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Social Media Marketing for my Dealership

Discussion in 'Automotive Industry Jobs Classifieds' started by Marisa, Mar 17, 2016.

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  1. Marisa

    Marisa
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    First Name:
    Marisa
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Coccia Ford Lincoln
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    Hey everyone! So I am pretty new to everything; have only been in the car business for about a year now. My current dealership has offered me the position of Social Media Marketing.

    I have been doing research on what works the best and how to drive traffic into the dealership, but I want to hear from real dealerships!

    I am going to be working on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. What has worked best for you and your dealership in the past?

    What have you tried that you would never try again?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. Alexander Lau

    Alexander Lau
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    If there’s a local or community event important to the dealership, focus on it. That’s a major part of social media strategy, IMO. Dealership don’t need to remind their social followers that they have cars for sale, they already know that. When choosing what to post, you shouldn’t act like a dealership, but still remember that you are a dealership. Don’t be pitchy. Don’t feed into stereotypes. Don’t be too “sales-oriented.” Instead, be brand, community, fun, and familial in orientation.

    Truth is, to be successful on social media as a dealership, they have to stop thinking about yourself as a dealership, but instead, think of yourself as a company that helps out the local community. Giving people a social media smorgasbord of posts to review makes you more well-rounded. Like any delectable sampling of food does.

    (In no particular order)
    • Philanthropy and Charitable involvements
    • Photos of new customers with their vehicles
    • “Caption This” pictures
    • Contests
    • Partnerships with local sports teams, like http://www.baierl.com/blog/2015/04/pirates-announce-new-partnership-with-baierl-automotive.cfm
    • Video customer testimonials
    • Random pics of humor, quotes, or thought-provoking imagery
    • Questions to engage (think Trivial Pursuit, 1st date-style questions, Family Feud, or hypothetical in orientation)
    • Reviews/Ratings from happy customers
    • Service Discounts, Coupons – Not ‘sales-related’ content. (No “3.9% on Chevy’s until month’s end”- style posts)
    • Upcoming community events (and their involvement in them)
    • Nearby school events (and a mention of current employees from there)
    • Good staff bios
    • Job openings
    • Very odd vehicles taken in on trade (a 2006 Chevy Malibu isn’t a worthy vehicle to share on your wall regardless of the “low miles”, but a DeLorean would be).
    • Interesting facts based on that date in history
    • Service How-To Videos
    • Very high profile OEM/Dealership updates that are actually in the news (with your dealership’s response to it)
    That said, I would definitely find out if your dealerships has a paid social media advertising budget, because organic reach isn't anywhere as effective, if it's effective at all. There's plenty of evidence suggesting weak organic performance.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspe...bout-the-death-of-organic-reach/#41836b2f7885
    https://www.facebook.com/business/news/Organic-Reach-on-Facebook
    http://marketingland.com/facebook-kills-organic-reach-108160

    If I were you, I'd look into Custom Audience targeting through Facebook / Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

    For example: https://www.facebook.com/business/a/custom-audiences

    Previously, Facebook advertising had been too generic / broad, which probably suited Zuckerberg just fine in that they were still making a lot money, but at the same time wasting the efforts of their advertising customers. Lack of being able to drill down to a current customer and universe attack level.

    It was a matter of time before they integrated a better advertising mechanism into their system. Basically, Power Editor is a matching tool, which they have always had (a weak predecessor), but previously was not built on a CRM integration level (importation of CRM dB's for use in customer matching). Having to match up customers or potential customer manually was a painstaking experience. I'll be interested in seeing how dealerships cope with this new requirement and what CRM's actively support them.

    Custom audience targeted ads will be much more relevant than ads just targeted to a business fan’s or some biographical demographic. They can reach people who a business is sure purchased its products before, or that haven’t thanks to exclusionary targeting. Yes, businesses could just email these existing customers for free. However, Facebook can help them hone in on certain demographic segments of their customers by overlaying additional targeting parameters, and reach them vividly through the news feed instead of their dry inbox.

    An automotive rooftop with E-mail addresses of its customers could target “buy a new SUV” ads to people who bought an SUV 5+ years ago, while targeting “Find nearby charging stations” to those who recently bought an electric vehicle.

    IMO, it's a ploy by Facebook to sell more ads through customization techniques, which is smarter than what they were doing. It should have better results for dealerships, especially since most of them have a CRM of some type that exports out CSV and/or XML for importation into the Facebook Power Editor.

    Good Luck!
     
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    #2 Alexander Lau, Mar 17, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
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  4. Rob McCartney

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    Dealer or Company Name:
    Rasmussen Ford
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    Welcome to DealerRefresh.

    Some of the things I know work, is we try to take a picture upon delivery of each car (if the customer is willing) with the new customer and welcome them to the Rasmussen Ford family (our slogan is "Come be a part of our family"). They are posted on our Facebook page.

    I know a lot of Manufactures have setups to automatically post information on your Facebook page and Twitter. And while this is helpful to make your pages active, you should really review each post and pick and choose which ones are displayed to meet what your area customers prefer. For example, I would hide about 85% of post on new Hybird technology as that doesn't seem to be a concern or a desire in my region. But any specials or information on F-150's I want everyone to see due to the large number of business that require pickups and farmers.

