How are Car Buyers Motivated by Social Media Marketing Campaigns?

Automotive Social Media

Before the advent of automotive social media marketing, car buyers had to visit dealer after dealer, looking for a car with the features they wanted and searching for the best price. Research was limited to checking a dealership’s ad in the local newspaper.

Those days are gone. While the majority of automotive sales are still dependent on personal interactions with salespeople at dealerships, much of the decision-making is made as the result of online research and social media interactions. That’s why a carefully crafted automotive social media marketing campaign is important.

It’s no longer enough to have an attractive website that shows off a dealer’s inventory. Recent studies show that social media is now an important influencer when today’s car shoppers make buying decisions.

Research firm CrowdTap recently conducted a study of consumers who were planning to buy a vehicle, in order to determine the steps they were planning to take and to discover which factors influenced their purchasing decisions. The results clearly showed that today’s buyers were influenced by social media at every step of the buying process.

Here are some of their findings:

  • Auto buyers now rely on social media to get information to inform their purchase decisions. Almost 70 percent of the people surveyed stated they bought a car they found on social media, while 87 percent revealed they research their car purchases using social media before they make a decision. Additionally, 80 percent of buyers indicated they would trust their social network for advice before they would trust a salesperson.
  • The average car buyer visits two dealerships when looking for a vehicle.
    Buyers are no longer dependent on visiting multiple dealerships to gather information when buying a car. They can now get all the information they need on social media and online.
  • Buyers go to social media to talk about cars.
    Nearly everyone who responded to the survey (95 percent) stated they would post information about a car model or an automaker they particularly liked. And a staggering 45 percent indicated they would write a post about the car across all social networks.

In addition, the CMO Council, a marketing research organization, found that nearly 25 percent of potential car buyers use Facebook to conduct research before making an auto purchase.

What does this mean for dealerships? The main message for the automotive industry is that the old model of relying on traditional advertising is becoming less and less relevant. Consumers are increasingly relying on the opinions of their social media contacts to make purchasing decisions.

Buyers now have a lot of information before they step into the dealer’s showroom. Dealerships must leverage the influence of social media endorsements to stay successful. An effective automotive social media marketing campaign can help a dealer provide buyers with the information they need at an early stage of the buying process, which will bring customers into their dealership.

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