How does Social Media fit in with a car dealers’ online marketing plan?
One thing is for sure, dealers simply cannot choose not to participate in social media anymore. Even though more time is spent on Facebook than any other website, many dealers seem unaware of the importance of Facebook in their digital marketing strategy.
Keeping up with customer expectations
Customers expect to engage with a business, and will generate content regardless, everything from recommendations, complaints and check-ins. So it’s better to actively manage that content rather than let consumers drive what information is displayed about you unchecked. Engaging with people on social media can increase their loyalty and advocacy, which is important in the car industry where customers visit so infrequently.
A managed Facebook presence is essential
Check-ins to Facebook places are fast increasing in popularity and an amazing driver of reach to friends of Facebook fans. However, there are many dealers who do not have a Facebook page set up correctly so the check-ins do not get linked to the business at all.
Social media influences consumers’ perceptions of a brand or dealership, both positively and negatively. 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations but only 14% trust marketing.
Customers are checking companies out on Social Media before diving into the sales world of their website and are taking longer to consider their purchase options online, and hence less time visiting a physical dealer environment.
Optimising websites for conversion
The website is the shop window and a deciding factor for consumers whether to visit a dealership. Nearly three quarters of people would go elsewhere if a dealer was too slow in answering an online question and four out of five would do so also if the answer was of poor quality.
With smart phones and tablets more prevalent than ever, it’s essential that websites must be optimised for mobile. Customers are adopting new technology and media and the smart dealers are keeping up!