The Potential Is There For Toyota To Be A Fun Brand

For almost the past 20 years, Toyota has been looked upon as being the reliable, safe, and least fun brand in the automotive industry. Appealing to the average consumer rather than giving at least some attention to car enthusiasts can either be seen as smart from a business perspective, or a mistake by not creating an excitement that would extend to all car buyers. From an enthusiast’s perspective, utter the word “Toyota”, and there’s two cars that come to mind. The Supra and the Prius. Vehicles from two different extremes and eras, marked as either a car most recognized from Fast and Furious, or the hybrid that’s the bane of car lovers existences.

Toyota has made attempts through commercials the past three years to seem more exciting, as they released an ad for the Camry where two brothers are racing on the streets of Monaco. At the time, it didn’t make any sense why a brand that’s not recognized as being race oriented in the United States outside of Nascar, would try to change the direction of a brand despite the vehicles being no different than their predecessors. That all changed late last year with the introduction of the 2018 Toyota Camry XSE, and since then the brand that brought us the Supra and MR2 seems to be heading into 2020 with the potential of being a very fun and exciting automotive manufacturer once again.

2018 Toyota Camry XSE
2018 Toyota Camry XSE

Starting with the Camry XSE, Toyota surprisingly stuck with a V6 engine that gets 301 hp instead of following rival brands who are moving in the direction of turbocharged 4 cylinder engines. The XSE trim also comes with an optional two-toned exterior and red sports seats, which just feels really out of character for a Toyota vehicle. The only drawback is that fully loaded, the Camry’s price is around $40k, which many consumers have voiced their discontent as they believe it’s too high of a cost.

Around the same time the new Camry was hitting showrooms, Toyota added the GT86 to the brand, which was formally known as the Scion FR-S. A small coupe that has a cult following, it’s actually a fun and attainable car for young enthusiasts, and adding to the appeal is the list of aftermarket parts and modifications that can be done to the GT86 to enhance performance and appearance. Honestly, this little coupe is a throwback to what JDM culture was all about in the 90’s. I would never go as far to say that it’s this decade’s Honda Civic, but the GT86 does give you that sense of being a pure Japanese compact sports coupe.

Back in late March at the New York Auto Show, Toyota unveiled the all new Corolla hatchback which will come with an optional manual transmission. At this point, their vision for the next few years is becoming more clear as boring may no longer be an adjective associated with the brand. A few minutes later, the re-designed RAV4 was also unveiled and that’s when the energy in the room was lifted to a whole new level.

The new RAV4 is much more rugged than last generation, taking on the appearance of the Highlander, which was a very smart move by Toyota. For 2018 and beyond, crossovers are no longer just a family vehicle as the automotive industry is moving towards bringing either sporty or off-road elements to a segment that is actually quite bland. Toyota decided to go with more of the off-road look, which is a jab at Jeep. They’re also setting themselves apart from Ford, GM, and Honda who really haven’t drastically changed the styling of their crossovers. While it could be perceived as a major risk, Toyota could certainly be a legitimate player in stealing market share from rival brands in the crossover segment.

Lastly we have the long awaited arrival of the Toyota Supra which details have been leaked pertaining to performance and pricing. The new Supra is rumored to get a turbocharged inline 6 that gets 335 hp and 369 lb ft of torque, with a 0-60 time of around 4.5 seconds. Unfortunately as we all feared, it’s not going to be cheap. From the leaks, a starting price of $63,500 is to be expected. We won’t find out for sure until the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but to know that the Supra is making a return is definitely something to look forward to.

The last 10-12 months for Toyota has certainly been exciting. Unfolding in front of our eyes the emergence of an auto brand that was once looked at as being dull or not cool to now being rather interesting and also a bit of a mystery. What is Toyota’s long term vision and plan? Is sports cars something we can expect from the brand moving forward, or is this a five year window of hope and change but then will fizzle out by the time we get closer to 2025? There’s so many questions that haven’t yet been answered, but for the time being, let’s take in the complete shift in culture at Toyota and enjoy every minute of it.