    As part of the social media team, I would have this include online reviews (Google, Yelp and 3rd party dealer reviews). This is even more important in larger markets. Make sure you read and respond to each review that is left. If its a positive comment, thank that customer and really respond on a personal level (avoid static responses that will seem redundant and dull). If its a negative comment attempt to reach out to that customer both by leaving a comment and via phone or email if that information is possible. This shows future customers that their needs are important and your dealership makes the steps to better themselves and their relations with customers.

    Promotions for # of Likes/Retweets. Give 50% off oil changes, or discounts on parts/accessories or even $250 dollars off a car to the person who is like #1000 or retweet #80. Not only will people want to win, but they become connected to your dealerships page or twitter feed for future ads.

    Push local trade-in's. This information should be easily given to you by your used car manager. For example, if you have a loyal customer who trades often and all service is done at your dealership, promote these cars. People love to know a car's back story and helps them connect with the car. Even if its not the car they want, it could lead them to the lot in hopes of finding similar stories on your inventory.

    As for YoutTube, while I have not done this yet with my current dealership, try to post either home made video's reviewing new features on your models, or the manufactures instructional videos. These can be shared through both your twitter and facebook. They encourage thought, and desire to want to have the newest and the best. For instance, a hot new feature on the F-150's is the Trailer Backup Assist. A dial that will backup your truck when hooked to a trailer, making it a breeze for any seasoned driver or rookie to backup a trailer.

    Lastly, engage, engage and engage with your customers through all social media. If comments or left or questions respond to them timely and publicly. If one person has a question regarding a model of car/truck most likely another one has the same question. People love to know that your questions or concerns don't fall on deaf ears. And try to be transparent.

    A personal suggestion, avoid using sarcasm in text. Most humans pickup sarcasm via voice inflection and body gestures. Which makes it difficult in text fashion. You could come across and uncaring or rude. Which would be a big turn off for any current customer or future.

    Just my thoughts and experience. I'm not expert.

    --rob
     
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  5. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    @Marisa@Marisa first off, thank for posting your very first question here on the DealerRefresh Dealer Forums. It's great to have your participation. I believe you have a much larger question here then what works best on social media. But before I respond I'm going to share 2 older but great discussions around social media here in the forums:

    So you have been offered the position of Social Media Marketing. I'm assuming the Owner/DP or GM offered you this position?

    Before I would consider accepting the position I would highly recommend you and the management team first clarify in writing exactly how you're going to measure and determine "success". At some point the ROI of this position will fall under great scrutiny so having an initial, agreed upon way of tracking the ROI will be of great importance.

    @Alexander Lau@Alexander Lau brings up something very important - be sure that you will have an allocated budget. Much of facebook has become pay to play for business unless you dance in some of the gray areas. Determine what tools, software and apps you're going to need to be efficient and successful.


    Measuring your social media ROI is important for many reasons but most all, it's going to allow you to prove the value of your position, establish goals and objectives while enabling you to evaluate what's working and what is not - so you can effectively spend your budget in the areas that are yielding the most impact and return.

    "According to The CMO Survey 2014, just 15 percent of marketers are able to prove their social media marketing activities has a clear, quantitative impact on helping them fulfill their overall marketing objectives."

    Therefore you're going to want to become very proficient with Google Analytics so you know How to use analytics for Social Media Measurement.

    I would recommend performing a full audit of your dealer's current landscape across your active social channels AND dealer review channels to help establish a baseline. Which by the way isn't looking too bad on the review front....

    Please keep us abreast with your progression. Lean on this community for help, opinions and ideas you want to vet out and discuss. If we don't have the answer, I'll find someone that does.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 10.18.30 AM.png
     
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  6. John Griffin

    John Griffin
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    John
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    Auto Masters
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    Good question. We've just started with digital marketing ourselves.
     
  7. Alexander Lau

    Alexander Lau
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  8. Mitch Gallant

    Mitch Gallant
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    Refresh Team

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    Mitch
    Dealer or Company Name:
    Capital Auto Group
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    When I read this I had to respond, resonates so loudly. The fact that you're coming here asking for advice probably means your GM/DP is onboard to ride the dragon but doesn't really know what to expect. If you can steal some time to get some clarity on that I think you can really help yourself.
    I'd also suggest you need to know your customer base and who and what your dealership stands for. I'd always suggest the GM/DP are the best person to handle all social media because they know what they want to represent and how to position that. You need to tap into that to build the character and personality you'd like to portray online.

    That might sound kinda crazy but people don't engage with businesses, they engage with people and you get to be whoever you want on social but define it so you're consistent.

    I'd suggest creating a full persona, age, sex, hobbies, favourite restaurants, job, recreation etc... so when you're not sure how or what to say you can at least look at this person and say - what would they say?

    OR

    You have to be 100% yourself but I'm not sure how well that will engage with your core buyers in the marketplace.

    After all, this can't be a game, this has to engage people that will eventually do business with you.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!
     
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  9. Alexander Lau

    Alexander Lau
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    Alex
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    Facebook strategies for dealers
    Resources that can help you drive profitability
    https://www.facebook.com/business/m/dealerhub

    Wasn't sure if this was posted yet and creating a new thread is just a waste (that's a problem I see here, flooding the board with far too many similar threads).

    Credit: Again found via @Chip Dorman@Chip Dorman via LinkedIn.
     
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  10. Alexander Lau

    Alexander Lau
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    Alex
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    ^ @John.H@John.H

    fuck the stupid etiquette crap, get down to what actually converts.
     
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