CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
If you are reading this then most likely you are a car dealer. And you’ve got your ducks in a row. The SEO on your site is so good that it ranks in the top ten results for both Google and Bing’s relevant local search results. You’ve got your inventory sourced out to so many car sites you can’t remember them all. Your dealership is listed in every online business directory from Biznik to Yelp. The content your dealership publishes online is relevant, interesting, and up to date. While other car dealerships in your city still print ads in the local newspaper and pray for a few cold calls this week you have thrust yourself into the 21st Century without the slightest qualm. You’ve even got a guy. The kind you picked on in high school for wearing glasses and awkwardly fitting clothing but who turns out to be a “whiz with that online stuff.” You are set.
And you are probably missing something. What about social media? Alright you have Hootsuite set up and running, posting daily updates on Facebook and Twitter. But what you may not realize is that is only the beginning. Timed posting programs like Hootsuite are there to be a time-saver, not to be a substitute for actual human interaction. In fact human interaction is the root and core of why social media exists. So you or someone at your dealership at least, should take some time out of their day and truly interact with the people that are following you through social media. But there are other aspects and sites that you may not even consider.
Facebook and Twitter are great for getting your brand out there to people. LinkedIn is the business site of note and it’s great that you are there. They should never be discounted in any fashion. But what you may not consider is Google+. Google+ is the social media equivalent of a business meeting. Professionals go there more than anywhere else to share ideas with each other. Whereas on Facebook you are meeting with your average potential customer with Google+ you can connect with other people in the automotive, marketing, and Information Technology industries and share concepts more freely. This will expose you to ideas, practices, and strategies that you would never dream of. Spend a month on Google+ with the right people in your circles and you will learn more in a month than you would in a year on most other sites. Plus it may lead to business relationships that you wouldn’t have developed otherwise. Through my activities on Google+ the dealership that employees me has developed business contacts with an SEO firm dealing exclusively with car dealerships and a software developer with a vehicle history search application that we now use. In some small way Google+ helped change my dealership’s business model. This is especially true for a lot of the newer budding online marketing practices that are being explored. And while all of this is fine and well and we should never shun away from personal growth, there is a more concrete reason to be on Google+ as well. I’m going to say what everyone already knows. Google crawls its own sites first. Google has made social media a relevant means of marketing and so your dealership should reach out through various different sites, active and sharable Google+ content will pay off dividends in a relatively short amount of time. Google’s thought pattern is that if it is relevant enough to create and share, then it’s relevant enough to search for and Google+ is the first place among social media sites that they crawl. Even the data that you enter into your dealership’s Google+ account will be crawled to give you better ranking in those highly coveted local search results. In fact by generating and sharing content on Google+ improving your local search results will be the ultimate end result. And of course you already know why your local search is so important. That’s where you’re your future customers are.
So get your online marketing guy cracking on some Google+ content. It’s going to pay dividends down the road. Never forget the importance of an active and most importantly comprehensive social media campaign, and that has to include Google+. All of the positive effort that you put into your image building and online marketing campaigns will only provide you with more hot leads and in the end more cars sold. And that’s the entire point isn’t it?