Dealership Marketing

Social Media Marketing – Stop Spamming Stupid

“Social Media Marketing”, “Social Networking” catchy buzzwords used to push new platforms and for dated industry “experts” to claim a new found mastery.

Opinions on proper use of popular platforms vary immensely.

The real question is what are you using different social media platforms for and what are the methods you are using to promote awareness?

The image above comes from a viral event as a result of an idea on Users in the UK plotted to reproduce this commercial by T-Mobile in real life and effectively closed down Liverpool Street Station in London. (<also source of the image)

Think of the cheap marketing that T-Mobile got, even if the whole thing was plotted by a social media marketing firm or happened “organically”.

To be effective using social media to drive awareness and sales it requires GREAT CONTENT and a network that will respond.

Effective Social Media Content

The quality of your content is the most important factor, the better it is the more it will be passed around to create a viral effect. Without content that has the potential to go viral it’s usually a waste of bandwidth and spam. (Don’t even get me started on using social media spam as a “SEO tool”, that’s a series of posts) Others will link to it and get people talking about you, your company, your products and interacting and viewing your content.

“Direct marketing will reduce the chances of a piece of web content going viral. People do not want to be sold to, the initial social media marketing push should be more about the conversation than the sale. A more aggresive sales angle can be added later, once the social media push has ended.” –

Building a Social Media Network

To effectively promote content via Social Media and Social networking you have to be networked. A twitter account that follows noone, a digg account that only self promotes, a facebook profile in the name of a dealership, linkedn profiles for corporate mascots, ning sites for car dealers that only consultant participate in really serve no purpose other than to republish content and has zero Social Media value.

To make sites like digg, facebook, stumbleupon and twitter work you have to work them or find some someone to work them for you in concert with yours and others GREAT CONTENT. Each site has it’s own rules written and understood. Promoting your own content on twitter is completely acceptable and doing it on digg may cause you and your domain to be banned from digg and place your site in a social media “sandbox”.

Each site offers levels of connection with other users and those friends make using these destinations not only easier but profitable as well.

  • Want a car story to go popular on Get a high end user to submit it for you. It got us national press and we sold cars from it!!
  • Want to test out the drivingsales servers on traffic from twitter? Tweet a story that others will retweet.
  • Want your commercial to get over 300,000 views from Make it worth watching over and over again.

Cuban Gynecologist: Local Car Commercial

Automotive Content can get noticed and drive traffic. Just remember what the users of the sites want to see and build your network in each location and connect with other users who can help you drive traffic to your content. While at the same time remembering that social networking is a give and take, you have to promote their content as well.

Here are some easily identified noneffective uses of social media and networking sites.

  • Bouncing JPEGs of used car inventory on video hosting sites.
  • Having delicious and digg button on inventory.
  • Feeding your your inventory to twitter.
  • Stumbling and digging your new microsite.
  • Fictitious zip based twtitter accounts.
  • Ning Sites and facebook profiles for Car Dealerships
  • Scrapping email addresses to send spam to from social networks. (Sorry couldn’t resist)

About the author: Paul Rushing provides SEO services, microsites and craigslist inventory distribution to car dealers nation wide. His business has been completely built via social networking and inbound marketing. He can be reached at 912-266-1629.

Really? You really want more Cuban Gynecologist dealer videos. :) Seriously though. I think you raise some excellent points. I'd like to add a couple recommends on some auto dealerships/salespeople who really are effective on the social site Twitter. Why are they? Because they engage with everyone, have a passion for cars, and go beyond just promoting their dealerships sales. So here are a few I'd recommend following and see what they do. They are great at establishing solid relationships. The only criticism I'd have is that Twitter is international and are you really getting people in your geographic area that would impact your sales, possibly but it is minimally at best. So here are my favorites (I have no affiliation to any of them to be clear): @AuctionDirect, @JUPCHEVY, bhyundai, @E55Fan, @HyundaiMD, @ClassicBMW
We have a Facebook "Fan Page" for each of our dealerships and have seen great SEO benefits from these. We have also had sales resulting from folks who talk about us on Facebook, "share" our Youtube videos to their profiles, as well as "share" their online dealer ratings. It is online "word of mouth" and works well for us.
Hey Paul,
You bring up great points - if a dealer wants to see a return from their social media investment (time spent), then content is king. You have to appeal to the masses with your digital marketing or no one will pass it along.
- and I'd like to give a plug for myself, I was the dude who found the Cuban Gynecologist video. Some comedy acquaintances, Rhett and Link, produced the video for Rudy, the salesman.
Anyway, you are correct. You have to be active on the social sites and not solely self-promoting. If you are a champion of other people, they will in turn champion your message.
  • C
  • July 17, 2009
I'm with Kevin on Facebook Fan Pages for Dealers (any business really), they are easy and effective, and not something to be dismissed.

There's a massive audience to tap and allow to get to know you as a dealer better. And unlike email or mail, it's passive, so those who find you on Facebook sought you out and will be happy to see you there. You're not going to piss any off by creating a fan page...well, except maybe your competition who didn't create one.

Become fans of the models you sell. Almost every model has a fan page with people interacting and asking specific model questions. Be the one with the inside knowledge for those that refuse to RTFM or who don't own the car yet. Engage the community and it will engage back.

Plus it's an easy way to dominate at least 1/10 of a SERP, especially with the new vanity URLs.


PS: Want to really boost the number of fans? Offer fan-only coupons for something.
Dang Paul u got it going on bro!

btw u owe me a keyboard ~ i spit coffee all over it this morning watching the cuban gynecologist ~ roflmao!!

here's a cool little slideshow/music gadget for vlogs, blogs, social media marketing ~ blah blah blah ~ check it out, click my website link

it's called rockyou ~ i'm really diggin it

  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • July 22, 2009
I still need to comment on this post and will do so here in the near future but wanted to quickly include a relevant link to a like post on the Dealer Forums.

"Does Facebook work for dealers?"
@paul - If dealers/vendors aren't paying attention to items such as your 7 non-effective uses of SM, they will eventually create a greater divide between those who do &amp; those who don't.

@chris - thanks for the bump &amp; a couple of new mentions; keep up the excellent work you're doing as well.

@joe - Rhett &amp; Link rock; love their taco bell drive thru vids. Well said: "...champion of other people..." -

@chip - Another way to create awareness for your fan page is to dd the new Facebook Fan Box - its becoming so easy to turn your primary destination into its own community vs. promoting another external property.

@mike - you passed the test

@jeff - as always, you rock as well.
  • C
  • July 23, 2009
I like the Facebook Fan Box, except that it looks like an ad, and my ad blindness kicks in instantly when I see it on a page.

Hopefully they'll have more options in the future for easy plug and play widgets with different styles.

For now, we have the Facebook button on the top of our site which seems to do really well.
Yea - it has that some of that feel to it. Fanning a page will become more familiar as people start seeing it more often.

FB does allow some modification for now...more options over time wouldn't surprise me.

See the mods here:
  • C
  • July 24, 2009
Thank Eric. I had figured out that changing stream=1 to 0 would turn off the stream, which was great. But I hadn't realized the CSS could be updated as well. That changes things significantly!

  • S
  • August 5, 2009
There are a lot of problems with a ton of social media marketing campaigns these days, for sure, but I do think online video marketing done right can have a really positive effect. Making a fun video that people will want to share, then uploading it to YouTube, AdWido, Vimeo, and other video sites can definitely get businesses exposure cost-effectively. (And if it's not a video that will get people talking, then it's pretty useless.)