Auto Dealers and Social Media
December 2, 2010 5 Comments
Since I’ll be speaking this week on a panel about social media and car dealerships, here is a collection of interesting links I’ve collected with the help of friends in my network (& Google!) – how automobile marketing can be enhanced (or damaged!) via the power of social media:
- STUDY JUST RELEASED – Word of mouth more influential than paid media in car purchases.
- From a posse of bloggers at BrandingWire, free advice on improving how cars are marketed.
- Seth Godin on Great, not just Good.
- 7 Ways Auto Dealers can Fail at Social Media. The very basics.
- SocialDealer – tool for bringing together auto sales and social media (not a recommendation – just a mention)
- Moving the Metal – Ad Age white paper with case studies ($$ download) (not a recommendation – just a mention)
- Fast Company: Why Going Social can Make or Break Auto Dealers
- Chris Brogan‘s experience buying a car via the Internet. Plus, his interview with Motorphilia. And here is how a profoundly negative experience was recently recounted by a person very influential on social networks.
- Chris Brogan on Make it Easy On-line
- Is social media for every car dealer? Maybe you’re just not ready. Proceed wisely.
- Scott Monty‘s list of Ford dealers on Twitter.
- Here is a living, breathing example of full-orbed and personalized use of social tools by a dealer: Hare Chevrolet of Noblesville, IN – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blog…(plus, they immediately reached out to me personally to provide info and resources when someone pointed them out to me on Twitter)
I will say that my experience thus far with automobile dealers has been mostly negative. I’m still waiting to work with a dealer that is:
- more interested in the long-term relationship than the immediate deal,
- pro-actively helpful and friendly even if a sale is not immediate, and
- transparent and up-front about pricing.
None of the above is rocket science, but all of it would earn major points in a socially-networked world. So, how can an auto dealer effectively use social networking to grow business?
1. You have to be good - so customers freely and gladly recommend you (first and foremost in importance!).
2. You need to be “find-able” on-line, with a helpful website and a social presence that makes people feel welcome.
3. You need to be astonishingly responsive.
4. You need to follow through with a positive experience at every level.
Note that the most important factors are those things that have always been most vital in establishing a reputable business. Social media only magnifies – for better or for worse – who you already are.