In the automotive industry social media marketing, for the most part, is an after-thought for many car dealerships, whether individually or franchised owned. Not only is overlooking social media as a viable advertising and sales outlet detrimental, it’s costing your dealership a lot of money. Pass by a dealership over the course of a week, two weeks, a month, and take notice at what cars aren’t leaving the dealership’s lot. Then search for their business on social media platforms, and if they do have existing accounts, nine out of 10 times the Facebook page hasn’t been updated in months, and in some instances years. It explains why good, dependable cars aren’t selling, despite being affordable and with a clear CarFax.
Lack of a social media presence is just one of the main ingredients to weak sales. Without someone at the helm, there’s no Facebook ad campaigns which means there’s no reach. Without good digital media content that informs customers on what features come with the vehicle in the pictures or videos that are being posted, how are sales going to be generated from social media?
A struggling car dealership nearby has $700,000 worth of vehicles sitting on the lot and some of the cars have been their since the summer. I don’t proclaim to know everything, but inventory that isn’t being moved in a relatively short time is neither good for the dealership, nor is it good for the business’ perception and brand as potential customers may question the reliability of the cars being sold. They need a solid social media marketing strategy that gets results, because traditional forms of advertising has failed this business. What should be the first course of action for this particular dealership?
If I walk in Monday, the first objective is to start creating content. Without content, there’s nothing to advertise on Facebook, which means no one will click or engage, making the ad campaign a complete waste of time and money. The first car that would get posted is the one that’s most likely to get sold. Because this dealership sells Toyotas among other brands in their pre-owned only inventory, I’d start taking high quality photos and make quick walk around videos so potential customers get a virtual look.
Once the content is created, I’d spend time working on ad campaigns that effectively reach and target customers in the market for a pre-owned car. Within this target audience, I’d then include car brands that customers would cross shop with the vehicle in the photo or video being promoted. By doing this, you’re reaching the entire market, possibly swaying customers to purchasing the vehicle at this dealership. With this ad campaign, the final destination would be to the dealership’s website, but more specifically, the web page this particular vehicle is being sold on. Now all traffic sees the vehicle, it’s price, and it’s CarFax, simplifying the customer’s buying process.
There are different avenues that can be taken in reaching customers through Facebook ads. It ultimately comes down to what your primary goal is. Do you want web traffic or Facebook likes? Interested car buyers or serious customers who will be purchasing a car very soon? Advertising on social media for car dealerships is rather simple, it’s the work that’s required in researching your target audience and creating content where commitment and consistency is needed that dealerships aren’t willing to put in. It’s that lack of effort and work ethic that can be attributed to poor car sales and inventory not being moved.
Facebook is your greatest asset for social media marketing, but that doesn’t mean you focus on just one platform. Instagram should also be taken seriously, as ad campaigns that are created can also be posted on the picture and video content dominated social media app. Digital media marketing is the present and future, and if you’re not using social media, you’re playing a significant role in the slowing of car sales for your dealership. Get serious and committed; hire someone if necessary. In 2017, it’s a must to use social media marketing if you want to see sales growth this year.