Ugly or Not – Your Face has Persuasive Powers! Who knew?

It’s Sunday morning and my phone buzzes with a notification. Text? Email? Nope. I was just tagged in a Facebook photo.

the power of the "Face"

That makes sense because I have that ONE paparazzi friend. You know who I’m talking about. The friend whose life mission is to relentlessly photograph every outing. He awkwardly snaps photos at any possible chance. He interrupts meals for photos. He bothers busy waiters to ask for group shots.

My phone buzzes again. Facebook really wants me to check out paparazzi friend’s photo.

What do I do? I obviously check it. I have to. But what do I really do? What is the first thing I subconsciously do when looking at a photo?

LeadSift Infographic Twitter Engagement

Is it better to answer an upset customer on Twitter, or should you take the conversation to email?

Is it okay for a business to use emoticons in your tweets OR do you need to keep it professional?

LeadSift examined over 10,000 randomly selected interactions from brands and small businesses on their LeadSift platform to see what works, and what doesn’t. Take a look at the following infographic for 10 ways Leadsift recommends to improve your Twitter engagement.

Here are just a few findings from the survey:

  • Including a user’s first name in a response increases engagement by 20%
  • Using positive emoticons in a response increases engagement by 67%
  • Including a user’s first name in a response increases engagement by 20%

Save the infographic above for quick reference to more ways to improve your twitter engagement.

Thank our Sponsors! Their support matters.

thank you sponsors

Running an online publication and open forum takes quite a bit of work, dedication and moola to keep it running smoothly.

If you would have asked me 10 years ago when I started DealerRefresh, I would have never thought it would have cost anymore than the monthly $15.99 I was spending with TypePad each month.

Ten years later – dedicated server and hosting, space, space, and more space, cleaning, caching, backups and optimizing. The need for custom built plug-ins, programming and design.

The bigger you are the more SECURITY you NEED. It’s frightening how often someone or something tries to hack into your infrastructure and compromise everything you’ve worked on over the years.

Without our sponsors, it would be difficult to keep DealerRefresh blog updated and running smooth. It would be near impossible to have migrated the dealer community forums over to the new and much more secure – Xenforo platform.

PLEASE take a moment to say THANKS to all our current sponsors by checking out what services they have to offer. You may just find the solution you’ve been looking for.

Dominion Dealer Solutions – check out their new market center digital dashboard

ActivEngage – Don’t just chat with your shoppers – instantly send photos and Engage!

DealerRater – Now powering Autotrader’s dealer reviews

WalkAround Video – Want to sell more cars? Send a video! Free test drive

AutoMotion – Location Targeting with Wi-Fi triangulation Geo-Fencing Beacons!

CarFax – Connect to buyers with the all new Carfax Used Car listing

AutoAlert – A leading provider of equity mining software and training – Get in front of in-market shoppers at the moment of choice

VinVelocity – Do paid search better! Download the FREE ebook

eLeadOne – Performance driven CRM that completely manages the customer lifecycle

ContactAtOnce – Communication at the next level: Chat + text = More Cars Sold

Purecars – Be prepared to be impressed! All-New Value Intelligence Platform

Thank You!  - Jeff Rebrands – Now Autotrader is now autotrader is now Autotrader. is rebranding itself as Autotrader in hopes to better reach consumers by mobile.

Wait… so this means we’re no longer able to use the abbreviation ATC? That’s going to be a hard habit to break.

The rebranding also includes a nifty new logo, designed to have more impact on mobile devices (?).

“Our new brand positioning is about an experience – less about the platform. We are looking at how consumers engage with Autotrader more holistically. The drop of the .com reinforces that” says John Kovac, senior vice president of marketing for Cox Automotive.

The rebranding follows Autotrader’s recent launch of dealership reviews, improved search experience, and a number of updates to its existing mobile tools and features. It also reinforces their focus on catering to the mobile consumer and the accelerated mobile strategies dealers are implementing. ATC Autotrader is also said to be piloting beacons at various dealerships throughout the US to engage with consumers while collecting useful information that could be useful to dealers and OEMs.

What do you think of the new Logo and their increased focus on the mobile experience?

Comment below or jump over into the dealer forums where we have comments already.

GM’s Shop-Click-Drive – Is it Adding Up?

shop click drive

GM’s Shop-Click-Drive: Do the Math

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about General Motors’ Shop-Click-Drive initiative shows just how far the automotive industry has to go before consumers have the ability to complete the entire car buying transaction online.

