Let’s start with the big question: Why Social Media? It’s really simple. Today's consumers are armed with more information than ever before about which car to buy next. Compared to years past, it’s easy for consumers to research their next purchases using technology versus visiting the dealership. Consumers rely on social media channels for information when researching the car of their dreams - down to the color, model, vehicle history and reviews. Dealers can now play a part in that information gathering and engage with their customers in real time on a number of social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. Social platforms are meant to encourage conversations and connections in an effort to build relationships and provide information. As a result, having a strong social media presence can impact your bottom line. Research has shown that “likes” can translate into sales. Consulting firm Capgemini found that more than 70 percent of survey respondents said they’d purchase a vehicle from an automaker or dealer again if they found positive comments on social media sites. Being social can mean big things for your business.
Here are three steps to get started:
Define your goal.
What do you want to accomplish with social media? Here are some examples:
- Build brand awareness
- Build an online community for your social pages
- Engage with customers
Review your current social accounts.
Ask yourself a few questions: Does your dealership have a Facebook page? What about Twitter, Google+? Are you active on Instagram? Take a look at those pages. Social campaigns are most effective when aligned with your brand messaging. Do the pages and posts reflect your dealership and your brand? Your pages should reflect who you are and why you’re different from the competition. Take a step back and think about what your dealership represents as a whole, not just the cars you sell. Talk about how you’re involved in the community, share photos that reflect your dealership culture and showcase your dealership.
Keep your messaging consistent.
If you have a well-developed digital strategy, it should extend appropriately to Google+, Facebook and Twitter. For example, if your website features a community event or a special edition vehicle that’s unique to your dealership, is it also featured on your social channels? Likewise, if your website features a key message, that message should echo across your social channels. Once you’ve evaluated the state of your dealership’s current social media presence, then we can move forward and start to make the most of it with a solid strategy and some good, engaging posts.