They’re Social, Not Selling, Networks

When it comes to dealerships’ Internet social networks, some are better than others. The best convey the essence and personality of the store in a professional way.

“Social networking is here to stay,” says Brian Allan, general manager at Galpin Motors, a multi-franchise dealership group in North Hills, CA. “The question is: How do you market to potential customers on social network sites?”

He believes sites such as Facebook will offer specific ads relative to an individual’s posted interests and physical locations.

He also suggests dealers should have a unique social network page for their customer ambassadors to share their experiences and stay connected with the latest news and events concerning each dealer location.

Internet consultant Patrick Kelley in Jaspar, GA, says dealers should be mindful of a social network’s professional applications. Some are just that – social – and should stay in that realm, he says, warning against dealers using the site for direct marketing.

A successful dealership website needs to engage and be relevant to the customer. The same applies to dealerships’ social-network sites.

Many experts advise dealers not to list inventory on their social-media sites.

But when it comes to posting inventory elsewhere, Allan says statistics indicate an intuitive inventory search is critical.

The next part is how good does the inventory look online? Does a site use auto makers’ stock photos of cars or actual vehicles at the dealership. And how many photos are shown?

“The more detail and information a dealer provides, the better,” Allan says. “We alter our website content frequently and send out links once a week to our database.”