Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Social media is about conversations. It's not a broadcasting platform like traditional advertising, search marketing, or other forms of internet marketing. Conversations on social media happen all over the place and are pertinent to your dealership's local area. YOU should be involved in as many of these conversations as possible.
The reason is multi-layered but easy to understand. First, it gives the human component that is so often missing from dealerships' social media marketing strategy. You want your dealership to have a personality on social media. People don't like robots. They don't like automation. They don't like broadcast messages.
What people do like are conversations and businesses willing to take part. When your dealership makes comments on posts from other pages that serve the local area like the one displayed above, people become acutely aware that there are real humans behind the operation of the Facebook page. They will be more willing to check you out. They will be more willing to follow you.
Second, the exposure that you gain through a thoughtful comment that takes 20 seconds to write can be wonderful. In the example above, both students and administrators of the page will see the comment and take note of where it's from. Believe it or not, these simple little interactions are often known or even subconscious factors that help them to consider your dealership now or in the future whether they're aware of the connection or not. The thoughtfulness of this single sentence registers with them. In a split second they're minds understand at a subconscious level that your dealership (1) supports education, (2) is active in the community, and (3) thinks highly of the cause being highlighted by the post.
Again, this post took 20 seconds to write but brings goodwill (even at a subconscious level) to your dealership.
Finally, and there are other factors to consider but these three are the most important ones, you get more branding for your dealership while the potential customers' brains are in their most receptive state. Science has proven that one of the reasons that television commercials are so effective for some is because the messages are being placed in the mind during "TV time", an experience that many people have every day when they are more relaxed and enjoying the day rather than doing something strenuous, tedious, or unpleasant (such as work).
Facebook falls under the same category. Our brains or more active while on social media than while watching television but we're still in a "good place" and the branding that happens during this time will make a deeper impact than normal branding. It's one of the reasons that some are shying away from billboard and radio advertising. That's not to say that you should take down your billboards or stop your radio spots but unfortunately the brand is often exposed during a bad time - while sitting in traffic. You want your brand exposed during happy times.
Find local businesses and organizations. "Like" them on Facebook while logged in under the dealership's account. Follow them on Twitter. Interact with them. Unfortunately it's not the most easily trackable ROI activity but if you understand the importance as well as the ease in which it's done, you can find a way to squeeze in the 10-15 minutes a day it takes to make an impact.