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Jared Hamilton
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Automotive Industry & Online Reputation Management

Your dealership’s reputation is something that has taken years and probably millions of dollars to build.  It is something that your dealership likely considers to be one of the most important assets of the company.  So let me ask you this…are you prepared to let someone…and I mean someone you may not even know…somewhere ruin your reputation, because in today’s world anyone with a beef about your dealership and internet access can destroy you in minutes with a few keystrokes.  

So, how can your dealership monitor and protect its reputation?

  1. Track your reputation online. Listen to everything that people are saying about your dealership by using some of the free tools available online (i.e., Google Alerts and Yahoo Alerts).  Using keywords oriented around your dealership name, owner’s name, the brand(s) you carry, models, geographic location and competitor names, you can monitor what is being said in an organized, efficient manner.
  2. Analyze activity. As the alerts start rolling in from online, it’s critical to organize, analyze and prioritize the activity.  Hopefully your dealership’s reputation management inquiries will yield more positive than negative but even then it’s important to determine which need to be addressed first. For instance, you may take a look at your findings and realize that one person has voiced their ire on multiple sites. Or perhaps you’ll find that an individual’s complaint on has yielded 5 similar complaints about slow service during oil changes. Whatever the results may be, your dealership must determine what can be addressed and how it can be rectified.
  3. Respond in a timely fashion. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that negative remarks about your dealership are bound to occur.  Since you cannot avoid them, it’s critical that you are prepared to respond...and to respond quickly.  When you find a negative remark or review, your goal should be to acknowledge the problem and respond in a timely and appropriate manner. When you take the time to address negative comments and proactively attempt to resolve the customer’s issue, you will find yourself with a very loyal fan in the end and you’ll also show others who may be reading the post that your dealership’s customer service is of utmost importance.
  4. Be Proactive.  The best way to counteract negative criticisms as well as simultaneously promote a positive image for your dealership is to become active online, interact on social sites with an open-dialogue and provide relevant content that puts you in a positive light with your current customers as well as prospects. Here are some ways to accomplish that:

-     Create a blog where you can really present yourself as the most knowledgeable, capable and trustworthy dealership in town.

-     Create social network profiles and content - A cost-effective way to improve search engine results is via social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr (to name a few). The important thing to remember is to provide meaningful and resourceful information and include keywords.

-     Publish press releases - for any newsworthy event at your dealership or one your dealership is affiliated with (i.e., community fundraiser) a press release should be written. When submitted online to press release sites, the content is distributed all over the Internet very quickly, and is subsequently picked up by search engines.

-     Encourage your satisfied customers to review your dealership online.

Online reputation management is a challenge that faces the automotive industry, more so now than any other point in history. Though the answer seems obvious, it’s worth another explanation. The Internet is a ferocious player in today’s world.Search engines and social media sites act as trusted sources of information. Who you are online influences public perception and the longer you wait to start your online reputation management program, the harder it will be to get under control and to counteract any negativity. The good news is that it is indeed possible, with a bit of direction, persistence, motivation and creativity, to monitor conversations, engage with both your advocates and dissenters, and ultimately take ownership of your brand online.

For more detailed information, please download our white paper, Online Reputation Management for the Automotive Industry, by DMEautomotive Direct Marketing Experts in the Automotive Industry.

~ 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 and check her out on LinkedIn.

About DMEautomotive DMEautomotive provides multi-channel, variable communications for automobile dealers and aftermarket franchises nationwide. Their robust product and service offering includes: data driven, multi-channel acquisition and retention marketing, best-in-class campaign reporting, data management and analytics via the Red Rocket Portal, Virtual BDC call applications, and complete on-site mail and email fulfillment services.  Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., DMEautomotive also has major operations in Jacksonville, Fla.  

Original Source:  DMEautomotive Direct Marketing Expert Blog

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