Facebook’s Great, But Conversation Sells Cars
Jun 30, 2015
With more and more car buyers looking online for advice and ideas during their car search, it’s no wonder car dealers have made a substantial investment in their online presence.
From online reviews to social media, consumers today are more interested in car reviews written by their friends, family and even complete strangers.
The 2014 Automotive Social Media Trends Study by Digital Air Strike says 91% of surveyed car buyers used social media and review sites in their dealership selection search. Seventy-five percent found the Internet to be the most helpful resource for research.
Why wouldn’t they? According to a multi-channel shopping survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, 88% of U.S. respondents said they research a product online before buying clothing, footwear, toys and health and beauty products.
If that many consumers are researching a product online, reading reviews and comparing prices when it comes to running shoes, jeans, and cologne, it stands to reason they would conduct similar research before making a vehicle purchase.
While it’s important for dealerships to be found as buyers conduct their online research, it doesn’t seal the deal. A Facebook page with positive reviews, inventory information and buyer incentives may entice someone to visit a website or check out inventory, but it does little more.
The problem with great content such as customer reviews is that it’s static. It is informative, but not engaging.
Sharing great content is an excellent way to improve search rankings, grow your social-media audience and increase your website traffic, but it won’t sell you any cars this year. In order to stand out in a crowded (and often confusing) marketplace, car dealers need to engage with buyers. That means talking with them, not at them. In simpler terms, it’s called conversation marketing.
Through conversation marketing, dealerships can share great content and engage with buyers the moment they ask a question or decide it’s time to start their car search.
It’s more than an invitation to the dealership. It’s about providing answers, support, and maybe a laugh. It’s about building a relationship.
Dealerships can move beyond digital marketing tactics and get back to knowing customers and helping them find the right vehicle.
The value in social media for car dealerships isn’t so much the platform it provides to share great content, but instead, the opportunity it offers to engage buyers in conversation marketing.
By promoting less and conversing more, dealers can begin to utilize social media as less of a megaphone and more like that thing on the corner of our desks (probably covered with dust) that rings from time to time.
Don’t stop sharing your valuable content. But start engaging with buyers. That builds relationships and sells cars.