Social media just seems to keep growing and growing in popularity.  Websites like Twitter and Facebook are continuing to see an increase in both users and businesses that use these websites to market their business.  Unfortunately, with this increase in marketing use comes an increase in imposters.  More and more user accounts are being set up claiming to be the “official” Facebook pages or Twitter accounts; it’s difficult sometimes to establish which one is actually the real one.

So how can your dealership combat this trend in social media?  Search Engine Land suggests three steps to take in order to keep a handle on your dealership’s online presence.

First, you must create, maintain, and monitor your brand online.  Your dealership needs to be present in social media.  This is the only way you can monitor your brand name.  Even if you aren’t ready to actually participate, your dealership should have accounts to see what other users are writing about your dealership and the brand(s) that you sell.  In the case of Twitter, your dealership should make sure you grab the usernames that you may want to use in the future.

Monitor these media outlets for any attempts to sabotage your brand and react swiftly.  To demonstrate to other users that your account is the real one (and the others are imposters), you can make special offers to those who are “fans” on Facebook or follow your dealership on Twitter.  If you do find an account that is “impersonating” your dealership, address it in a respectful tone.  If people are following that account, chances are they’d be willing to follow the “real” account, so ask them to.

Finally, push forward with new ideas for your brand.  Continue to innovate your social media efforts online.  Use the online community to gauge new specials (in the service or parts department) or promotional events.  Advertise community sponsorships you’re involved in, and above all, direct traffic back to your dealership website.