Porsche Commercial: Creating A Connection

What lacks from most automotive advertisements is emotion, passion, and a connection between the driver-to-be and the car. Vehicles are often more than just objects to people. For some, cars are a means of transportation, going from one destination to another, but for others, vehicles are a way of life. Some of you may ask, “How can there be such a relationship where the driver is completely engaged with the car?” Certain brands have built and engineered cars that make the driver feel as if they’re one with the car they own, and feeling very connected to the road through the twists and turns on a back country road. These machines grasp the imagination and excitement of drivers and kids of all ages.

Porsche’s commercial, presumably from 2005, pulls at the heartstrings of car enthusiasts. At one point or another in a person’s life, they looked out the window daydreaming of the sports car they’d own when they got older. No doubt that the Porsche 911 was on a poster in kids’ bedrooms, as even today, the 911 is an exotic car many only dream of owning. In a commercial that is primarily music with very limited dialogue, the kid is drawn in by the Porsche’s presence as it passes his school. He’s so captivated that immediately after school he rides his bike to the nearest Porsche dealership just to get a close up look at the new 911.

When he’s allowed to sit in the cabin, his emotions can easily be felt by the viewers. Even today as adults, we space out when we finally get to touch the car that’s been at the center of our dreams for years, or for one split second, we see ourselves driving it. Porsche’s commercial hits all the right notes that no doubt motivated people to buy the car immediately, or work harder to obtain their aspirations of owning a 911.

While there are a few funny moments when the kid asks for the salesman’s business card, or when he says he’ll see him again in 20 years, it still ties into the message, which is the connection to the car itself. Emotion and feeling are often the greatest motivators in life, yet car commercials of today don’t express what the consumer is feeling. Instead, it’s marketing the features of the car, or the add-ons that can be seen on most models in 2016, that’s taken precedence over what the consumer desires.

Owning a car should be fun, especially when consumers buy exactly what they wanted. A Porsche 911 is the car that enthusiasts want because it hugs the road, offers performance and luxury, and gives the owner many years of smiles and memories. These feelings haven’t died as some have suggested, including the Washington Post which had an article saying car culture is shrinking in the United States. Enthusiasts beg to differ as car shows and events are growing at a rapid rate across the country. Car enthusiasm isn’t dying, it’s being awoken.

Luxury car manufacturers are experiencing high volumes in sales, and for those who aren’t, it’s time to start reviving the emotion, joy, and excitement that once drew customers toward the brand. Instead of trying to be funny, or marketing your cars for what they aren’t, be real. Consumers are human beings with emotions, and their buying decisions are made through those emotions. Start appealing to the younger generations, get them excited for the vehicles you offer.

By not bringing your cars to life, you become like every other high volume seller. Bring back the emotion and appeal that has a lasting impact on consumers, and you’ll begin to see a loyal following that will continue to buy from your brand. Only then will you find the voice that speaks up amongst the rest on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Toyota YouTube Marketing: Redundancy In Advertisement

In the previous article of this mini-series where we take a look at Youtube marketing by car manufacturers, Hyundai was the center of attention, as their 15 second adverts gave no reason to consumers as to why they should buy a vehicle from the Korean automaker. Toyota now finds themselves in the BostonAutoBlog spotlight, magnifying Hyundai’s bland marketing campaign, by going one step further in advertising technology or features that all or most car manufacturers offer in today’s market. Toyota has always had a loyal following, but if their goal is to increase sales, they’re missing big in their recent onslaught of 15 second videos.

Before we analyze the video above; is this the state the automotive market is in right now, marketing pre-existing features that any car company offers? In this 15 second clip, LED headlights are the main focus, with the spokesman saying, “How do you make Camry’s headlights stand out even more? Skip ahead a few hours”. It sounds like a punchline to a corny joke, one which won’t break the ice if you’re at a table surrounded by strangers.

Most cars come with LED headlights or you can order them to modify the current car you own. Toyota’s LED’s can’t even hold a candle to three year old used Audis or BMWs which would be in the same price range as a new Camry. Worst of all, as a consumer, why would I be attracted to a Camry after watching this quick ad? Yes, by now we should all know Toyota’s reliability record, but there’s no need to start marketing features that buyers wouldn’t find relevant.

The corny jokes don’t end there, it continues with yet another quick ad. At this point, you have to wonder if the same marketing firm that worked with Hyundai, moved onto Toyota a few months later. Toyota’s are not known for their handling, and as someone who has driven a Rav4 in the past, you don’t feel very connected to the road. If great handling is the focus of the commercial, there needs to be actual footage, and not a guy playing with a toy car who then places it in the driveway.

