Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Social Media. The behemoth of all interaction.
One that combines a personal nature to marketing efforts. Social Media and its power to influence consumers has grown in recent years and expanded more than most would have ever thought possible. If done correctly, social media can drive consumers down a path directly towards your dealership. However, in the automotive industry, even whilst social media has been adopted heavily, there are large gaps left filled with those who do not yet understand social media, and many who do not comprehend the true power that social media can bring to the table. Understanding how social media and dealerships can work hand-in-hand for successful outreach strategies is the first step to conquer this beast. Essentially, social media is an opening to all consumers, providing them with your brand, products, location, and reviews, that otherwise would require a physical trip into the dealership. Allowing that “backstage pass” into the world of YOUR dealership, provides that consumer with a more knowledgable experience before they even set foot in the door. Creating a comfort level unlike any other marketing technique.
For business purposes, Facebook is still the giant in the social media world.
It’s also just a giant in general. As of June, 2016, there are 1.57 BILLION Facebook users. With all of the users, a proportionate amount in a dealerships' targeted area, it seems plentiful to market toward. However, with all of these users, there are also a large amount of competing dealerships vying for the same consumers' business. This is where social media can become a game changer in the dealerships market. Outlets such as Facebook allow a dealership to create a personal relationship with a user that will be engaged, given the platform they’re communicating from. Social Media in many cases has also curbed the way dealerships look at their ROI. Previously with print or television ads, ROI was an easier barometer to read, but in this new age of social media, it makes it more difficult to get a “perfect” reach on the ROI with tools such as paid ads on FB and other social providers. But, with 20% of total time spent online in the U.S. spent on social media platforms, Facebook making up 14% of that same number, it is ludicrous to not step into the social media game in relation to your dealership. Also, while Facebook may be the largest platform, they’re not necessarily the king in every area for your business. Diversification among Twitter, Instagram, and others can utilize an entire marketing strategy rather than a one-legged approach.
An enormous benefit of social media is consumer reviews.
That same point made earlier about the influence social media can have in creating a personal touch to the dealership, also can rely heavily on consumer reviews. No matter if it pertains to sales, service, personnel, etc., reviews can provide a dealership with the opportunity to leap past competitors based on reviews alone. With 73% of individuals claiming they’re more likely to buy from a brand if they find positive comments/reviews on social media, it opens the door for the more savvy dealership to gain a tremendous advantage in their geographical region. The fact is, everyone checks reviews before a purchase. If they deny it, they’re lying.
Possibly the MOST important tool in this social media wonder is the personnel to oversee this aspect of the dealership.
Having an employee “run” the dealerships’ social media, while having a full workload as well, is about as useful as not even having a social media strategy at all. The only correct method to evolving social media is to have a dedicated employee who oversees ONLY social media and it’s marketing efforts. Without this ideology, you’ll end up with the same stale, unoriginal, and unnecessary social media strategy that, unfortunately, is seen in so many dealerships currently.