A study of more than 1,600 car buyers and 600 automotive dealerships found that nearly 70 percent of recent car buyers said review sites influenced where they shopped. Many buyers were also willing to drive long distances to purchase vehicles from dealers with positive reviews.
Sunnyvale, CA (November 2nd, 2012) – Digital Air Strike™, the nation’s leading full-service automotive social media, online reputation, and lead-generation management company, today announced the results of its Fall 2012 Automotive Social Media and Reputation Trend Study. The study found that car buyers are increasingly using social media in the vehicle purchasing process. Furthermore, they are relying on review sites to determine which dealer to visit when shopping for a vehicle. Car buyers are willing to drive longer distances to get to dealers with positive online reviews. Review sites, dealership websites, and Facebook were named as the top three most influential digital mediums used to help buyers make their dealership selection.
“The study found evidence that car dealers actively engaging in social media and reputation management have the potential to increase both their market share and their market reach,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder, CMO and COO-Social Media of Digital Air Strike.
The bi-annual study included an in-depth analysis of how 600 U.S. dealers use social media, and an online survey of 1,600 consumers who bought a car in the last 6 months. Results showed that 67% of consumers had used a review site when selecting a dealer. Of that group, 70% said that if dealers had equal star ratings, they would be more likely to buy from the dealership with the most recent reviews. The majority of car buyers (71%) used Google search to locate a dealer and 49% of that group said they clicked on a review site found in the search results.
Additional key findings include:
- The top five review sites used in dealership selection, as named by car buyers, are: Cars.com (55%), Edmunds (50%), Google+ Local (40%), Yelp (14%), and Yahoo! Local (11%).
- Car buyers are willing to drive farther to reach dealerships with positive online reviews – 24% said they would drive 30 miles to a dealer with positive reviews, 15% said they would drive as far as 40 miles, while nearly one-third (31%) said they would drive 50 miles or more.
- Vast majority of car buyers are using photo/video sharing social networks and named the top five used as YouTube (70%), Pinterest (21% ), Flickr (18%), Instagram (17%) and Photobucket (14%).
- Dealership Facebook fan counts are increasing; the average count rose to 719 likes, up from 560 likes in April 2012.
- More than three quarters (77%) of dealers’ Facebook fans live within a 50-mile radius, making Facebook a valuable targeted marketing tool for dealers to increase awareness and reach to potential car buyers.
- 32% of car buyers said they recalled seeing dealership ads on Facebook and 16% said they clicked on the ads.
- When visiting dealer Facebook sites, car buyers have clear ideas about what they want to see. The top five items cited as valuable on Facebook pages included, in priority order: dealership service promotions such as coupons or discounts, pictures of cars, sales promotions, reviews from consumers about the dealership, articles about cars and/or car care tips.
“Get Social or Go Home” Webinar
To learn more about the study findings and the latest social media best practices, ROI tips and dealer success stories, auto dealers are welcome to attend one of our free webinar series at 12pm PST on Nov. 6, Nov. 8 and Nov. 13. To sign up for the webinars visit: http://digitalairstrike.com/getsocialorgohome/.
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About Digital Air Strike
Digital Air Strike provides the industry’s most complete automotive social media and digital marketing solution. The company developed a turnkey program that includes fully managing social media sites, online reputation, and digital lead responses for dealerships nationwide. The company offers multiple tiers of service, ranging from targeted social media and review site management to comprehensive multi-vehicle quoting with behavioral targeting capabilities. Digital Air Strike’s expertise spans all manufacturer brands and has a proven track record of helping automotive dealers, dealership groups, and manufacturers engage with more consumers while delivering increased website traffic. Additional information is available at www.DigitalAirStrike.com and www.facebook.com/digitalairstrike.
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