Your Social Media Followers More Likely to Buy

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It seems like everyone is telling auto dealers that they NEED to have a social media presence; if they don’t, they are only missing out on sales and exposure.  Well, according to a recent study from the market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, “they” are right.

Over 1500 consumers were surveyed, and the majority said they were more likely to buy from and recommend business that they followed on Twitter or were a Fan on Facebook:

What really struck me were the answers of some participants when asked “What does it say about a brand if they are not involved with sites like Facebook or Twitter?”  Some of the answers were:

  • “If they’re not on Facebook or Twitter, then they aren’t in touch with the “electronic” people.” (Female, 55-59)
  • “It’s EXPECTED that a company have some digital face–whether it’s on FB or Twitter I don’t know–but they need a strong electronic presence or you doubt their relevance in today’s marketplace.”  (Female, 50-54)

Social media isn’t the end-all solution to increase your dealership’s sales and exposure, but this study shows why your auto dealership needs to have a presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  If your dealership doesn’t have the time or expertise to run these types of online marketing campaigns, look into an auto dealer online marketing vendor.

Google Pagerank Incorporates Twitter Presence

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Not all auto dealers use Twitter as part of their online marketing campaigns.   For those that do or those that are considering it, it’s important to know what criteria Google uses when ranking tweets now that the search engine giant is beginning to integrate real-time search results.

According to Amit Singhal, a Google “Fellow,” Google will take into consideration not only the number of followers the person tweeting has, but will also look at how reputable those followers are.  This means that a person’s followers will be like an inbound link to your dealership website.  While having a lot can help your search engine ranking, the quality is more important than the quantity.

Singhal confirms this by saying, “One user following another in social media is analogous to one page linking to another on the Web…as established users follow another user, the quality of the followed user goes up as well.”  Singhal also recommends using hashtags sparingly, since that is a common practice of spammers on Twitter.

Google undoubtedly uses other factors when determining which tweets to show in their real-time search results, but having some information is better than none.  Contact your auto dealer online marketing provider if your dealership isn’t using Twitter and would like to, or is and would like to see better results.

Reputation Management using Social Media

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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.