Since there really isn’t a social media mobile application designed just for the automotive industry, Facebook is probably the top dog when it comes to social media apps in the auto industry. It’s the gateway social media tool, if you will, the starting point for us marketers just beginning their social media endeavor.
Facebook allows us as marketers to upload photos, videos and coupons, as well as link to other websites. It is the most open-ended social media tool, which is probably why it’s successful in driving products and services to customers. We can, for example, upload a coupon for a $19.95 state inspection special or 25% off their next oil change in order to drive automotive services to our customers. We’re able to upload photos and walk-around videos of new cars, plus, we can link to reviews, new car spy photos, manufacturers’ websites and more. We can also maintain a dialogue with our customers and often ask questions that have absolutely nothing to do with business. One of my most favorite things about Facebook is that I can use it to connect my customers with each other and humanize myself, my dealership and my business. As often as possible, we try to snap photos of our customers and their families with their new vehicles. We take pictures of our clients’ dogs when they bring them in the showroom. We take photos of each other when we’re outside brushing snow off cars in the winter and tossing snowballs. We take photos of our team at the Making Strides walk, of construction on our new Volkswagen showroom, of townspeople at the grand opening of our Nissan showroom, of co-workers while we’re donating blood or eating lunch in the new cafe. We publicly congratulate our customers when they buy a new vehicle. We post all this on Facebook and we hope that people understand that we’re not scummy used car salesmen. We’re people too. And more than sales promos, coupons, mailers and cold calls, I think this is what makes Facebook most effective in driving business to our dealership.
Unfortunately, there’s no solid way to track our Facebook successes and failures. We can sort of tell what works and what doesn’t by the number of likes and comments on each post. We can check our Facebook analytics and occasionally our customers contact us through Facebook messages to schedule sales and service appointments.
I’m sure there’s an application or a service available to us to track the effectiveness of our Facebook site, but we have yet to reach that point in our social media campaign.