Dealerships' Five Common Hesitations Toward Social Media

Chelsea K
While Facebook and YouTube are two of the top five most visited websites in the world, with Twitter close behind, it’s hard to believe that many automotive dealerships still aren’t utilizing Social Media to brand their business and network with potential customers ( After working with dozens of dealerships and discussing their concerns with Social Media, I’ve seen a number of similarities as to why dealerships aren’t embracing Social Media. I’d like to share five common hesitations and offer some insight into why dealerships might want to reconsider their doubts about Social Media. Five Common Hesitations: What if an unhappy customer bashes us/gives a bad review through Social Media? If a customer is unhappy about their experience with your dealership, most likely they are going to talk about it whether or not your dealership is on Facebook, Twitter, etc. By taking part in Social Media, your dealership has the ability to confront these situations and tell your side of the story, or to make amends publicly. However, in many cases we have seen that fans and followers of your dealership will often back you up and criticize the person who is complaining about the dealership. Isn’t selling cars through Facebook just spam? There are many dealerships that use Social Media in a way that categorizes them as spammers. However, if you approach sites like Facebook and Twitter in the way that they are meant to be used, you will successfully interact with current and potential customers. These sites are meant to be a place to share common interests and provide meaningful content to benefit the community. If you offer interesting or helpful information to others and interact with the content they produce, they will develop a sense of trust for you or your brand. Then, when you do talk about your dealership, they will be interested in what you say. The key is to make conversation and build relationships and just interject small amounts of sales-driven messages. What if an ex-employee leaves inappropriate comments on our Dealership’s Facebook page? The option to “unfriend” or “delete” is always there with Facebook. The administrators of the page are able to delete any explicit or inappropriate comments that they choose to remove. These administrators are the ones who post content appearing as the dealership and can assess the situation. If the problem ever got out of hand, you can report any member to Facebook and they will kick them off if need be. What if a current employee posts inappropriate photos, videos, etc. on Facebook, YouTube, etc.? By developing a “Social Media Policy” at your dealership and going over it with your employees, they should understand the consequences that are set for posting such content. Everyone should be aware that they are representing the dealership in the public’s eyes. Once again, if this content is posted onto the dealership’s fan page or YouTube page, the administrator is able to remove the content and assess the situation with the employee. By opening access to Facebook, YouTube, etc. aren’t we just allowing employees to waste time on the Internet? Time management is very important when using Social Media since it does have a bit of an addictive quality to it. What we suggest is to allot five to ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes around lunchtime, and a couple minutes at the end of the day to respond to anything that catches your eye, post content, etc. If you see that an employee is using social media for long periods of time or taking advantage of the privilege, that is where you should refer to the Social Media Policy and assess their access capabilities. If they follow the dealership’s strategy and use Social Media in the ways you suggest (posting videos and photos from the dealership, networking from a business standpoint, etc.), then Social Media will not be a waste of time for your dealership! If you have any further questions or would like some information on starting up a Social Media campaign for your Dealership, please contact Chelsea Karbocus at or 518.227.0911.

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