every person they sell a car to on facebook and I know for a fact that as they keep these people in their circle, share pictures of things they are doing and tell stories, they will see repeat and referral business from it. I know they will.

How do I know this? Because this is like a salesperson who creates and sends a print newsletter to their customers, has their own website, sends their own holiday letter to their customers and does other things to brand and market themselves. If I was good at one thing when I sold cars, that was it. When I sold cars, it only took me four years to build a business that would rely on just repeat and referral business. Period. No "UPS", not interested. For the next four years, repeat and referral business and an occasional "UP" that I ran into on the lot would be my business. Talk about fun.

Now, most people that build a profile on facebook, send a newsletter or two, upload some videos on YouTube, etc, etc will not see much if any success because you have to make a plan, put aside the time and work it. Just like anything. But the ones that work will see the results. And I think like anything, if they just try to sell to their connections, if they come across as pushy, it will fail.

That's how I see it.
Comment by Paul Rushing on February 27, 2009 at 2:28pm
The complete point is being missed. People are going to spend time on these sites anyway. If used properly and strategically people will reach out to you when they have a need. Friends buy from friends.

If a person is on a site like facebook with their network of real friends chances are they will see that Sue Saleslady who they went to high school works at ABC motors and reach out to her.

It makes practical sense in today's digital lifestyle...

Don't shun you think it wont work. That is self fulfilling...

BTW via facebook and twitter I have people reach out to me about car buying. They are prime referrals
to who I send them to.
Comment by Mark Dubis on February 27, 2009 at 2:23pm
Comment by Mark Dubis on February 27, 2009 at 1:08pm
I personally do not know any sales person who can tell me they sold X number of vehicles due to being on facebook, twitter or myspace. Like you, Stan and Paul shared being on the web is important, it is that there is no credible, tangible evidence it helps you sell more cars month in and month out. Stan says that people won't buy from you unless they know you. Unfortunately there is a ton of evidence to the contrary and if you have a good product or service that is of value, people will buy it, whether they know you or not. Having a large "friend" or "connection network" online doesn't mean you have real relationships with those people it just means they are in your network. The terms friend and network online often have little to do with those terms in our traditional worlds. Paul R. is/was the consumate blogger and online networker but when he worked for a dealership all his visibility on the web didn't regularly translate into weekly or monthly sales. There are so many more factors impacting retail sales volume. Bottom line, be visible, be prudent and work to build your own prospecting network in your own backyard first. The Internet is not a quick solution to solve anything. It is just one more channel to try and get your message out to the market. Most folks I know working for any technology vendor or auto portal will still tell you 80% of auto retailers still do not effectively use the Internet to increase sales. The purpose of this network, its founder Ralph Paglia and its members is to help all of us get better by trying new and different things online and in our digital marketing.
Comment by Meg on February 27, 2009 at 12:21pm
You guys have some great insight! You all mentioned using automotive based social networks like ADM, Car Folks and Driving Sales to build business relationships and there is HUGE value to that!

My question is, how much business do you get from people you know on a personal basis? Do you use non-automotive sites like Facebook and Twitter to reinforce your dealerships brand online through personal sites off the clock? Even by stating that you work for a dealership in any online profile it builds awareness for your business!
Comment by Mark Dubis on February 26, 2009 at 3:36am
In Paul's last comment, he completely validates what I write about in the AutoUSA Newsletter. Thanks, Paul for supporting me. When professionals are busy and productive they do not have time to spend on social networking sites that are not industry related. My article focused on the public sites, not ones like this ADM community or Driving Sales, which provide great information for those in the auto retail sector.
Comment by Paul Rushing on February 25, 2009 at 8:44pm
Stan the article I was referencing was the one at Automotive Digest.

I have completely built my business online via inbound marketing
and networking online. Some of my biggest clients I have never met
face to face. You do this by being a contributor. Unfortunately I have been
way busy and have not contributed much lately.

Most jup into conversations to promote their own products and is their whole
shallow reason for being here. See above and many examples to find here.

The reason they say networking does not work is because it does not work
for them. Kind of self fulfilling isn't it?

Paul Rushing
http://segalist.com
912-266-1629
Comment by Paul Rushing on February 25, 2009 at 6:34pm
The fact that that article got published really shows how short sighted
some of the players in the industry really are and how much they are
trying to preserve status quo.

It is understandable how you would try to dis every major player in the
sphere wile trying to push you version of cool aid, which only value that
can be demonstrated is your adsense revenue.

Go a head and fire off some emails trying to stir s***...

They provided some fun reads.
Comment by Mark Dubis on February 25, 2009 at 2:44pm
here is the link: http://www.automotivedigest.com/AutoUSA.html
Comment by Mark Dubis on February 25, 2009 at 2:43pm
Meg, You are absolutely right on. Lots of opportunity out there. I also shared some thoughts about social network sites in the recent AutoUSA Newsletter. The article titled, Hey There, Join My Network could be a good read. I'd welcome your thoughts on it.

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