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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Amy Taggart

Amy Taggart Marketing Manager

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Making social media work at your dealership


In the social media and dealershipspast week I have come across several articles related to dealerships and social media. One article was about where to draw the line and another focusing on social media presence at dealerships.

Social media is booming right now, and it’s never been more apparent than with social media giant Facebook which has over 500 million users.

I always hear that some dealers don’t use the Internet or prefer to sell cars the ‘old fashioned’ way… well if that’s the route you choose, then good luck staying afloat – because in 2011 everyone is online. Word of mouth is great, but a blog, Tweet, or Facebook promotion is even better because it reaches tens of thousands more.

Here’s how social media can help your:

Reputation:
I am not a dealer nor do I work in a dealership, but I do know social media. All it takes is one person to post a negative review on Facebook or Twitter for your reputation to be compromised. That one person could have 300 friends, and if one of those 300 friends re-tweeted or re-posted that comment, it could reach thousands more.

With an ACTIVE Twitter feed, Facebook page, and blog you can cover a lot of ground. You could keep current and prospective customers in the loop on what’s going on at your dealership, respond to consumer issues if they were posted on Facebook, and Tweet any news that you would like to share to keep your name in front of them in a positive way.

Business:
Besides the importance of social media to your reputation it is also helpful for business. For instance:

Facebook:

  • Facebook is a great tool for personal networking, professional networking, posting ads, contests, campaigns, getting feedback, posting lot pictures, etc. Facebook is a lot more personal than Twitter and allows you to be more interactive with your fans. Post pictures of your inventory, sales team, and/or specials.
  • Converse with your customers/prospects and answer questions they may have. Facebook is a great way to make consumers feel closer to a brand or product, especially when they have that interaction. It lets them know that someone cares about what they have to say.

Blogs:

  • Did you know that blogging regularly is critical if you want to maximize search engine traffic? It builds inbound links and drives click-through traffic from other blogs. As you increase your exposure around the blogosphere, and you help to boost your search engine rankings.
  • It isn’t necessary to post everyday but once or twice a week is a good start. And the blogging can be from anyone about anything related to your business. Our account executives and marketing team usually write the blogs for our sites. You do not need a professional or even an ‘expert,’ just someone who knows their ‘stuff’ and is willing to share it.

Twitter:

  • Dealerships are on Twitter! Not to say you should be because they are, but they understand that Twitter is a good networking tool, as well as a way to share information and get feedback.
  • If you’re blogging, even better, you can tweet your blog URL to Twitter whenever you post. Tweet articles or news stories that may be relevant to your dealership or brand that you sell. As with blogging, if you are going to join Twitter, you must be an ACTIVE user. Tweet daily.

You may not have time to implement all three suggestions, but starting with maybe one or two out of the three could tremendously help your dealership. Try it out and let us know how it works out for you!

Have another social media platform that I should have mentioned? Feel free to enter it below in the comment box.

 

Charles Gallaer
For most dealers flikr and YouTube offer better return on the time invested in social media than twitter. Twitter is still very niche-ish compared to blogging, facebook and the ones I mentioned. Google seems to hate Tumblr and Posterous so a good ole Wordpress blog as a subdomain of the dealer's site is the way to go. Plus plug-ins for Wordpress make social media integration a snap.

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