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Google recently introduced a podcast portal which allows podcasters to upload their shows to Google Play Music. According to Google, contextual recommendations will be offered to users, guiding them toward podcasts based upon their interests and what they’re currently doing. Although the exact date podcasts will be available has not been released, Google is working to add several podcasters to its lineup to meet the needs of a wide range of listeners. Over a dozen podcasts and networks such as HBO, Nerdist, and StartTalk Radio are already committed to participating in the service. Dealerships looking to expand their networks and provide up-to-the-minute news and industry information should keep this new functionality in mind. Loop customers in and boost your credibility by providing links to other credible and fun sources as they become available.
Twitter Brand Hub hits the social media scene, offering a new analytics tool for advertisers who want to quickly understand their audiences, conversion shares, and conversations relating to their brands. A real-time tool, Brand Hub provides a way for businesses to gauge Twitter interaction and take actionable steps to increase consumer engagement. Key components of Brand Hub include TrueVoice, a metric that helps advertisers track conversion; audience view, which displays insights about those actively engaging via Twitter; and conversation details, which help brands understand how they are being discussed on Twitter. Large- and medium-sized businesses in English-speaking countries are already taking advantage of Twitter Brand Hub. For dealerships with a healthy online presence, Twitter is a great place to be, and it’s smart to focus on your analytics to better understand consumer interaction with your brand. In addition to providing quality content, be sure to measure exactly how people are engaging with you so that you are able to tweak your messaging to suit their needs.
Video filters are the latest and greatest from Snapchat. Known as Speed Modifiers, these filters allow users to add slow motion, fast-forward, or rewind effects to videos and apply them to their snaps. Simply by swiping sideways after shooting a video, filters can be added, allowing for a more creative user experience. This new feature is available for iOS and Android. Additionally, Snapchat added 3D touch capability for iPhone 6S and 6S+, allowing users to quickly send a snap or add a friend. Dealerships that create video content for consumers can now think about creative and fun ways to present event recaps, promo announcements, and anything else that comes to mind. Remember, video and images catch consumer attention, so be sure to use new technology to your advantage to reach a variety of shoppers.
With an expanded, personalized notifications tab, Facebook continues to enhance its user capabilities. After receiving feedback that users wanted more important information added to the tab, Facebook went to work. Along with notifications, users are now able to see friends’ milestones like birthdays and life events; sports scores and TV reminders, based on Pages that have been liked; and upcoming events that have been joined. Users are also able to add optional information by enabling Location History. Option information that can be added includes things like what’s happening in and around the city, weather updates, current movies, and nearby restaurants. This newest update from Facebook will not change users’ current notification settings, which can still be adjusted at any time by visiting Settings. Dealerships can utilize this newest Facebook capability and get to know their closest customers and followers even more. By interacting and showing an interest in what’s going on around town, sharing upcoming events, and cheering for your favorite sports teams alongside your customers, you’ll build a rapport that lasts.
Previously, follower limits on Twitter capped at 2,000 users. That number has now been raised to 5,000. Twitter has a policy of monitoring all accounts for aggressive following to ensure reasonable usage, rather than indiscriminate following simply to garner attention. Since Twitter is only on the lookout for those following and unfollowing hundreds of accounts in a single day or using automated methods to follow users, most normal users will be fine with the cap of 5,000 accounts. Remember, dealerships working to reach consumers across multiple platforms should consider posting meaningful content on Twitter that directs shoppers back to their blogs or websites for more information. Twitter is a great social network site and can help your dealership gain traction in an increasingly mobile and social world.
For most of us, the holidays seem to arrive faster every year. And it’s no different for dealerships; the holidays will be here before we know it! There are several ways your dealership can get a jump on this time of year and let potential customers know you’re a veritable winter wonderland of deals, dependability, and industry expertise. Check out our secret holiday recipe for success to deliver cheer to all your customers this season:
Start early. 42% of Americans start holiday shopping in November. With a large purchase like a vehicle, you’ll want to start early and remain constant throughout the holidays in order to reach consumers who may be in-market. Remember, the holidays are a constant barrage of ads and information, and you need to stand apart and stay steady in your approach.
Less is more. The holidays are filled with emails, catalogs, flyers…and then more emails. Choose your content wisely, and send out only the best. Give your consumers a break by selectively sending emails instead of overwhelming them this season. You’ll still stand out from the crowd, and they’ll appreciate you for not jamming their email in-boxes.
Think strategically. Look ahead on the calendar and decide which days you want shoppers to view your email. For example, this year Black Friday is on November 27. If that’s a day you’ll be running great specials, be sure to get in on the Black Friday frenzy in plenty of time. In 2014, auto dealerships saw their fair chunk of Black Friday sales, with some analysts attributing the decline in mall shopping to the great automotive shopping opportunities that were available. Automotive sales in November 2014 hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 17.1 million light vehicles.
Mobile is merry. It’s true any time of the year, but especially during the holidays, people are on the go, so it’s important to be sure your content and messaging is mobile-friendly. You don’t want to find your dealership on the delete list simply because your message isn’t readable. Adobe expects this to be the first year mobile will drive the majority of online shopping visits, hitting 51% on Thanksgiving Day, when it will account for nearly 1/3 of sales. That’s a 12% increase over last year—which means mobile is going to continue to be an integral part of your business.
Suggestion sells. You will certainly sell some cars over the holidays, but what about the customers who aren’t in the market to buy a vehicle? A gift card for an oil change would be the perfect gift for a teen driver! By suggesting ways your customers can give service department gifts, you’ll not only get more business, you could also gain potential future customers.
Ring in the new year. Focus on finishing the holidays strong throughout your dealership—and then remember to follow up with ALL your new and existing customers after the holiday glitter has settled. The key to building and maintaining your customer base is creating lasting relationships, so don’t forget to check in with those who shopped with you during the holidays.
When you jump in early and stay focused on your consumers throughout the season, you’ll be sure to have a very merry holiday. Focus on delivering quality content that inspires shoppers to learn about your products and services, and give them great reasons to seek out your dealership for professional customer care and even some great gifting ideas!
The image used in this post was provided by freedigitalphotos.net.