New Social Media Features and Layout

If you are an admin for your dealership’s Facebook Page, you should have received an email regarding an exciting update about the new layout and features available for your Facebook Business Page.  Now, your dealership’s Facebook Page will resemble a personal profile, and allows you to interact through Facebook as your dealership.  Here is an overview of what is changing:

  • Notifications when fans interact with your page or posts
  • A place to showcase photos along the top of your page
  • A news feed for your page
  • The ability to Like and post on other pages as your page

You can also find this information when you login and visit your Facebook Page.  I strongly suggest you take the “tour” of the new features, and upgrade as soon as the platform will let you.  Since everyone will be forced to make the change eventually, the more time you have to learn how to best leverage these new features, the further ahead of the game you’ll be.

Let me know if you have any questions about these new changes, or anything else regarding your dealership’s online marketing .

Facebook Changes Promotion Restrictions

Since many of our social media car dealerships use contests on Facebook as a way of gathering more “likes” for their page, I wanted to help keep you up to date on the changes Facebook is making regarding contests on their platform.

In the past, any auto dealership looking to run a promotion (“sweepstakes, contest, competition, or other similar offering”) need to get prior, written permission from Facebook.  Unfortunately for most, if not all small businesses, Facebook wouldn’t grant this permission to businesses that hadn’t spent at least $10,000 in Facebook ads.  Disobeying this policy could lead to your Facebook page being blocked.

Turns out, Facebook has now dropped both the spending requirement and the need for permission.  Small businesses, like your auto dealer website, can now run promotions on the Facebook platform.  Since this can be an extremely cost-effective way to increase your brand awareness and number of “Likes” on Facebook, we encourage our auto dealer customers to take advantage of this new opportunity.

There are still guidelines and restrictions, so make sure you thoroughly read through Facebook’s policies. Also, please feel free to leave a comment here or contact DealerOn if you have any questions about conducting a contest or promotion on Facebook.

How Google Instant Search Could Change SEO

As I’m sure most people have heard, Google came out with a new feature yesterday that they’re calling Instant Search.  Since the announcement has been all over the Internet, I thought I’d try to explain what Instant Search does and how it can help your car dealer website.

Google’s Instant Search resembles their auto-suggest feature, where potential search terms are auto populated into a drop down below the search box.  Instant Search differs from auto-suggest in that instead of potential search terms showing, the search is actually performed as Google fills in their auto-suggest.  Here’s an example of how Instant Search works:

So how will this affect your car dealership and your search engine optimization?  It’s hard to know exactly how this new technology will change SEO results and practices, but I think this will help car dealers, especially those optimized for long-tail search.

Before, web searchers using Google had to commit to a search term, just one at a time.  Even though Google would auto suggest additional keywords, searchers had to hit the enter button or click to make the search happen.

With Instant Search, search users can see what their search results will look like without having to commit.  For example, if they start to search for “Boston Nissan” and only see 3rd party, national sites, they are more likely to make their search term more specific.  If “Boston Nissan” doesn’t show them what they want to see, perhaps “Boston Nissan dealership” will or “Boston Nissan used cars”.  Car buyers won’t have to hit search to see what their results will be, leaving the door open for more detailed long tail searches.

Is your dealership ready?  Make sure you’re in contact with your search engine optimization vendor or dealership website provider to ensure your site is prepared and optimized to deal with the recent changes to Google’s search technology.

Your Auto Dealership and Facebook’s Community Pages

Facebook Community pages have been a “new” feature for about four months, yet many people and businesses don’t know much about them.  Essentially, Facebook uses Community Pages to gather information from across their platform, creating a sort of wiki of information, even including information from Wikipedia when appropriate.   According to the social network, “Community Pages are meant to be the best collection of shared knowledge on topics that interest you.”

Facebook asked users to link profile sections (like interests, employers, wall, etc) to a Community Page in order to “discover the friends and people who share these connections with you.”  While this can be a great tool for users, imagine what this might do for your car dealership that isn’t aware of their dealer Community Page?

Everyone who mentions your auto dealership on their Facebook page, positively or negatively, could have that information included on the Community Page, without your car dealer staff being aware.  Here are some steps your dealership can take to avoid having a potential dealer Community Page disaster:

First, search for your dealership’s name to see if a Community Page exists.  If so, click on the “sign up” link so someone from your dealership will be contacted with updates for your Community Page.  Facebook has been slow to make the connections from business sites, like a car dealer website, to Community Pages, so unfortunately, your car dealership may just have to bide your time and check your Community Page often.  It can be a great tool to track what Facebook users are saying about your dealership, or even your OEM, online.