Social Media and Car Dealers: “Retail? On Your Fan Page? You’re Doing It Wrong.”

2nd April 2012

car dealers, social media, facebook, twitter, bad social media, social media marketer, social motiveYou are going to hear this subject come up a lot from us around here…Social Media is for relationship building.

We know what you “want” to do, but we also know what you “should” do, and let me tell you know, it’s a tough pill to swallow for a lot of car dealers….Don’t hard sell on your wall. That’s hard for retailers to understand, let alone take as a direction, because it is counter-intuitive to how you’ve always conducted business. Or, is it? Think of it this way, technically, you already have the skill set. In order to close a deal, you have to gain that customer’s trust, right? How? By starting a conversation and qualifying your customer’s needs, whereby starting a relationship. The same holds true on social media platforms. You have to form a relationship, before you get trust and well before you get the sale.

People use Social Media to Socialize. You have to become part of the conversation in order to be heard. You can’t do that by shouting item and price at them. Your “message” will be dismissed as clutter. Oh, and good luck keeping them as a fan of your page. You gave them nothing…not even a conversation. Why would they ever want to come back?

Don’t shout price and item at them, post one of your blogs teaching them how to change a flat. (If you are doing it right, you’ll have a Blog.) Start a contest and give away something significant, like an iPad. Start a relationship with your local High School and develop a donation drive. Hey, those kids are in the market for their first car…interesting. See how easy that is?

Talk to your fans almost like you would on your own personal profile. What? You don’t have a profile? One of the greatest revolutions in modern communication and you don’t have a profile? That’s an entirely new blog. Shame on you.

Back on target. Use your fan page to offer information, education and some entertainment. Give your fans something to be fans about. Start conversations about the brand and start analyzing who is responding. And, for the love of Pete, let your salesmen respond to conversations so they can build relationship with potential customers. As long as they understand that you don’t “sell”, you “build”, then you can have an army of cyber-salesmen that can literally change the perception of your dealership with positive online and social interactions.

If you are going to step into the Social Media Arena, do it the right way. There is so much that changes on a daily basis, even I have to work overtime to stay 100% up to date. How much time out of your schedule can you afford to handle your social media platform effectively?

I’ll tell you what, make it easy. Get a Professional Social Media marketer to help you make it actually work for you.

Being in the retail business means you sell, you don’t let buyers walk and you close deals. If you don’t, you’ll be looking for a new job really soon. I understand that, but you must remember that the social world is not a retail world.

-dave-


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