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By: Cesar Yepez, Marketing Manager
Jumping into the fast-moving river that social media marketing has become can be challenging... For many automotive professionals, they are still trying to understand exactly what tangible objectives social media can help them achieve. Worse than being complicated, dealers quickly see that using social media as a marketing, communication and relationship management tool looks like a Black Hole to suck up employee time! Combine the "Black Hole of Time" paranoia with that little annoyance some call a "Recession" and trying to implement a social media strategy of any kind in many dealerships looks like quite the challenge.
To gain customers, Auto dealers must embrace online social media and shift marketing resources to this powerful channel. Even having a dealership website simply isn't enough any more (though it is foundational). Dealers need to maximize their use of Google AdWords, place online display ads on websites that their customers visit and they need to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other social network where customers may be 'hanging out.' Below are some helpful tips for Auto Dealers looking to open the door to the social media world.
Create unique content every day! Unique content is what people are looking for and Google knows that. Fresh and original content is more valued and you gain better rank in Google which brings you more visitors. Creating great content every day is not hard. Point to other resources, share your experiences, help and give value to customers. Not everyone knows what to do when you got a flat tire or need to jump star a car.
Open comments! The main goal of the social media efforts is to engage people. This is a must! So, everything you put up in the social web should be open to comments, ratings, and sharing. This will help you to tie people to your site as they feel that their contributions are being valued and responded to. Open interaction will give you many benefits, such as being your online focus group and sounding board, getting expert opinions from other specialists, showing a human face, etc.
Less advertising, more value! Social media is not another channel to spam with your banners and self-serving sales oriented news items. Often times business misuse social media sites as a jumping board for free advertising, this is a major mistake and highly disregarded. Consumers and other business alike will see right through the sales pitch on a social media site. Yes, leverage the amazing possibilities and audiences that social media produce but DO NOT take it for granted. A simple sales pitch on a Twitter feed could inadvertently damage your dealerships reputation on the social media world!