While 15 second clips on Youtube are the norm for automakers now, less information about the vehicle being marketed is presented. Even though there’s a risk of viewers pressing the skip ad button, it would be better to extend these ads to 30 seconds to offer potential buyers selling points as to why they should buy a Rav4 or a Toyota Camry.

The last video worth highlighting, might just be the worst of them all. People who buy a Toyota Prius purchase them for one reason, it’s environmentally friendly. Toyota has been marketing the Prius like a race car, or during the Super Bowl, a getaway car. It’s time to go back to their roots and advertise the Prius for what it is. It’s not “agile”, it’s not “fun”, and it certainly doesn’t need racing decals as the car doesn’t deserve racing credentials.

What’s lacking in this commercial? Fuel efficiency. Isn’t that why people buy a Prius? What YouTube marketing has done is take common sense and a well thought out commercial out of the equation. There’s no selling points, no facts about what the car can do, no demonstration as to why it’s “agile”, and there are no legitimate reasons as to why I, or anyone else should buy one.

Hyundai and Toyota have made the ads that popup before watching a video cringe-worthy. These two manufacturers can offer better in terms of marketing to the masses, as their cars speak for themselves. Both their reliability ratings and customer satisfaction should be the main focal points of these ads, not the technology or features within the cars.

If Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, GM, Mazda, Kia, and Honda are watching, they should take notes. Hyundai and Toyota have left the door open for better YouTube advertising that grabs consumers’ attention, thoroughly goes over what their cars offer in terms of reliability, safety, and performance, and not worry about the technology within the vehicles. What is truly lacking in the automotive market is passion, emotion, and excitement.

We should get excited when we see your commercials. There should be a desire to want to drive and buy your vehicles. Every time your vehicle passes us by on the street, our first thought should be that great commercial you marketed that created an emotional connection. It’s time to start marketing your cars as if you love them as much as the consumer. Without passion, you become a Toyota who is trying to crack corny jokes, or Hyundai who is in an identity crisis as they’re not sure whether to brand themselves as a company that offers luxury vehicles, or a company that has reasonably priced cars for the middle class.

Live Streaming and Video Content For Dealerships

Just over 10 years ago, a website by the name of YouTube was created, forever changing the Internet and the digital world as we know it today. Fast forward to 2016 and we now have live streaming apps: Facebook Live, Periscope, and Meerkat which all achieve the same goal; reaching followers and customers in realtime. While used by individuals and media for the most part, businesses in any sector can see results by going live, as they can answer questions and go in-depth on their products by showcasing and testing them for their followers to see. One industry that up to now refuses to take part in going live or using any native video content of their own, the automotive industry, could see massive growth in sales by posting videos to their social media platforms.

Car dealerships as a whole are very hesitant towards experimental marketing. Anything that strays from traditional marketing is often looked down upon as it’s immediately perceived to not work or could have a negative impact on the dealership’s reputation. Live streaming or video content that is created and further promoted on Facebook will be anything but negative, and in fact will yield positive results, more overall reach, and more engagement. Most importantly, by going live, you now show the audience that you’re in fact human instead of a company web bot.

Back in the 1990’s, car dealerships would have time slots on local television stations, usually 30 minutes. They’d have a salesman in front of cars discussing the price, performance specifications, and options that came with the model. Today in the 21st century, when video content can reach thousands of people without great expense, there’s dealerships who shy away from live streaming or recorded video altogether, with very few companies posting videos on YouTube at the very least.

While YouTube has the ability of going viral, your videos will not be targeted directly to consumers in your dealership’s area. With Facebook, you can promote to and target people within your region, state, and even city your dealership is located in. Whether you record live or not, your chances of going viral are much higher as your followers and customers can easily share, like, and comment.

In terms of specifics, you could do a weekly video discussing certain models, trim levels, and varying prices. Since cars have different features, engine types, and drivetrains, your content can help customers choose the car that fits their specific needs. Consumers who aren’t quite sure which car brand they should go with, would benefit greatly by your videos, especially if the model you’re reviewing is a rival to one of the brands they’re looking at. For example, you’re the General Manager of a Hyundai dealership and you want to increase sales of the Elantra GT. With a video taking an in-depth look at the Elantra GT, you could pry consumers away from buying a Honda Fit or Volkswagen Golf.

