3 Stops to Success for Auto Dealerships Gearing up in Social Media
Social media has proven to be a huge opportunity, but also a huge challenge for new and used car dealerships. Did you know that nowadays 73% of consumers read online reviews before buying a product?
Depending on a brand’s reputation, this new paradigm could be super exciting, or pretty terrifying.
While assessing what keeps cars running and customers coming back, social media can help the manufacturer, the dealer and the local mechanic connect and perform even better.
Dealers are learning and improving on the social media front, but they are still lagging far behind most other retail industries.
Chris Brogan states it pretty simply: “I’m looking around for new cars, and falling into quagmire content management systems that grind, choke, and sputter out. They all use 10-point-or-less font sizes… They aren’t especially dynamic…and they don’t do a lot to try and get me into their store… wouldn’t you want to make it ridiculously easy for me to connect with your sellers?”
Here are a few ways your car dealership will benefit from social media
Improve and Manage your Brand’s Reputation
Involving car dealers in the foray into social media is key to achieving a positive end-to-end customer experience from car selection to purchase and customer service, and consequently, is essential to brand reputation. Dealers play an integral role in brand reputation, so it’s vital that brands work closely with dealers to ensure that their name is in good hands.
Reach your Customers in New and Exciting Ways
Social media gives dealers a platform to reach out to customers, build relationships and engage their community in exciting new ways.
Schlueter Automotive Group in Waterloo, Ontario have expanded the conventional 10-minute test drive into a 48-hour offer that extends to a variety of vehicles, whether or not the customer is seriously considering a purchase. As part of the program, they ask customers to tweet about their driving experience at least three times a day during the test drive period.
Build Trust Within your Community
The idea of transparency through social media in an industry that has a reputation for being not altogether honest is, well, a bit of a paradigm shift. Car dealerships – particularly used car dealers – have an unfortunate reputation for being pushy, or for over-pricing their products and being underhanded.
For something that most of us will purchase in a lifetime, researching vehicles is a relatively obscure process, and pre-internet days, we placed a surprising amount of trust in our car dealers.
Not only customers using sites like Yelp and Twitter to talk about their satisfaction and frustrations, but also online forums as well where they trade tips, solve problems, and make it easy for everyone to find whatever they are looking for- whether it’s parts, a whole car, or just someone with whom to consult and share.
The Automotive industry doesn’t have the same social media adoption rate as fashion or tech companies, but overall, everyone at every level seems to be embracing the rapid changes, and many are thriving. In the future we expect to see stronger relationships between manufacturers, dealers and customers through social media, a more educated consumer who has access to social media for research, and a higher bar of transparency, effectiveness and accountability for everyone in the world of car manufacturing and sales.
Interested in learning more about social media and the Auto Industry? Check out our WhitePaper below, Fueling the Automotive Industry with Social Media