Why Facebook is a Necessary Frontier for Every Auto Dealer

By: Lavon Simpson

About a year or so ago, my wife and I chatted with my Mom about getting on Facebook. She lives about an hour and a half away and we have two small boys that she doesn’t get to see that often. She was extremely resistant to this idea because she didn’t see the value. She thought it was just for kids to post up funny pictures, so why waste her time?

Fast forward a year and my mom is hooked. She can connect with us despite the distance. She has easy access to our lives and gets to see videos and pictures of our boys, which she loves. So, now when I have a conversation with her, she says “Oh, yeah, I saw the pictures on Facebook. I know how his soccer game went.” She’s informed about our family and engaged with the medium of Facebook because of the innate value it carries for her.

If you work at an Automotive Dealership, you are probably thinking “That shows that people don’t want to see businesses on Facebook,” right? Just like my Facebook page reflects the content my mom wants to see, if done correctly, you can make your Facebook page something that people will come to interact with and advocate. Read below to see how and why dealerships should get onboard with Facebook as quickly as possible.

As of June 2014 there were 1.32 BILLION users coming monthly to Facebook in order to consume information. If you look at the Fortune 500 , despite each company’s large size (and therefore generally slower moving, bureaucratic processes) 80% of the Fortune 500 have a Facebook page for their business. All of the top 10 2014 Fortune 500 companies have corporate Facebook pages. The point here is that Facebook is not going anywhere and will become an increasingly more important place to get in front of customers.

So, is Facebook someplace that people only want to see personal posts from their friends and families? According to Hubspot, 80% of US Social users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook. With the number of likes on business pages ever increasing, a study by FMCG shows that Automotive Brands have the highest rates of engagement on Facebook.

Automotive dealers can ride this tide of OEM engagement as well. The key is to get your content right. You need to think of Facebook as a way to tell the story of your dealership and customers. Think of it this way: Your dealership has probably sold a decent number of cars to your salespeople’s friends and family members right? Those sales are typically easier to close and hold higher gross than a random lot up as well. The way this process works is that your salesperson has a relationship with these people, so they don’t have to show them a bunch of ads or discounts on vehicles to get them into the dealership.

Now, imagine if instead of leveraging that relationship with their network, they just knocked on their doors every day and yelled “COME IN AND BUY THIS TRUCK TODAY! THIS IS A LIMITED TIME OFFER SO HURRY IN!” If you treat Facebook like a typical advertising avenue, it comes across like this to potential customers. You should view Facebook as a network of friends and family members. Work to give them interesting content that will engage them, without constantly posting ads and inventory pictures. Tell the story of what makes your dealership different. Tell the stories of customers and local community charities that you have helped. This humanizes your dealership and differentiates you from you competitors.

If you would like some more assistance with coming up with great content, I’ve included some links below to good blogs about inbound marketing and content generation. Of course, if you are looking for a partner with years of experience in the automotive industry and social media, you can always contact us here at PERQ and we would be happy to assist you! You can never have too many ideas for content, so if you have other sites you use for generating content, please post them up in the comments.