The possibilities are endless. There’s no need to hop on the YouTube train when you could go in a completely different direction and reach potential customers within minutes. With Facebook promotions, your videos are seen on people’s news feeds, rather than hoping an intrigued potential buyer searches on YouTube, with the possibility the video they watch isn’t from your dealership. Live streaming and videos is what the market responds to, and by not advertising and marketing in the year we live in, you’re setting yourself up for shrinking sales year after year.

Mike Cerra is a social media marketer in the automotive industry, serving the Boston area. If your dealership is in need of social media services, you can contact him at mikecerra26@hotmail.com.

The Most Important Aspect of SMM: Being Human

Oftentimes businesses of any size, big or small, make the biggest mistake in their social media marketing strategies. They fail to appear human, and in most cases resemble web bots spewing external links or emotionless posts across all social media platforms. Hard selling, irrelevant content, and lack of engagement with followers and potential customers is far too common among industries, leading to missed opportunities to snatch undecided consumers who haven’t made the commitment to buy into your product or service. In today’s marketplace, you have to be open, friendly, and willing build relationships with your customers and followers, or you’ll begin to see post by post that engagement and growth on social media will dwindle.

Being human on social media, is really all about having the same mindset or emotions as the consumer. If you’re selling a Subaru, you must know what owners of that brand do on a daily basis. Whether that’s hiking or off-roading, or taking on the very worst mother nature has to offer, Subaru owners want a dependable car that can get them out of any situation life throws at them behind the wheel. By not affectively communicating to these consumers, your voice will not be heard. You must create emotions behind what you’re selling. A Subaru owner looking to trade up from an older model, might be more enticed to buy a brand new Outback if you cater your marketing efforts to that person, or others like him or her. By speaking their language, both literally and emotionally, you’ll begin to see results as you’re no longer hard selling, but actually being informative.

As an owner of a Volvo S40, I wanted to join a group or fan page on social media to share my enthusiasm for my car. When I couldn’t find one, I created one myself. Within about six months I built a following of 250 Volvo S40 enthusiasts, organically. By being human, evoking the same emotions other S40 owners had, engagement numbers and total reach were much larger than the current following I had. Getting Likes, comments, and shares became easier by the day because the content was catered to those who love their car. Being human, and understanding where your customers or followers are coming from, is exactly what’s needed in social media marketing, and that’s my attitude when running my own accounts.

Stop using social media platforms as another stage to hard sell. While consumers are using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Snapchat to make buying decisions, their influences are not from companies who hard sell or throw their products in the faces of consumers. Social media is your opportunity to build a community, a community of loyal consumers who will buy from your business for the rest of their lives. By not building your bridges now, consumers will find another path to being treated with value and catered to specifically. Your social media efforts today, will dictate where you are five to ten years down the road when digital marketing becomes the main focal point of a marketing strategy.

Mike Cerra is a social media marketer in the automotive industry, serving the Boston area. If your dealership is in need of social media services, you can contact him at mikecerra26@hotmail.com.

Car Dealerships: It’s Time to Revamp Your Social Media Marketing

Whether you’re a franchise or a privately owned car dealership, social media has to take precedence in your marketing strategy. Clearly, with the very existence of your social media pages, reaching out to followers, informing customers, or even selling cars on these platforms, has some importance to you. So why aren’t you taking social media marketing seriously, or if you are, why are you hiring people who have no sense of what it means to be an effective marketer? In any other industry, including the car selling business, no sales means an immediate firing or layoff, yet you still keep your social media manager, despite the low engagement rates.

Time and time again, I witness car dealerships’ Facebook pages being managed incorrectly. There’s no effort, no experimental marketing, no engagement, and very boring content that will be overlooked by the people who you’re trying to reach. The content that is shared is irrelevant to their dealership, the cars on their lot, and the audience they’re marketing to. Hard selling keeps potential customers away, and instead of informing people on the specials the dealership is offering that month, they infuse the status and post with “SALE SALE SALE!”. That’s not going to get people in your doors.

