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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Joey Little

Joey Little Vice President of Social Strategy

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What Facebook Reviews Mean for Your Dealership

Facebook Reviews Matter1d81291e7f1bd0759970a9dee59ae81d.png?t=1

Look out, Yelp.  Facebook has joined the latest list of sites vying for consumer attention when it comes to user reviews and ratings.  With its recently-launched Best Professional Services site, it joins a crowded market that caters to local businesses and organizations seeking shopper reviews.  If you’ve been working on the social media presence of your dealership, you probably already know the importance of engaging your consumers on Facebook, however, the recent enhancements to the platform make it even more important for you to zero in on specifics that will help shoppers find and interact with you. The Professional Services page allows users to quickly search businesses with the highest reviews and ratings across Facebook, following the widely-recognized 5-star review format.  In its new searchable directory, businesses now earn ratings based on user reviews, which means Facebook just entered the space that has, until recently, been reserved for platforms like Yelp, Amazon, and Google.  In addition to up-to-date consumer ratings, businesses that appear in Facebook’s Best Professional Services directory will also be able to provide a brief description of their products and services, their location, contact information, as well as hours of operation.

Your Profile Is Important

Although you already have a presence on Facebook, this latest development means you’ll want to pay even more attention to your Facebook profile.  Be sure to fill out your dealership information completely in order to let customers know where to find you, when you’re available, and what services your shop specializes in.  The more you can tell online consumers about your dealership while they are in the process of doing their online research, the better chance you stand of convincing them you’re the dealership for them.  By providing complete profile information, you’re not only allowing new customers to find you, but you’re making it easy for current and previous customers to leave feedback and ratings for your service. It’s easy to see why Facebook wants in on the consumer services action.  Just this year, Angie’s List estimated the U.S. market for local services at approximately $800 billion.  With some companies narrowing their scope to specific business models, like home service contractors or handymen, others—like Facebook—are taking a broader tack and including businesses across a wide range of specialties.  This is important for your dealership because now, not only are you able to interact one-on-one socially with online shoppers, but you’ll also be able to convey other shopper opinions and reflections via Facebook’s new review format.

Consumer Reviews Boost Your Business

Today’s consumers are often overwhelmed by the crowded marketplace and aren’t sure where to start if they don’t have trustworthy recommendations to turn to.  By leaning into feedback from shoppers who have visited your dealership in the past, potential customers are able to get to know you vicariously through the experiences of others.  In fact, according to a recent BrightLocal survey, 92% of shoppers now turn to online reviews to obtain information regarding businesses, up from 88% in 2014.  As this number continues to rise, it highlights the importance of both maintaining your presence on social media and ensuring consumers are satisfied and willing to interact with your brand to provide their insights. In order to most effectively allow consumers to access your information and learn more about your dealership, you’ll want to make sure your Facebook Page is up-to-date and full of valuable information consumers will find interesting.  Remember, you want to be easy to find and interesting so that shoppers will want to interact with you and seek you out online.  Check out the following tips to get started:

  • Complete your profile.  Make sure you have your dealership’s address, operating hours, and even important milestones listed on your profile.  Offer a clickable link that leads shoppers directly to your website, making it easy to get directly to you and your sales professionals.  Don’t go overboard with descriptive copy; keep it short and engaging so consumers get enough information, but aren’t overloaded with your dealership’s entire history.
  • Be a continuous presence.  In addition to posting photos, engaging videos, and dealership updates to your timeline, be sure to interact with consumer posts to your Page as well.  Remember, social media is about creating relationships, and the more you offer of yourself, the more shoppers will want to give in return.
  • Vary your content.  Social media users love visual content, but be sure to shake things up and keep it fresh.  Photos, video, quick interviews, and blogs are creative ways to offer up a variety of content and keep followers interested.  Be sure to provide relevant content that positions you as a subject-matter expert, but don’t use your Page to sell.  Instead, use your Page to be social and build relationships.
  • Add a call-to-action button.  Facebook is continuously innovating, and one of its fairly recent additions is a call-to-action button that allows you to choose between messages like “Shop Now,” “Watch Video,” or “Contact Us.”  Use the tools that are available to you to help you interact with consumers on a higher level.
  • Encourage online reviews.  Now that Facebook is playing in the local reviews arena with its Best Professional Services site, be sure to encourage your customers to give you online reviews and feedback.  When they share their experiences, they’ll be boosting your brand recognition amongst potential new customers, and they’ll be giving you the opportunity to stay in contact and offer future service and maintenance for them.  Even a less-than-stellar review can be turned around, because it gives your dealership the chance to shine in the customer service realm and offer responsive solutions to make things right.

With Facebook garnering even more consumer attention by shining a spotlight on reviews and feedback, your dealership has an even greater opportunity to thrive in the social media setting.  In addition to engaging and interacting via posts and content, you’ll now have the benefit of previous customers who want to spread the word about the positive dealership experiences they’ve had with you.  Take advantage of this by ensuring your Facebook profile is as complete and well-rounded as it can be, as well as increasing your social interaction to include a focus on consumer feedback.  By doing this, you’ll see your dealership thrive in a crowded marketplace that depends on word of mouth recommendations and online ratings.

mark rask
I think this will be huge! We really push getting reviews at our dealership. Mostly on dealerrater. I guess we could use the same approach for Facebook
Erick Kirks
Mark, We give customers multiple choices to place reviews since many people have their favorites they use regularly. Google is currently our first choice but it still requires a username. DealerRater and Cars.com don't require usernames so they are easy ones to get done. Pretty much everyone has a Facebook login so that's easy, too. Yelp is a PIA but there are users in our markets and if we can get good reviews to stick it helps. We regularly have people that will leave good reviews on 3-4 of these sites for us. We created a landing page with links to our review sites that we direct customers to to help make it easier for them. Tip of the day: if you really want to move the needle on reviews, spiff your sales and service consultants and make sure you have someone ready to respond to all the positive and negative reviews as quickly as possible.

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