Dealership Marketing

DealerRater Poll – Consumers Want More Facebook Car Promotions

DealerRater Poll Reveals Consumers Want More Facebook Car Promotions

Did anyone else catch the post over on in regards to some not so surprising results?

According to the poll, consumers WANT to be marketed to.

The most common suggestions for dealers from respondents include offering special promotions, updating customers on new makes and models, sharing feedback and testimonials, and sending out service reminders or recall notices.

26% of respondents, was for dealerships to offer more promotions

Many articles across our industry and other verticals suggest that “Social Media” is NOT the medium for selling and a medium for listening and communicating. I’ve been saying this for sometime now; at the end of the day let’s not forget we are here to sell and the consumer knows and expects that on many levels.

I’m in no way saying you need to over do it, and how you deliver your sales message is what makes the difference.

Continuing on with the original article

DealerRater Poll Reveals Consumers Want More Facebook Car Promotions

DealerRater surveyed a sample of 1,700 reviewers to solicit feedback on how automotive dealerships might better serve them through Facebook or Twitter. As general user acceptance of social networking sites grows exponentially, popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter emerge as compelling, effective ways of staying engaged with existing customers and reaching new ones.

DealerRater asked its reviewers to share their thoughts on how automotive dealerships could more effectively engage them through Facebook or Twitter. “Interestingly enough, nearly half of the respondent neither used Facebook or Twitter nor thought that dealerships should be using social networks to connect with customers,” noted Chip Grueter, president of DealerRater. “There was, however, a vocal majority that had some great suggestions for dealerships.” The resulting suggestions for dealers fell into four general categories: Promotions, News, Feedback and Reminders.

The most common suggestion, submitted by 26% of respondents, was for dealerships to offer more promotions. Users want to see more items like “special offers for oil changes or tune-ups” and “offers for upgrades like iPod car accessories.” Dealerships that are connected with users via their “fan page” on Facebook can easily post special offers, discounts, promotions, financing offers and more in order to cultivate customer loyalty and generate repeat service business. Dealerships who have followers on Twitter can similarly post special offers that will drive traffic for both the sales and service departments. Encouraging customers to connect with a dealership via a Facebook fan page or Twitter by promising to offer “VIP” services can help quickly build a loyalty base.

Whether it be the rollout of new models or showcasing a pre-owned car for sale on the dealer’s lot, social media sites can be a great way for dealerships to communicate news, events and even share inventory with users. Approximately 16% of survey respondents suggested that Facebook or Twitter would be useful conduits for dealerships to share this type of information with customers. Comments from users included suggestions for posting information on “new models being announced” or “alerts when re-designed models make it to the showroom.”

Highlighting a particularly glowing testimonial or providing a link to its review page on to showcase its overall rating is another cost-effective way for a dealership to market its services using social media. Respondents commented that “testimonials are always great to read from other customers” and would like to see “customer reviews and feedback…in real time.” In fact, 11% of respondents to DealerRater’s survey suggested that they would like to see dealerships provide this data via Facebook or Twitter.

A small percentage of survey respondents also suggested using Facebook or Twitter as an effective way for a dealership’s service department to remind customers of routine maintenance or warranty/recall issues for a particular make and model. Users would like to see “occasional reminders of regularly scheduled service” and add that “maintenance tips and recall information would be helpful too.” Maintaining this direct link to customers after the sale and reminding them about service or offering discounted maintenance is beneficial to both the customer and dealer.

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
Ah - a topic that always seems to stir things up, lol... We were an early participant in social networking and have taken multiple approaches. While some have worked, we have also made our fair share of mistakes. We have had great success with Facebook with 2 approaches. First, we feed our positive reviews from DealerRater via our Facebook fan pages. This really works well, as the language and message are what we expect to see on Facebook (eg - person shares "I am so excited to own my brand new car. It was a painless experience when I went to the Jeff Wyler dealership... etc"), and it also builds our online reputation.
Second (and don't laugh...), the owner of our group is very well known in our region. We have a personal page for him, and every day we take the time to wish a happy birthday to his friends/fans. Sound silly? When friends of the birthday boy/girl see that Jeff Wyler wished them a Happy Birthday, they immediately want to know how they know him, and then they request to be friends as well. Some of the comments are pretty funny, but at the end of the day it personalizes our dealership.
We do post informative articles and blog entries on a regular basis that offers useful info. However - when we proactively try to "sell" on Facebook, it seems to turn people off. With that in mind, we only share sales incentives, etc, if it is a very special opportunity that we would share if we were telling a friend.
And on a side note, kudos to Chip Grueter and the DealerRater team. I remember asking Chip at the Vegas DD conference about being able to place inventory and feedback on Facebook, and within a couple of weeks he delivered - now that's customer service!
  • M
  • March 25, 2010
26% for... How many against??
Neatest thing about FB is that you can simply ask your fans what they want to see as far as content. Ask for feedback -- whatever keeps clients engaged with your brand is a good thing.
I think that this study's results are very interesting. I believe that it is true...consumers do want to be "marketed to" on social media sites. It's my experience that people follow or befriend companies because they are in fact looking for promotions, discounts and product information. However, I hope that dealers don't misinterpret this data to mean that they should go for the hard-sell on social media sites. As Kevin said, it will turn people off and fall upon deaf ears! Speaking of Kevin, I think that you have some great things going on...who doesn't love to get birthday wishes?! :)

I recently wrote a white paper called &quot;Navigating Social Media in the Automotive Industry&quot;...aimed at helping dealers figure out how to use social media and what sort of things they can do online to engage with consumers. It&#039;s located at: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

Please take a look and let me know if you have any insights to add to the conversation.


Missy Jensen

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I have a theory that everyone will listen to an offer as long as it&#039;s not rammed down their throats. Offers are a great thing, they can save you money but they need to be put across in the right way.
  • S
  • March 31, 2010
I think DealerRater has it right. People are looking for reasons to fan your page. (BTW, Facebook will soon turn the phrase from &quot;Become a Fan&quot; to &quot;Like&quot; to match the rest of FB. This should be a positive change. About the other changes coming, I&#039;m not so sure.)

I&#039;ve looked around at a lot of dealers doing promotions on Facebook and some of it is ok and some great. Here&#039;s an example of a dealer (I don&#039;t work there FYI) that I just think is doing it right: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
Ask and ye shall receive! If you want to know what your Facebook fans want to know...ask them.

Maybe a dealership could even offer a contest for their Facebook fans to see who can come up with the best promotion that is beneficial to BOTH the dealership and the consumer.
Linking to a great thread over on the dealerrefresh forum that&#039;s very relevant to this post and topic...

What Defines A Successful Automotive Social Media Strategy: <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>