If you’re posting on a consistent basis and still not seeing results, the answer to your problems can be simple, as you’re not promoting your Facebook posts. How are people going to see your statuses if you’re not using the promotion tools Facebook has? There’s a chance that your existing followers will not be drawn into your content because they either recently purchased a vehicle from your dealership, or are currently not in the market just yet for a new car.

Now is the time to revamp your social media marketing strategy. With Facebook Live, you’re able to have live streaming events. Take an in-depth look at a particular model in your showroom, go through the features, tech and performance specifications, why the customer should buy that vehicle, and give the viewers alternatives in terms of trim level and prices. Maybe do a virtual tour of your dealership, to make a customer’s first time entering your dealership’s doors a comfortable experience. Since these videos stay on your timeline, there’s no need to create multiple videos of the same car, unless the content and information is different. By promoting these videos correctly, you’ll reach potential customers who are in the market for that specific vehicle or brand, and engagement should increase if you post videos regularly.

Instagram is another great social media marketing tool that is often misused. I’ve followed, and have been followed by dealerships who post nothing but non-native content. Photoshopped pictures that the brand provides is all that’s being posted, which then raises the following question; you’re a car dealership, don’t you have cars that you can take professional pictures of and then post on Instagram to get the maximum amount of likes possible? Even if you’re not willing to pay a photographer, isn’t there a current employee who is capable of taking pictures that, even if they’re not perfect, look better than fake photos of cars that aren’t even on your lot?

It all comes down to effort. Ho much time and energy are you willing to put forth to see results from social media marketing? You’re not going to see results overnight, which is why you need to be persistent in the content you provide. Some of you have over 100 cars on your lot and multiple models depending on the brand you’re selling, which means you have endless amounts of content to post and create. The automotive industry is probably the best and easiest business sector to create content for, especially if you have a passionate social media marketer behind the scenes.

The real issue at the end of the day is that the automotive industry as a whole is outdated and old. There’s not enough young people getting involved in the marketing and advertising department of dealerships, and as a result, car dealerships might just be the worst users of social media platforms. By not hiring young social media marketers, you’re going to miss out on an entire generation of consumers. Even older generations are hopping on the social media train, so by not effectively communicating to potential customers in your area, you’re missing out on sales and the ROI that you put into social media marketing.

Social media isn’t a get rich quick scheme. It’s a platform that you have to be committed to, similar to friendships and relationships, it’s a two-way street. By not posting consistently, your followers and or potential customers will not take you seriously and move on to another dealership. How bad do you want sales, and are you willing market tirelessly to see the results you’re looking for? The decision is yours, but realize that there are dealerships who are effectively marketing on social media, and they’re ready to take your business from you.

Mike Cerra is a social media marketer in the automotive industry, serving the Boston area. If your dealership is in need of social media services, you can contact him at mikecerra26@hotmail.com.

There’s No Excuse For Unsold Inventory In The Automotive Industry

So far heading into the month of September, 10 million cars have been sold this year, excluding the month of August as we’ll find out overall sales in the early part of September. Despite this number, there’s still vehicles with a 2014 sticker on the new inventory lots of car dealerships across the country. In the year 2015 with social media marketing, blogs, and YouTube, there’s absolutely no excuse for not finding owners for older model year cars. These vehicles aren’t just base trims or entry level vehicles by brands, you’ll be surprised at what you can find if you visit cars.com or local dealerships’ websites.

I’ve compiled a list of cars that would shock any car enthusiast, luxury car owner, or the average consumer looking for a quality car. All of these cars are 2014’s, and priced anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. As a side note, some of these cars are selling for $7,000 – $9,000 below MSRP.

Chevy Camaro 2SS, Ford Mustang GT Premium, Nissan 370Z Nismo, BMW 328d iXdrive, BMW 428i Xdrive, Infiniti O50, Cadillac ATS, Volvo XC70, and Ford Fusion Titanium. These are just a few of the 400+ cars in a 20 mile radius of my area that haven’t been sold yet, and that baffles me. The Cadillac ATS is currently priced at $34,000, $7,000 below MSRP. So for the price of a new Ford Fusion Titanium, you could own an American luxury car.

For the car enthusiasts out there, a 2014 Chevy Camaro 2SS convertible is selling for $41,000, $8,000 below MSRP. For $4,000 more you can go with the 2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo. There’s other options out there that will save you money besides buying a new 2015-2016 model.

