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Word of mouth is the holy grail of reaching potential customers - car buyers are no different. If someone who just bought a car from your dealership blogs or tells a friend that they had a great experience, BAM! you will surely have new shoppers walking through your doors instead of the dealerships down the street.
Until fairly recently, harnessing the power of word of mouth has been virtually impossible. Now, thanks to social media and social networks, the possibilities are becoming a bit more tangible. If your dealership is not already engaging potential customers online, these 10 data points will certainly set you straight.
10. 93% of consumers do research online before buying a car.
Whether your dealership and inventory is online or not, almost 100% of your potential customers are on the web searching for information, reviews and recommendations!
9. 67% of consumers say that recommendations and information from people online influences their purchasing decisions.
More than 2/3’s of consumers make their purchasing decision based on peer reviews and recommendations! As long as you are transparent about your affiliations and are tactful with your approach, your recommendations could be just as influential as the next guy, maybe even more based on your unique expertise.
8. 56% of consumers feel a stronger connection with a brand if they are able to interact with the company through social media.
The days of large, faceless corporations are long gone! Individuals want to be heard and they want to connect on a one-on-one basis. Instead of blasting your advertising message through an air horn, cater your dealership’s voice by listening to your customers’ needs and use social media to allow for two-way communication.
7. 57% of consumers feel better served by a company when they can interact with them through social media.
When a consumer feels better served, that’s when they recommend you to their friends at the next cocktail party, write rave reviews on their blogs and recommend you online. We are in the Recommendation Age. Interact = Get recommended.
6. 33% of consumers visit blogs, communities or social networks to research products before buying.
Conversational media plays a significant role in car buying process and before the consumer even knows what car they want to buy, they are out there reading reviews, comparing specs and test-driving cars. Shouldn’t you use your unique position to help them with basic questions and build a relationship? It’s time to engage!
5. Nearly 13% of new vehicle buyers commented on someone's blog or forum (J.D. Power & Associates)
Not only are consumers searching for information, they are engaging and providing their own views of the presented information. By interacting with your customers and offering free help, you will build awareness for your brand online as they do their research.
4. 57% of consumers say they would likely take action based on information they received from an online brand representative.
You and your dealership are a brand. If you don’t represent yourself someone else will. People are Googling you and your dealership, and your reputation is being built on those results. Put your online reputation in your hands by joining the conversation.
3. 67% of consumers say they are likely to pass the information they received from an online brand representative along to others.
If you are willing to help out your potential customers, they will help you out. It’s word of mouth hard at work for you.
2. 45% of consumers say they pass along information they find on social media websites, compared to only 36% who pass information they received from company or news sites.
Why rely on customers coming to you? People hang out on social media sites and word of mouth happens more often as a result of information found on social media sites. Find, listen and engage.
1. According to eMarketer’s recent report, by 2013 an estimated 52% of all Internet users will be regular social network visitors. (Up from 41% in 2007)
Social media is not a fad and as technology improves, the number of people that will connect on a one-on-one basis will only continue to grow. Make your presence known in the conversation today and let the ripple effect help you grow through personal connections.
Most of the data above was provided by: http://www.sherpastore.com/socialmediabmg09.html - the above information doesn't even scratch the surface of the invaluable information contained in this report. We highly recommend it!
Stayed tuned for our next post where we highlight the best places for dealers to engage with consumers online…
Are these numbers enough to convince you to join the conversation?