Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
I believe most of us understand and acknowledge the increasingly significant relevance of social media in our industry.Unfortunately, the buzz can lure us into overlooking the use of potent traditional social networks. We ignore them at great risk.
Social media that incorporate these overlooked social networks are more inclusive than efforts that simply solicit consumers to “like” the dealership on Facebook, “follow” it on Twitter or submit a favorable Google review about their dealership experience.
Dealership social media must also incorporate the basic social network of our business, the Road to the Sale.
As we travel this road with customers, every step presents opportunity to win fans and likes. We capture positive impressions each time we handle correctly the meet-and-greet, walkaround and demo drive and turnover.
When we fail to deliver a great Road to the Sale experience, we often fail to capitalize on the social marketing opportunities each step along it presents. When we poorly execute these steps, we risk creating unfavorable impressions about our professionalism, knowledge and care for the customer. Misstep here and we create the most destructive kind of social media for an auto dealership, negative word of mouth.
Because this risk can be so damaging to our social standing, more social media marketing dollars and effort might better be spent shoring up this neglected network. As evidence, 71% of those who walked from a dealership without buying did not receive basic Road to the Sale steps, reported the Unsold Research Call Center last year, which had interviewed 250,000 customers from more than 250 dealerships across the U.S. As a reminder, the Road to the Sale consists of:
1. The product presentation
2. The demo drive
3. The service introduction and walk
4. The manager TO interview
Work these steps properly with customers and you’ll create “likes” and “fans” that convert to higher CSI scores and positive word of mouth.
Finally, no social media effort is complete without attention paid to another overlooked social network, how staff engages with others when outside the dealership. Encourage your team to engage these overlooked networks as they go about their day:
I’m all for social media as a marketing tool for building community and affinity for the dealership. I am likewise adamant that the most meaningful social interaction takes place foremost in the showroom, and with the neighbors, friends and family.
Let’s be sure we leverage any social medium right, including those often overlooked. When we do, true social engagement will mean the most value for your dealership, both short and long term.