I know this is DEALERrefresh. I get that. But the guys are nice enough to allow me the floor from time to time and I’m very appreciative. In my opinion this is the forum where people are open and honest. Refreshing really.
There are some basic expectations I have after doing this for for a while:
- No one will believe 100% of what I say
- People assume I’m always selling
So what does that mean? It means that the best way for me to be sure I”m taken seriously is to present 3rd party data.
Dealer.com partnered with GfK Automotive and DriverSide to study the impact of social on the purchase process. If you don’t know GfK, Search “Automotive Purchase Funnel”. Good chance they come up first because they created this term. They call nearly every OEM a client, and provide research and training based on the funnel model. They’re a global research firm specializing in automotive data. Another way to say it: They go out and actually talk to auto consumers. Pretty good idea.
I am a social networker. Have been for years. The result is a lot of “gut instincts”. Relying on gut instincts is many times the same as assuming. We all know what happens when you assume…
Here are some things that I learned from the study that I think you’ll find valuable too:
Don’t think Social Media is used to research cars?
38% of those interviewed in the study indicated that they would be using social resources to research their next purchase. What kind of research? Everything from price to features to finding a dealership.
Be that consumer for a second. Can you find any of this info on your own facebook page?
The benefits far outweigh the risks
Why would I get a facebook page? That’s just another place for people to talk trash about me.
Ever heard someone say that?
27% of those surveyed said that they used or will use facebook specifically as part of their purchase process. Of that 27%, 44% said that they had personally posted a comment about a brand or model on facebook. And guess what? 82% of the content they posted was positive. That’s right, people can be nice too. Lesson: The benefits far outweigh the risks.
The little things make all the difference
In the group who said they used facebook in their buying process:
- 57% said that seeing an ad or promotion for a brand or vehicle “liked” by a friend or family member would impact their consideration of that brand or vehicle
- 52% said that just seeing someone check in on a location based service (foursquare, Gowalla, facebook places etc..) would impact their consideration.
What does this mean? It means that we are quickly moving beyond the days when having a facebook page is enough. Believe it or not, we are in an age where you do have to manage many channels in order to be an effective marketer.
People who are loyal use social media more
Create more loyal customers. Why?
– Those who are dealer loyal are 14% more likely to use social media as part of their new vehicle ownership experience.
- 70% of folks who are brand loyal use facebook weekly compared to 60% of those who are not brand loyal.
- 49% of those who are dealer loyal indicate they will use social media to research their next vehicle vs. 38% of the overall base.
So. Want more people out there saying great things about you? Want to earn more referral business? Ready to try a new conquest strategy? Put more money into the post-purchase experience than you do today. How?
Some dealers have owners’ clubs. A BMW dealer might have an open invitation for a quarterly 3 series owner get together. Drivers come to the store for a BBQ, swap stories, learn a bit about their cars, maybe drive the new 3 series… this is the type of stuff that drives social content. There are a million ideas like these out there, just ask around.
Finally, this one is a heartbreaker
Only 17% of the folks interviewed said they had been asked to “Like” a dealers’ facebook page. 81% of those people followed through. Tell me again why your fan acquisition strategy costs so much? Couldn’t your salespeople just ask every buyer?
Ask yourself doessocialmatter.com? Download the study and find the info that matters most to you.