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Approximately 80% of dealerships have a social media program, with some dealers reporting great success. Others, not so much. Some dealership Facebook Pages have thousands of fans and are very active, while some have only a few fans and employees and post irregularly. Some dealers get plenty of feedback from their fans, and some dealers continually post in a vacuum.
But even if your Page has thousands of active fans, do you know how many of them are in the market for a vehicle?
Running a successful social media program takes a lot of time and effort, and can get pretty expensive. If your dealership is using Facebook ads to acquire fans, each fan will cost you anywhere from $1.07 (according to a 2011 whitepaper by social marketing and analytics firm Webtrends), to $9.56 (according to another 2011 study published by SocialCode). Facebook itself suggests setting a bid range of $7-$10 per click in order to reach a targeted audience. But keep in mind that’s just to get a visitor, with no guarantee they’re going to “Like” your Page or are in the market to buy anything.
So what’s a better—and less expensive—way to drive in-market customers to your Facebook Page?
Add an Inventory Page: If you’re not posting inventory on your Facebook Page, you’re not providing in-market customers with what they want to see. Yet cluttering up your main Wall with inventory postings may drive more casual visitors away, eliminating the opportunity to bring them down funnel. Creating a separate tab specifically for a new and used inventory page is an ideal solution.
Drive Traffic from Craigslist: Many dealers report that the leads they get from Craigslist are very high quality and generate significant revenue. The problem is, Craigslist can be tricky to navigate. Overposting or adding too many photos may result in your postings being flagged, or in your IP address being banned from posting on Craigslist altogether. Strategically posting several items per day is one way to prevent this, but why stop there? Rather than drive these customers to your web site, why not drive them to your Facebook Page where they can view all your inventory and interact with you? You may even net a new fan.
Use the Second Largest Search Engine: Video is increasingly effective at driving leads and generating sales. By posting inventory videos on YouTube, you can immediately boost your SEO rankings and drive potential customers to your web site. But in addition, you should optimize your YouTube channel to drive viewers to your Facebook Page. Again, for many first-time visitors Facebook offers a less “pressured” environment in which to browse inventory than a dealership’s web site. It’s very easy to upload YouTube videos onto your Facebook inventory page, which will not only attract new in-market visitors but will further engage your existing fans and keep content fresh on a daily basis.
Fortunately for dealers, many companies are now providing products that help to automate the more time-consuming aspects of posting inventory and videos on Facebook, YouTube and Craigslist. This allows the dealership to focus on what they do best: building relationships and selling vehicles.