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The research is in, and if your auto dealership doesn't have a strong social media presence you're missing out on some major sales opportunities. It isn't enough to just set up a Facebook page and have your junior sales associate hammer out a few Tweets a day, either—you've got to deliver more, and you've got to do it better than the competition if you want it to make a difference.
Crowdtap, a brand consultancy and marketing firm that engages directly with real consumers to find out what people want in the companies they do business with, recently conducted a survey of self-identified "car buyers"—anyone who purchased a vehicle in the past year, or was planning on purchasing a vehicle in the coming year. While previous research made it clear that social media was an important part of most modern car-buyer's decision process, the results were surprising even to the survey makers. An astounding 87% of car buyers said they conducted social media research as a part of their car buying process, making social media platforms among the most widely-used avenues for selecting a vehicle model prior to purchase. In addition, close to 70% of survey respondents said they purchased a car they discovered on social media—more than two-thirds of all buyers found what they wanted via social media searches and found no need to go elsewhere. A lot of social media use in the car-researching and -buying process came from discussing cars with family and friends in respondents' social networks, including asking for advice about specific car models, features, and dealerships, but that isn't the only way people got the information they wanted from their favorite social media platforms. While peer endorsements and customer satisfaction are important parts of driving an effective social media presence, dealerships can take even greater control by providing the information people want on their social media channels.
We think of social media platforms as places for people to interact, and they certainly work in that regard, but without original content most social media users would find little to interact with or talk about. Delivering high-quality and informative content that can be easily shared and discussed on social media is the most effective way to make your online marketing efforts a success, and no content does it better than video. Video delivers both entertainment and information in a semi-passive way that people find easy to tune into, and social media provides the interactivity they crave—and that can help your video content spread like wildfire. Posting videos about your cars to your social media properties makes it easy for a car buyer's friends and family to find and share answers to their network's car questions, and that means you'll be tapping into the largest car buying market around.