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Paul Potratz

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Exclusive Blog Posts

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Stacking Up in Social Media

Has your dealership gotten on board with social media? Perhaps you’re wondering how many other dealers are really using social sites to build a following. A recent study by SmartBrief, surveying 6,000 people, shows that a wide range of businesses (yes, including car dealers) are using social media, with many jumping on the bandwagon recently. In fact, half have used it just over the last year, while almost 20% joined the social world in the last 13 to 18 months.

Also, most of these companies utilize the top 5 platforms: YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. You know, these are the sites where you go to watch the video of the skateboarder crashing or see your friends’ uploaded pics of their Thanksgiving plates. Companies that have used social media over a longer stretch of time acknowledge that using these sites effectively requires a well-planned strategy using more than one site. Auto dealers wanting to jump into the social media arena can’t go in and expect results if they have not planned ahead.

So what keeps dealerships from getting into automotive social media promotion? The answer is the same as in this general survey of a variety of companies. A large chunk of those surveyed said they had no freedom to make decisions or met resistance from management. Also, one-third said confidentiality was a key issue.

Also, many companies do not utilize social media as a business tool but merely as a fun toy they don’t take seriously. In fact, fewer than 15% bothered to measure ROI for social efforts.

Learn a lesson from this survey: to involve your auto dealership in social media, you need to take it seriously, and you need to plan out a strategy. Treat social sites like Facebook for what they are: a place to network, build relationships, and have conversations, not a place simply to pump out hard-sell advertising. So, what’s the state of social media at your dealership?

Paul Potratz

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