Category

Social Media

Why Your Dealership Isn’t Seeing Engagment on Facebook

Many businesses struggle with achieving the level of engagement they’d like with their Facebook fans, especially car dealerships.  If your dealership is looking for more comments and interaction on your FB page, check out these potential reasons why your engagement on Facebook is less than you’d like.

Inconsistency: Much like blogging, regular posting makes a difference when trying to attract users to engage with your dealership on Facebook.  A user that comes to a page that is being consistently updated and posted to is more likely to stay engaged than one that only has a random post here and there.

Your Fans Aren’t on Facebook: Certain cities and industries are more involved in Facebook than others.  Check out your competitors to see if they are having success using Facebook.  If your community isn’t particularly engaged with dealerships in your area, don’t give up.  Try tactics no one else is doing, but at least you’ll have a baseline.

Your Posts: While only posting sales announcements may be informational to your fans, it doesn’t leave much room for interaction.  Photos typically draw the most interaction, but each post really needs a call to action. Ask users to leave a comment, ask them a question, or use a fill-in-the-blank question.

Overall, focus on your brand and community.  Be interesting and post things that you would want to see from a local business.  Experiment to find what works best for your dealership.

What do you find generates the most engagement on your Facebook page?

Common Social Media Mistakes Auto Dealers Should Avoid

While not every dealership is actively involved with social media, it’s a form of connecting with potential customers that doesn’t seem to be going away.  If your dealership is participating in social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc), try to avoid making these common mistakes.

Replacing Your Dealership Website with Social Media Profiles: Maintain both for optimal results.  When you put your energy and assets into another platform (Facebook, Twitter, etc), it becomes their intellectual property.  If they were to shut down, your dealership would be left without a web presence.  Make sure you maintain your auto dealer website as well as social media sites.

Expecting Instant Success: As with most (not all) forms of marketing, you won’t see results overnight.  Social media marketing takes time to build relationships and grow your network.  Set goals and benchmarks to help measure success, but keep in mind that you may not hit them instantly.

Not Targeting Properly: Reaching out to people that aren’t in your market area will most likely be a waste of time and effort.  Make sure the people you are targeting can be reasonably expected to do business with your dealership (avoid spam-bots and buying “Friends” from Bangladesh).

Too Much Marketing: People use social media to connect, whether that be with your business or with their friends. Make sure your profile has all of the relevant information, and that when you post specials and inventory, it is done with an informational spin, and not overly “salesy”.  Use your social media profiles as a way to add a human touch to your dealership, and to provide ways for potential customers to reach your store.  Too much marketing and they’ll be driven away.

How Your Dealership Can Use Google+ To Increase Local SEO

A few weeks ago I wrote about how Google was going to include items from Google+ in their regular search results when users were signed in, calling it “Search Plus Your World”. Now that users have had some time to get accustomed to it, I wanted to touch on how this new way of searching could benefit your car dealership’s local search optimization efforts.

>This combination of social media and search allows your dealership to do the same–combine your social media efforts with your search engine optimization efforts on Google.  Some searches actually result in recommended “People and Pages on Google+”, and I would imagine this is only going to grow.  Imagine if someone searched for a car dealership in your area, and your dealership was recommended!

Step 1 – Create a Google+ business page if you haven’t already.  While Google is working on having the ability to create admins and having multiple emails tied to each account, this functionality doesn’t exist yet.  Make sure you use a Gmail account that multiple people can have access to, not someone’s personal email account.  The next few steps are similar to those for creating a Facebook page.

Step 2 – Choose a category, fill in your dealership name, and dealership URL.

Step 3 – Add a tagline (a short description of your dealership) and your logo.

Step 4 – Add some content.  You may want to wait to start promoting it until you have some content to share.  Update your Google+ page with relevant information, deals, and inventory.  Make sure you use keywords that people may be searching for; otherwise your Google+ page may not show up in search results.

Step 5 – Promote it!  Put it on your dealership site, blog, and in your emails.  Encourage customers to follow your Google+ account just as you would your Twitter and Facebook.

Is your car dealership using Google+?  Have you seen any results?

Google+ Integrated in Your Search Results

In Google’s latest attempt to make Google+ the biggest social network, they’ve integrated it into your search results.

Of course, this hasn’t been done across all Google search results.  In order to see this integration, you must be logged into Google+ (though some have seen it simply logged into Google) and be using their secure search portal at https://www.google.com.  The company is calling this search update “Search Plus Your World” and allows users to “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web,” according to Jack Menzel, product management director of search.

Search results from non-“authoritative results” will be clearly marked, but relevant pictures, updates, and articles from those in your Circles will show directly on your search results page.

Here is an example from a search for “Ford Focus” when signed into Google+:

When searching for a person (and I would assume a brand name), Google assumes you are looking for someone in your Google+ Circles, if applicable.  So imagine a potential customer, connected to your dealership through Google+, uses Google search to find their next car.  Your dealership has another opportunity to connect with this car buyer (and your auto dealer website has another chance to rank on the search engine results page), but only if you have a presence on Google+ and use it to connect with buyers in your area.

Because Search Plus Your World will bring back results from “limited” shares on Google+ as well as privately shared photos from Picasa, there is the potential misconception that items appearing are public information, and the public sharing that could happen.  However, nothing will be shown that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.

What do you think?  Does this make you more or less likely to amp up the Google+ presence of your auto dealership?  Or do you think this move just removes a step from searching your Google+ Circles and using the search engine?

Google+ Mistakes Your Dealership May Be Making

Now that Google+ is open to businesses, many are trying to figure out the best way to utilize this new social media portal (including DealerOn).  I’ve gathered some of the more common mistakes that businesses are making to shorten the learning curve for auto dealerships.

Like all other social media sites, not posting on a regular basis can hurt your marketing efforts.  Consistently providing visitors with quality, worthwhile content is the best way to attract (and keep) potential dealership customers engaged in your social sharing.

Google+ really lends itself to sharing photos, so make sure you take full advantage.  Switch up your text posts with photos of your vehicles, dealership, and staff.  Make sure your profile photo identifies your dealership to help ensure your visitors know they’ve found the right Google+ page.

To further help identify your profile, make sure your tagline is clear and descriptive.  Use it as a way to stand out from other dealerships and make it very clear to visitors that this is an official page for your dealership.

One of the great things about Google+ is the ease in which you can segment your viewers…so make sure that you do!  Consider separating potential customers from those that have previously bought from your dealership, or segment those that bought used cars from those that bought new.  Take advantage of the ability to tailor the information you are sharing with your visitors.

Those that are using Google+, what mistakes have you made and learned from so far?