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If you read our previous post outlining 10 reasons why car dealers need to engage car buyers online , than your next logical question would be, "Where is the best place online to engage these car buyers?" We've crafted a list of where we believe are the 10 best places to engage car buyers online. Depending on the make and model your selling, one online community may make more sense than another, but this list should at least get you started on finding where the relevant conversations are taking place.
10. Edmunds Carspace - "The Car Enthusiasts Automotive Lifestyle Social Networking Site". Edmunds Carspace is one of the most popular forums on the web. As such, finding what you want can be a bit daunting and the conversations can be long. However, there's a lot of great advice to be had and a wealth of information in archive. The interface is clean, but there are a lot of ads.
9. AutoMedia - "Car Advice You Can Trust". Whereas Edmunds does forums by car, AutoMedia does it by topics. From car care to automotive performance, AutoMedia displays all sorts of information about making the car you already have, better. There's lists on proper driving techniques, restoring tired cars, how to get better gas mileage, amateur motorsports and hundreds of other topics in addition to a simple buying guide for new cars.
8. Yahoo Answers - A specific section for questions about buying and selling vehicles. Yahoo Answers gives you the opportunity to ask questions to an entire community at once through their main page. Not only will members of their community answer your question, other members will rate the answers to give you a "best answer". The incentive to give the best possible answer means there's a lot less "noise" in Yahoo's forums.
7. Ask.Cars.com - "Our Experts Answer Your Questions" Ask.Cars.com has one of the best interfaces of any forum out there. A simple "Question of the Day" takes up a majority of the homepage and subsequent answers are at the bottom of the page as "Recent Questions". The unfortunate problem is that most questions only have a few answers. The questions jump between tax issues, new cars, problems with cars and hundreds of other things.
6. Cargurus - "Got a question about your car? Ask the CarGurus community and get a response within hours!" CarGurus is a sort of car rating site. It's not so much a way to ask and answer questions as it is a "raves" vs. "rants" site. If you're looking for what people who actually own cars think of them, this is a good place to go. Though, there is a very large gap in the models actually reviewed and those still awaiting reviews.
5. DealerRater - Allows dealers to promote their quality customer service. When searching for a new car, that moment comes when you finally say, "Yes. That's the car I want." Who are you going to buy from? DealerRater helps you decide by letting users comment on the quality of service they receive. Consumer Reports has noted that new car shoppers rate quality second only to safety as the aspect of owning a car most important to them. DealerRater helps you make sure you get quality service.
4. EasyAutoSales - The first and only social classifieds for cars! EasyAutoSales ties community to car classified listings with Facebook Connect. This allows questions asked, comments to be broadcast and interesting cars and topics to be shared with your network of friends on Facebook and beyond. EasyAutoSales' free platform connects car buyers, car sellers and car experts to create one of the most exciting and fastest growing car communities.
3. MySpace - 62,192 automotive related groups. Most people know MySpace as merely a social network for communicating with friends, but MySpace also has one of the largest car communities too! With over 126 million users, MySpace can be a huge ally in discussing cars and, if utilized properly, selling cars.
2. Twitter - People talking and asking questions about cars in 140 characters or less. Twitter allows you to talk about cars in a very real-time, open forum with people who you know or associate with. As opinions on a car, where to get the best deal or what's popular. Twitter is a great place to discuss cars as well as taking advantage of ancillary sites like TwitPic, where you can share pictures from your cell phone real-time.
1. Facebook.com - With over 500 groups related to "car buying" alone and 175 million users, Facebook is the final frontier in social networking. The combination of fan pages, applications, media sharing and a simple way to interface with all your friends and family on a daily basis, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool. Whether is be via Facebook Connect and sites like EasyAutoSales that use their technology or simply sharing a story or a picture, Facebook has the power to make your car buying or selling experience much easier and more fulfilling.
If you've had experience interacting with potential car buyers on any of these sites, or feel like we are missing one, please share in the comments below. Remember, be helpful, be transparent, and be authentic. Good luck engaging!