Social media for car dealers
Social media marketing becomes an everyday part of car dealers marketing. Companies should dedicate resources and harness social media to find out how to use social channels for the brand.
The communication is different now and should include combination of marketing, public relations, brand and product knowledge. The tone should be personal and you should speak with both authority and enthusiasm. This helps you to break through barriers, become brand ambassadors and personally influence those who are important for your business.
Think about your sales and marketing. How do you reach your target audience (true fans, enthusiasts, owners, prospects and industry watchers). What makes prospects into buyers? What social tools could be used to help people through different stages of consideration, evaluation and purchase decisions. Find out what works best for you building awareness, helping to make a decision, converting people who consider competitors, provide services to owners post-purchase?
Always ask yourself “why” are you doing something before “what”. This way you can concentrate on bottom line and real business value.
Here are some tips, examples and links to articles that will help you to get you social media activities going.
Examples and cases
Jeep combines different social media tools to tie together the community of fans. Twitter, Facebook, user images and featured content help users to interact with the brand and share it with their friends.
is a really great example on how a local dealership can use Facebook. This car dealer integrated their entire lot to a Facebook fan page so you can can browse all the cars without leaving Facebook. BMW of Minnetonka have created a visually appealing landing page for people who are not yet fans and they have an active wall interacting with their fans.
During 2008-09 iCrossing UK, a global digital marketing agency, ran a programme of social media activity for Toyota GB to help raise awareness of its iQ city car. This initiative was based on a core blog and a series of activities designed to create word-of-mouth referrals that drove traffic to the blog and generated interest in the car itself. Download the iCrossing case study (PDF).
Not a professional reviewer or a journalist but a real consumer who could give honest reviews and thoughts on Volkswagen’s small compact 4×4 the Tiguan. The reviews were then released online to help people see personal reviews and opinions on how this car performs in real life.
Ford Social Marketing+Auto Industry
Presentations from Scott Monty. He is the head of social media for Ford Motor Company.
Tips and articles
If I could pick one type of site that is a “must have” for car dealers wanting to get started in social media, what would it be? My answer, hands down, is a dealership blog. Before Facebook, Twitter, or any of the others, a blog is the best place to get started.
The list of 30 Social Media action items come together to form a sound strategy for most dealerships. These 30 strategy and tactic descriptions were graciously supplied by Inc. Magazine. They were originally prepared as part of a comprehensive social media “cheat sheet” for the time-challenged business owner or entrepreneur. Here is a link to the Inc. Magazine Business Owner Social media Toolkit. I really like what April Joyner put together in the following list because each item listed is described in a way that quickly communicates the strategy, tactical execution requirements and the promised payoff!
This whitepaper will provide a brief description of social media, its importance and insights on how dealerships can integrate social media into their marketing strategies.
Creating Value in Social Media
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 ran 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.
Share your content
If you create valuable content then other want to use it too. Leverage that! Find other sites that are interested in your content and gain more visitors. Which sites might find your blog posts, images and videos interesting and find out if they are interested on publishing your content. This can bring you free traffic and you gain much valued link power that will boost you Google rankings.
Let others know you are creating content
Post links to your material in relevant online communities, social media channels, forums, Facebook, Twitter and so on. It can make dramatic difference if you spread the word. Others will pick up and pas your links on. Search engines find those links and the authority of your web properties goes up
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 an human face, etc.
Less advertising, more value
Social media is not another channel to spam with your banners and self serving salesy news items.
Image credit Henk L