The Easier You Make It, The More Likely It Gets Done
[highlight color=”#F5B800″ font=”black”]Before you get started reading, I want to apologize to Arnold for sitting on this article for as long as I have. It wasn’t intentional. Arnold wrote this for us several months ago after he and I bumped into each other at a conference. Arnold was walking the exhibit hall with his new Samsung Galaxy camera and was so excited, he couldn’t stop talking about how it was the perfect camera for dealers. Since he was so excited and even sold me on the camera, I asked him to write an article around it for DealerRefresh. Here it is..finally..[/highlight]
We all know that when it comes to pictures of vehicles and social media content, several challenges present themselves that slow down (and sometimes stop) them from ever happening.
In the case of inventory photos, many dealerships pay a vendor to do it simply because it won’t get done otherwise. Many enlightened dealers have recognized the cost savings by taking their own photos and have designated people to do it. Every minute you have a vehicle on your website for sale without photos is a minute in which a potential customer could see it and pass on by because no photos exist.
It’s been shown that by getting photos of your vehicles online as soon as they hit your website, you can reduce your used car turn by as much as 7-10 days but dealers are relying on a service that might only come out once a week.
In the case of social media, there’s so much content available at your dealership that you could be using but, ultimately, either never gets posted or, again, there’s a long delay before it does. The most popular type photo (and the one with the most potential to get you exposure) would be a customer taking delivery of their new vehicle. The faster you can get that image onto your Facebook page, the more likely you can get the customer to share it on theirs because I guarantee you that they will take their own picture either right then or when they get home to show off their new vehicle. At that point you pretty much have no shot of getting them to share since they already have… on their own.
The reason it’s such a challenge to get either inventory photos or social media content online quickly is that, in most cases, it’s fairly time-consuming to do so. You have to take the photos, hook the camera up to a computer, transfer the photos to your computer and then upload them to the appropriate place. In both cases, there may only be a couple of people that have access to the dealership’s social media networks and/or inventory management system which means you must wait until they have time. To further complicate things, many dealers do not want their salespeople using their own phones to take the pictures and, to make it even harder, they don’t want to buy a smartphone for the dealership for fear of abuse.
I believe I came across a solution to these issues that will both make it easier to accomplish these things and be a solution which management at the dealership will be comfortable with.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
It’s called the Samsung Galaxy camera. The camera is essentially an Android phone (without the phone service) attached to a 20mp camera. You can download any apps that are available for the Android including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social networking sites straight to the phone. It has a 4G data capability available through both Verizon Wireless and AT&T as well as Wi-Fi capabilities.
With his camera, a dealer could download the social networks that the store is utilizing in their digital marketing and those photos could be uploaded to the appropriate social media networks. They retain control of the accounts as once the phone is connected to the networks, all one has to do is take the picture and it can be uploaded straight from the camera onto the dealers social networks.
Imagine being able to take a picture of a customer taking delivery of a car, uploading it instantly, and then informing the customer that the picture is ALREADY on the dealership’s Facebook page. Asking them to share it at that point becomes convenient for them, as they don’t have to take their own photo and upload it. This, of course, gives your dealership exposure to their social network.
In the case of inventory photos, I know for a fact that HomeNet Automotive has an Android app that allows you to upload inventory photos straight from any Android device. In fact, at the 14th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition, they were actually giving these cameras away to new customers.
It’s hard to believe that other vendors don’t also have this capability. Not only does it make taking the photos easier but, at least in the case of HomeNet’s Android app, the minute the camera reconnects to the store’s wi-fi network, the photos are automatically uploaded. Now, whomever you’ve designated to take these photos doesn’t have to do anything but take the picture.
This camera overcomes all of the obstacles that I’ve mentioned:
- It relieves the dealer of worrying about abuse of a cell phone
- It prevents the dealer from having to give salespeople access to the dealership’s social networks
- It makes all your processes that involve taking pictures EASY
- Since it’s easy it’s more likely to get done in a timely manner
The camera costs $549 retail through Verizon Wireless and it’s only an extra $5/mo to add onto an existing Share Everything plan with no contract required.
For a single investment, you can not only save a ton of money from contracting your photo services out to a vendor, but you can also make it much easier for your staff while minimizing security risks to your valuable social media and/or inventory management system.
Have you considered the Samsung Galaxy Camera for your dealership?
What camera are you using to take your inventory photos?
Sound of in the comments!