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Post Inventory the Right Way to Facebook

Cutter Chevrolet Rabbit

Here’s the sad truth about the way that most dealers are posting their inventory to Facebook. It’s not getting seen. None of it. Not at all.

Currently, there are three primary ways that dealers are posting their inventory to Facebook. The most common method is to have a tab on their Facebook page with their inventory. This doesn’t work. The click stats that we’ve studied using three different inventory types show that even the most active dealer Facebook pages are seeing next to zero traffic, clicks, or leads from this form of inventory posting.

The reason is obvious – people don’t visit your Facebook page unless they get there through search, a link from your website, or an ad on Facebook. In these three scenarios, they’re either not interested in seeing you inventory (if they were, they’d just go to your website) of, in the case of referrals from your website itself, they’ve already seen it. Now they want to see you and your personalization.

The other way is to feed your inventory manually or automatically through Facebook posts. This is a really, really bad idea because it will kill your page’s algorithmic authority and render your posts, inventory or not, essentially invisible.

The third way, the one that we recommend, is to be creative, selective, and persuasive. You have to post vehicles that deserve to be on Facebook. By that, I mean that the vehicle has to have something special about it that you can focus on, it needs to be relatively unique, and it has to have a compelling story behind it. In some cases, the cars create the story itself. We all covet that 5-year old car that was driven by a grandmother who literally took it to the grocery store and church and accumulated 20K miles over her five years of ownership. A car like that would definitely fit the criteria and the story clearly would write itself.

The more common circumstance is that you’ll want to create your story for the vehicle. In the example above, the story was that it was a unique car. We focused on the paint job to turn it into something that is at least a little interesting to the Facebook fans for this page, then we told a little about the car, just enough to let people know that they’ll be clicking through to a vehicle details page. This is important. You do not want to try to trick people into clicking through to a link that is trying to sell them something.

Be transparent. The car speaks for itself, so the image won’t make people report it or block the page, but if you then try to get them to click through without letting them know that you’re wanting them to buy it, you run the risk of them landing on your website, getting upset that you conned them into clicking through to what they thought was an image gallery, for example, and then clicking back and giving your post negative feedback. This is a bad thing.

Look at the example above. It’s a nifty little used VW with a different paint job. Rather than simply saying, “Check out this VW Rabbit…” we put a cute little spin on it. As a result, we know three things:

  • It did well in the news feed, garnering 38 likes.
  • It did not receive negative sentiment such as reports or hides.
  • The vehicle sold less than 48 hours after it was posted to Facebook.

You don’t have to wait for a car with an interesting paint job. Chances are you have something on your lot, particularly a pre-owned vehicle, that has something interesting about it. Here’s another example:

Waynesville Camaro

In that example, the focus is on the year. It’s a used car, but it’s a 2013. Every lot should have some of these available. Hot newish car without the new car price – that’s a story that’s Facebook worthy, especially with a nice image of the vehicle itself.

This is where some creativity comes into play. You can’t just say, “2013 Camaro with 16K miles for sale, click here…” You have to tell a story about the vehicle. At the time of writing this article, the post is only 33 minutes old so we don’t have any statistics on it, but you get the idea.

Social media isn’t just for branding. With KPA Local Engage, we highlight the right vehicles, specials, and dealership activities that will resonate on the various social sites. Done properly, your social media can start producing real ROI. The branding – that’s the consolation prize. Focus your social media on getting tangible results.

* * *

Originally posted on the KPA blog.

Views: 707

Tags: Facebook, Inventory, Social Media

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Comment by Alexander Lau on May 23, 2013 at 8:23am

Well, not a key feature of their tool set, exactly, but a key feature of what they deploy on a socail application level. BTW, if you're interested in finding out what company DR uses for their Brand Analytics, just give me a holler. It's a complete 3rd party API integration.

Automated engagement will never work.

Comment by Ryan Leslie on May 23, 2013 at 8:20am

Man, I love that DealerRater seems to come up in every post lately, but I'm not sure I would say that the inventory tab is a "key feature." More like finding a curly fry in the box with the regular ;)

Great Post J.D. Am I putting words in your mouth if I summarize by saying the most effective social strategies require effort and can't easily be outsourced and scaled? It seems to me that regardless of the SMM topic that is the case. The dealer that takes the extra initiative to post inventory in an engaging/ social way in a social channel is going to have a much greater likelihood of success than the dealer that attempts automated engagement.

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 23, 2013 at 7:03am

Agreed, tell that to DealerRater, etc. that offer the Tab as a key feature to their tools. It's a great idea to mix it up and if your inventory is being turned into individual YouTube videos for lead and SEO purposes, then strategically (based upon some form of business intelligence = special pricing, popularity, need to move it, etc.) grab vehicles and place them on your timeline. This also could be used as content fodder for Facebook ads. Again, I use a similar method to this and have measured it to convert (ROI) via my SEO CRM, which includes a Social Signal measurement mechanism, as you've mentioned J.D.

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