Car dealerships can offer no excuse for this. They’re already losing $7,000 – $9,000 right off the bat, and who knows how much more if the buyer can talk down the price. The solution to this problem is using social media, preferably Facebook and Instagram, a blog, and a YouTube channel. Your consumers are all on these platforms, reach out to them by posting and sharing great content.

The automotive industry, primarily on the local level, will have to face reality and understand that social media marketing is not only the present, but the future of selling vehicles. The Millennial generation is now the second largest consumer group in the automotive sector, which means to reach them, you have to go mobile and digital. Consumers of the social media age like being drawn in by picture and video content. Dealerships have it all wrong right now with their advertising, and it’s safe to say that their newspaper ads and radio commercials are a big waste of money and time. They also can’t track the ROI as they can with social media.

Any consumer group is within your grasp. But you have to be willing to meet them halfway on social media. Quality vehicles aren’t selling, and that’s a problem. Thankfully you have the right tools at your disposal, but are you willing to make a full commitment to see the results you desire?

Still Holding Onto Old Inventory? Use Social Media And A Blog

Every year, car dealerships struggle to sell aging inventory. With the 2016 models arriving at your local dealer’s lots, 2014 and 2015 models will have to be sold to make room for current and new models. Buying a car during this time of year is great, especially if you’re looking to save some money by purchasing a 2014 or 2015 new vehicle. In my area alone, there’s over 400 cars from the 2014 model year that still haven’t been sold, which presents an opportunity for frugal shoppers.

For most car dealerships, they’re losing money every day these vehicles sit on their lots. Instead of waiting for the consumer to walk through your showroom’s doors, go on the offensive by promoting your cars through the use of social media and a blog if your dealership has one. You might ask, “Why”? By not sharing a photo of the vehicle and going into detail about the benefits of ownership, your customer is unaware that this car is on your lot.

At a local Ford dealership, there’s a 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium priced around $29,000 ($7,000 below MSRP). The Fusion comes with a power moonroof, power and heated front seats, leather interior, an LCD monitor in the dashboard, and gets good gas mileage (22 MPG in the city, 31 MPG on the highway). It’s fully loaded and is the premium trim for the Ford Fusion model. This sedan should have already had an owner by now.

Another vehicle I see at dealerships that remain in the new car inventory is the 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT. A hatchback that will meet the standards for a college student with decent sized cargo room, power seats and mirrors, good fuel economy (24 MPG in the city and 33 on the highway) and comes in at a fair price of $20,553, considering the amount of features the Elantra GT has.

It shouldn’t be difficult to move these cars off your inventory lot. Without giving consumers a reason to buy, they’ll overlook that model and search elsewhere, possibly at a rival dealership, and as a consequence, you miss out on a sale.

I believe that in the automotive industry, marketing and selling are two distinct divisions within an advertising department. Marketing through the use of social media takes on the role of attracting consumers, while your sales representatives push the customer into making a buying decision. Even in 2015 people are buying cars because they have to, but with Facebook and Instagram, a desire to purchase the vehicle, or at least test drive it, can be made possible.

Instagram photos are like commercials for Oreo cookies. A consumer doesn’t have a need to eat a cookie until they see it on their screen. Social media marketing creates an appetite, and one that might be strong enough to drive them to a purchase. Without Facebook, Instagram, and a blog, you’re not offering anything of value, and as a result, you’re still finding it challenging to get rid of 2014 and 2015 models off your lots.

Having a Content Distribution System For Your Dealership Is Crucial

One of the biggest challenges facing car dealerships who use social media is creating content that attracts customers and followers. As with any industry that still operates marketing management in 20th century, new technologies will seem intimidating, and sometimes they won’t be sure where to start. Facebook and Instagram in particular are two platforms where dealerships lack a strong content distribution system and fail to capitalize on the opportunities social media offers. Because most of these dealerships don’t have a tech savvy and dedicated social media manager at the helm, they’re struggling in all aspects of the social media realm, and as a result they’ll stop posting content after seeing no results within three to four weeks.

For example, I’ve noticed many dealerships in my area alone will binge off of content. They’ll post five to six pieces of content (non native) within a very short time span, disappear for a few days or a week, and then binge again. The lack of commitment is detrimental to your social media presence. The inconsistency in posting, not engaging with the community, and refusing to share great content is why you’re not seeing results. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a social media fan page or account. If you want a strong following that continues to engage with your content on a daily basis, you’ll have to be 100% committed to the task at hand, and willing to update your account everyday.

