Auto makers continue to embrace social media as a marketing tool. Lexus, Land Rover and Ford have all created outlets for “influencers” (usually bloggers), who take new models out on the road and relate their experiences, via tweeting, blogging and video posting. Mercedes has their own invite-only social network for younger customers. And Audi has created an iPad app for their flagship A8.
With all of this, it’s only natural that dealerships have developed their own strategies. And they have found, that when maintained, using social media can be a cost-efficient and effective method to promote and attract potential sales. And it works for dealer and customer alike:
- Because social media strategies should always be looked upon as one element of an overall marketing plan, Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Flickr complement marketing plans already in place (print, radio, mail, etc).
- The online communities created via Facebook, Twitter and blogs, are natural forums for owners to discuss and share information which can be used by general managers and sales staffs as opportunities for interaction and feedback.
- Dealers can use Twitter and Facebook to announce promotions, sales and product news to interested clientele.
- With the real-time immediacy of Twitter, customer service can be more efficiently managed.
- Working with their corporate parents, dealerships can utilize You Tube and Flickr as content outlets to preview upcoming models, television commercials, car shows, etc.
It’s easy to see that social media applications are valuable tools, allowing a range of two-way communication and source of information, A genuine win-win for dealer, owner and customer alike.