Social Media Marketing For Car Dealers
Social media marketing for car dealers has changed the marketing landscape for automotive dealerships. Dealers once relied on their sales team, their showroom, newspaper ads, and radio and TV commercials to sell inventory. The full-scale adoption of digital technology moved the focus from traditional sales channels to the dealership’s website. For the first time, customers were able to move through a large part of the sales funnel without visiting a dealership. As the dealer’s website becomes less important and customers increasingly rely on social media, automotive social media marketing has become a major focus of dealerships’ digital marketing strategy.
Your car dealership social media marketing strategy should take advantage of current changes in the ways consumers research vehicles and dealerships. A recent study found that the majority of buyers are now researching their purchases online. The most revealing statistics show that 75% of buyers and 68% of service customers consider internet research, including review sites and social media, to be the most helpful way to select a car dealership. Additionally, the majority of car buyers who have seen an ad on Facebook report they’ve clicked on it, up sharply from past years. Perhaps most surprisingly, half of recent car buyers and nearly three-quarters of service customers reported they have only visited one dealership before buying or servicing a vehicle.
An effective automotive social media marketing campaign should be tailored to reach customers in the places that are most effective. We’ll take a look at some useful strategies that dealerships can use.
Your prospects are on Facebook and they’re receptive to your advertising. Research shows that customers are twice as likely to click on Facebook automotive ads than the average Facebook ad. As part of your car dealership social media marketing strategy, you can target Facebook ads to your geographic area and filter by the type of vehicle, consumer interests, gender and more.
Twitter continues to drive automotive sales. Hundreds of thousands of automotive-related tweets go out each day, and most are related to owning or buying a car. Keyword targeting will allow your dealership to direct messages and advertising to consumers who are interested in buying. Social media is a two-way conversation, so be sure to reply to tweets. Thank people who share your content, answer customers’ questions and respond to complaints.
Many millennials are abandoning Facebook for Instagram, so take advantage of this important platform. Most users access Instagram on mobile devices, where they take and share photos and videos. It’s an effective platform to talk about your dealership’s story. You can upload photos that let buyers imagine themselves enjoying one of your vehicles. Instagram Stories is becoming extremely popular. This feature allows users to upload images and video content as a slideshow. Instagram Stories are only available for 24 hours and they’re viewed by over 200 million users each month.
Videos are perhaps the most important type of content on social media platforms. In one recent study, more than 70% of prospects reported being influenced by watching an automotive video on social media. A full 84% of car shoppers plan to watch videos the next time they’re looking for a car. Four times as many people said they would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and 65% of buyers reported that watching a video helped them narrow down their vehicle choices. Car buyers are interested in reviews, model comparisons, connected devices, safety features, car walkarounds, car care tips and new car launches. You can embed the videos into your website, but you should also add them to your YouTube channel to increase exposure.
Ask your customers to write reviews on your Facebook page and on review sites such as DealerRater. Research has shown that car shoppers are 90% more likely to visit your website and are more likely to visit your dealership if they read positive reviews about you. Mitigate damage from negative reviews by responding to dissatisfied customers quickly.