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Throughout my four-part series (of which this is the final part) I have argued for the use of social media...specifically Facebook...by your dealership's employees to create new opportunities. I've outlined the benefits and the "how to," and today we will look at a case study to show this does indeed work.
Johnny Londoff Chevrolet in Florissant, MO recently began a dealership-wide effort to engage in social media, including the recommendation to use personal profiles to expand their networks…and ultimately their dealership’s reach on social sites. The majority of Londoff employees are now actively engaging on Facebook, suggesting that their friends “like” Johnny Londoff Chevrolet’s Facebook Page and using their profiles as a way to facilitate some dealership-centered conversations. Employees have been talking about what’s happening at Londoff Chevrolet, whether it’s just a story that happened at the dealership (a difficult sale closed, a customer who left happy, etc), or news about a unique pre-owned vehicle, incentives, rebates, and service specials.
The results: Johnny Londoff Chevrolet has experienced an increase in sales, with direct links to social media. In some cases, buyers are coming from other towns to buy from Londoff because of connections and affiliations with employees.
Why does this work? Let’s face it…most sales people hate cold calling! They’ll do just about anything to avoid it. Facebook, on the other hand, is a great way for employees to generate traffic and create conversations about their jobs and the dealership. It is a more comfortable environment and, when done correctly, can be less intrusive and not come off as a “hard sale.” What do I mean by “done correctly?” Employees should pass along stories, interesting insights about their job, auto industry and dealership, and provide insider tips…they should make it interesting! For example, “Londoff Chevrolet just built a new showroom. It’s sweet! Makes it so much more comfortable for our buyers.”
The fact is employees will use Facebook during work hours whether they are allowed to or not. Seriously, think about it…if they can’t get access through their desktop at the office, all they have to do is turn to their mobile device and voila…access to their Facebook application.
It can be argued that the initial gut reaction of companies banning social media is driven by fear, lack of intelligence over how to regulate social media use and, perhaps better yet, how to mobilize your employees to use such sites as a way to increase brand recognition and ultimately drive revenue. Instead of prohibiting online activity or avoiding the problem all together, more and more dealers need to find a way to harness and leverage this invaluable technology.
~ Missy Jensen, Social Media Manager at DMEautomotive
Missy designs, deploys and maintains the social media initiatives for DMEautomotive in an effort to increase brand awareness, distribute company and industry news, provide updates on products and services and promote consumer engagement. Missy enjoys the process of learning; researching and watching projects come to fruition!
Prior to her transformation into a web specialist and work with DMEautomotive, she has 10 years of experience in the marketing and communications industry. Missy served as the Director, Handicapping & Communications for a regional golf association and helped successfully launch and maintain a cutting edge technology-based ticket resale program on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals
Missy attended St. Lawrence University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She also holds a Master’s Degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and check her out on LinkedIn.
Download our white paper Navigating Social Media in the Automotive Industry for additional information!