Car Dealer's Hesitation to Marketing on Social Media

Mathew Thomas

A couple of weeks ago, I had a meeting with a dealer and I asked, "What strategy do you have in place for marketing your brand through social media?" 

His answer: "We use Craigslist."

I have to tell you, I was not prepared for that answer.

The industry is drastically shifting under our feet even as you read this post. Dealers, pay attention to the millennial generation FAST. They are going to make up FORTY PERCENT of your buyers in the next EIGHTEEN MONTHS and 50% possibly by 2030, which will be the tipping point of our industry. 

It is high time to start marketing your brand in the PREFERRED COMMUNICATION METHOD of your customers.

Accept the fact that you can't do it by yourself.

Your "Internet Guy/Gal" or your "BDC Manager" is not the answer. They should be solely focused on what they do best - setting appointments and selling cars.

You need to hire an individual, a team, and/or an outsourced company SOLELY for social media marketing for the daily non-stop servicing your market deserves. Give them autonomy and do not micro-manage them.

Now, 2018, Q2, is the time.  You are being left behind literally every single day that you put this off.  

Derrick Woolfson

While I offer that social media is important, there are a lot of new restrictions when setting parameters. That having been said, I have cut the social budget to a 1/3 and spent the remaining on AdWords & PPC. This has yielded incredible results.  

Patrick Bergemann

I think a key point to counter with would be to accent the word "brand". Spending a marketing budget on social media just to get clicks and leads generally led to higher bounce rates and less serious customers. Craigslist might get more serious leads, but also people looking for a "deal".

People know when they're being sold to on Facebook so the social stuff should be building your brand and trust with the customer. Derrick's got the right idea...I'm assuming his social budget is being used primarily as retargeting to the AdWords and PPC spend to add value and name recognition to customers who have already engaged with the brand on some level.

Bart Wilson

Another angle to take with social media is retention.  How are you using Facebook, etc to communicate and engage with your loyal customers?

Shawn  Christensen

Completely agree! Social media is not going away! You should be doubling down your budget on social media, stop paying for radio and tv because pandora and Netflix are going to make them non existent,  figuring out a routine that has the highest ROI and then continue to evolve as the platforms do. 


Google AdWords are phenomenal if you can get them without overpaying. 



Mathew Thomas

There are very capable people who can get you leads directly from Facebook instead of spending $$$$ on Google ads, who show and buy.  I know some of them personally and some OEMS have even gotten on board with them. 

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