The Social Dealer – Best Practices for the Automotive Dealer using Facebook
How has your digital marketing strategy changed over the last 10 years? Today everywhere you turn, you hear about promoting your dealership through social media. Although, you have adapted your strategy to reach the new generation of car buyers up until now, when it comes to social media, do you know where to start or if you even should?
Social media is growing three times faster than the rate of the overall Internet1. With 53% of online users consuming content outside of a publisher's site – through the use of widgets, RSS readers, social networks and mobile devices2. So you decide to give it a try.
What happens after you follow the steps to create a fan page for ABC Motors, post a picture, and fill out all your contact information, and start creating status updates? Below are some tips to help you turn your Facebook page into a business-generating marketing tool.
1. Give your followers content they want – when writing your status updates, keep in mind that the typical page follower does not want product thrown at them. In fact, that is the fastest way to lose followers on your dealership fan page. Instead, post relevant content they can use today. Timely statistics and tips are a sure way to get and keep the followers you want.
2. Engage, engage, engage! – actively engage your followers! The Internet is the epicenter of all advertising messages. Everyone is there, but engaging your customers can define the success of one brand over another. By giving your customers a platform to express themselves, good or bad, you will gain a consumer-friendly reputation and improve loyalty.
3. Promote it – if you promote it, they will come! Like on your website, even with the best dynamic content and tools set up for user engagement, your Facebook efforts are in vain without traffic to your page. Vanity URLs for Facebook can make promoting your page across multiple mediums much easier. These URLs are also a good way to incorporate important brand generic keywords for SEO purposes when cross-promoting Facebook on your website and other social media platforms.
Social Media’s Future?
Social Media is here to stay as it continues to grow in use and popularity. In 2008, the Cone Institute reported 184,000,000 Americans use social media. Imagine the increase since then. In fact, Facebook is adding 100,000 new users per day. That’s 3% growth per month. And the fastest growing segment is over age 25. At this rate, they’ll have 50 million users by the end of this year, and 75% of them will be out of college3 – your car buyers. Today dealers depend on CSI scores to discover consumer buying habits and expectations. Tomorrow will depend on Facebook ratings and posts. By being where your customers are you will not only be able to provide the service your customers are looking for but meet their expectations in the car buying process.
1. “Social Networking’s New Global Footprint”. The Neilsen Company. May 4, 2010
2. MacManus, Richard. “Brandstreaming: What Is It & Who's Doing It?”. ReadWriteWeb. May 4, 2010
3. Allen, Paul. “Prediction: Facebook will be the largest social network in the world”. PaulAllen. May 4, 2010 < http://www.paulallen.net/prediction-facebook-will-be-the-largest-social-network-in-the-world/>