That’s why I believe in a content distribution system. Every day there should be photos, articles, and news being posted in intervals throughout the day. Share content in the morning, lunch time, right before evening rush hour, after dinner, and in the latter part of the evening. Your job on social media is to bring awareness and traffic to your car dealership, not necessarily hard sell. You’re attracting consumers by offering eye candy, and every post is like a piece of bread on a crumb trail. Facebook and Instagram leads to exposure if you’re willing to dedicated time, money, and effort.

The problem with car dealerships, and businesses in many industries, is that they get impatient. They’re not seeing results and they think they’re wasting their time. Without having an actual strategy, such as posting photo content everyday for two weeks, then promoting regular maintenance coupons and lease offers once every two weeks, with the help of Facebook advertising, and continuing this cycle every month, you might as well stop using social media, which is what most dealerships already have done.

Remember, you’re content doesn’t have to be a huge Hollywood production. However, there are young professionals out there who can offer great services which can make your media marketing look very professional. Millennials aren’t like any other generation. They prefer visualization through the use of photos and videos. If you’re not offering that you’re missing out on an entire generation of consumers. There will be a day when dealerships will have to create a digital media division within their company, and when that day arrives, the price of hiring a social media manager will increase considerably. Even today, social media managers can make close to six figures.

Don’t make the mistake of being last in the switch to social media marketing. Just as auto manufacturers like Oldsmobile, Plymouth, and Saturn cease to exist, so will your dealership. If you’re not ready to market in the year that we live in, you’ll be left in the dust by the dealerships who are already seeing success from their presence on Facebook and Instagram.

Complete and utter dedication, as with any department at your dealership, will spawn results. Are you ready to take the next step and hop on the social media train, and reach where your customers spend the most time? The choice is up to you.

Theoretically, Could Tesla Survive Another Recession?

With fears of the US markets heading into correction territory, and possibly continuing a downward trend, the automotive industry will not be immune to any fluctuation or volatility in the stock market. One particular sector of the automotive industry, the luxury car market, could see some tough times in the United States, as China’s demand for luxury vehicles has waned, which could have an impact on the local economy should this downturn continue. Tesla is still a relatively young company, an automaker that is still losing money and is trying to raise another $500 million to open a factory that will manufacture the Model 3. Tesla’s fate, like many companies across all industries, is tied directly to our economy.

Should there be no delays, the Model 3 will be available by 2017. With a two year buffer from now until then, a lot can happen. Seeing as though Tesla does not have a car priced below $40,000, any blip in the stock market could have dire consequences for the electric car manufacturer. With the BMW i3, Mercedes Benz B Class, Chevy Spark, Chevy Volt, Ford Focus Electric, and Volkswagen e-Golf to name a few, other car companies are already in a position to survive any turbulence in the markets. Tesla on the other hand, is not.

While Tesla can boast that their cars get better range, they can’t be prideful of their price tags. Consumers will compromise and sacrifice range for price. That’s the way it is now, and in a rough economy, that’s the way it will be then. Tesla is selling cool, but not practicality. Their fan base consists of window shoppers who daydream about owning the electric car, but when push comes to shove, only a small minority will tighten the belt and purchase the Model S, and in a few months the Model X.

Oil prices have now hit a 7 year low, and currently the price is hovering around or below $40 a barrel. Not a good sign for any electric car brand or model, and it’s no coincidence that car manufacturers are now advertising performance over being energy efficient.

The future isn’t certain however, and any adversity our economy faces is always something to watch. The automotive industry will inevitably be part of the highs and lows, and it’s during the dark times that we learn which companies can and will survive , and the ones that we’ll look back on thinking about the what ifs. Tesla may be one of those companies that’s not strong enough to survive, especially if their Model 3 does not hit the market while the economy is still strong.

After the recession in 2008, the luxury brands learned from their mistakes. They added cheaper cars to their lineups to sustain themselves during adverse times. These powerhouse manufacturers are in a position to survive.The smaller car brands may be on life support for a while should we dip back into a recession, or face volatility for a period of 6-12 months.