GM created Shop-Click-Drive to make it easier for their customers to buy their cars online. It apparently took hundreds (if not thousands according to the article) of programmers two years to develop the online platform.

The revealing part in the article, Why GM Hired 8,000 Programmers, are the numbers, which, frankly, are not impressive. You wouldn’t know that from reading the article, though, which failed to put the numbers into context.

Over the first year of the Shop-Click-Drive initiative, GM reports that about 1,800 of its 4,300 dealerships participated. Those 1,800 dealers sold 15,000 vehicles to customers that used Shop-Click-Drive at some point in their buying process.

Do the math — 15,000 sales divided by 1,800 dealerships equals 8.3 sales per dealership generated by Shop-Click-Drive last year. GM says in the article that the closing ratios are about 30% for Shop-Click-Drive — 8% higher than the typical third party lead provider.

The initiative as a long way to go, if it survives. Just based on the fact that GM is talking to the Wall Street Journal abut it indicates that it plans to continue the program — even with it’s less than stellar numbers, My guess is that GM continues to tweak and add to it.

One of the first things that should be on the agenda is giving customers the ability to save where they are in the process and to integrate it into the offline process as much as possible. (AutoNation is light years ahead in its AutoNation Express initiative).

We could go on about the myriad of items Shop-Click-Drive needs for it to even resemble a true online buying platform. For now, it’s just another lead generator that’s a little more dressed.

This article was written and originally published by Cliff Banks of The Banks Report. Get the inside scoop on what’s going on in the Automotive Retail space and sign up for The Banks Report. 

What do you think..will this benefit and enhance the car purchasing experience or will it be nothing more than another lead source for dealers?

DrivingSales Presidents Club 2015
Date: March 31, 2015—April 1, 2015
Event: DrivingSales Presidents Club 2015
Venue: Grand Hyatt New York
866-943-8371 ext 124
Location: 109 East 42nd Street at Grand Central Terminal
New York, NY 10017
Public: Private
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

DrivingSales Presidents Club 2015 Conference

This year, the DrivingSales Presidents Club conference will be held March 31–April 1 at the Grand Hyatt New York, adjoining the famed Grand Central Station.

If you have never attended this intimate, annual leadership conference, you’re missing out. The DrivingSales Presidents Club conference is an elite private annual gathering and is intended for our industries Thought Leaders, Dealership Principals and GMs.

Members engage with peers including industry and external thought leaders to collaboratively navigate the current business challenges and opportunities of automotive retail; designing market-leading strategies to grow their core assets: Brand, Capital and People.

I encourage you to clear your calendar and attend this extraordinary opportunity to meet and hear some of the industries most progressive thought leaders in the industry.

Register now
The agenda
Keynote speakers

If you are going to be in attendance, give the DealerRefresh community a heads up.


3 Steps to be Ready For Google Mobile Search Update

April showers might bring May flowers, but April 2015 will be marked by more than a few sprinkles and a tax deadline…


According to Search Engine Land and Google’s latest announcement:

“Starting April 21, we [Google] will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

In the following, we distill what this means to you and your dealership and provide a game-plan on how to handle this change. Unless you are a newcomer to this site (in which case, welcome!) you should already know the importance of mobile compatibility. This is not a new phenomenon and I encourage you to poke around our other posts to see additional ways to beef up your mobile approach. Google has even used their invisible hand in the past to nudge website holders down the path of mobile-friendliness by highlighting those sites that are doing a great job of it.

Of course, we here at DealerRefresh know that you know you should already have a Responsive Website…

The game-plan starts here, with three recommendations to assess and optimize your web presence:

  1. Optimization Status: identify and improve it

It all starts with your search engine optimization (SEO) audit. Jump to Google’s mobile friendly test tool to validate your website making sure images, CSS and JS are crawlable. If you currently have a mobile-ready site, do not skip this step! This will help you dig deeper into your user experience.

Additionally, check out the report generated by Google Webmaster Tools mobile usability. This will let you known issues with Flash (like, if you have it – shame on you), content size and touch elements that are improperly placed. Site crawling errors may include:

  • Instead of crawled and indexed areas of your site, are you inadvertently blocking them?
  • How many 404’s do you have?
  • What has the Googlebot returned?

When you identify crawling issue be sure to unblock or block as you see fit. Dodge linking or sending people to dead pages.

How do your most important pages look? To find out use the “fetch as Google feature” in the Webmaster Tools. Think about:

  • Accessibility of content
  • SEO components like title and meta descriptions
  • Are your pages set up correctly?