BMW Says No More Manual Transmissions, A Sign Of Things To Come?

Save the manuals! Right? Well, BMW doesn’t think so, in fact they’re planning on getting rid of manual transmissions in their performance cars, and replacing them with automatics and paddle shifters. If that wasn’t enough heartache for car enthusiasts, BMW also has plans to limit horsepower to 600. To many car purists’ dismay, this is a sad reality, and the future of the automotive industry isn’t going to be putting a smile on their faces either.

Manual transmissions now make up less than 15% of new car purchases in the entire automotive market in the United States. For a car manufacturer to tailor to a niche market that is shrinking every year, they’d see very little revenue in return. While the car enthusiast community is vast and still very large, car brands have to remember that 85-90% of their consumers prefer automatic transmissions. Let’s also remember that the consumers who are part of the save the manuals campaign are more likely to by used, leaving the dealerships with the profits, not the manufacturers.

As with any niche market, there’s always a company that comes to the rescue, picking up those along the way who prefer tradition over the reality of where the market is heading. Ford is finally bringing the Focus RS to the United States, which will appease drivers who prefer manual transmissions. Along with a stick, the Focus also comes with a drift mode button, making this car highly coveted among enthusiasts who want to enjoy every aspect of their vehicle.

Alfa Romeo is going one step further with their new Giulia sedan. Not only does it come with a manual transmission, but it’s also RWD. For every car manufacturer that begins to tailor to larger markets, there’s the companies that can prosper from entering niche markets that are dwindling.

The reality of the automotive industry is that automatics now get better fuel consumption, have faster gear shifts, and are easier to drive. While car enthusiasts would say that the only way to fully experience driving, you have to own a manual. However, there are plenty of vehicles on the market that offer a great driving experience with or without a stick.

This is strictly about business, profits, and the realization that manual transmissions are outdated in 2015. Unless the American population drastically decides that they’re going old school and will learn how to operate a manual, we’ll continue to see new cars with paddle shifters and automatics. Purists can say until the end of time that, “Only real car enthusiasts own a manual”, but the fact is, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, and now BMW have all moved away from traditional transmissions. Are we now going to consider owners of those brands just average drivers, and not enthusiasts?

The future is here, and like it or not, manual transmissions are becoming extinct. The manufacturers know this, which is why so many are now putting new technology under the hood.

Marketers’ Underestimation Of The Car Buying Process: Used Cars

In the second installment of the “Marketers’ Underestimation Of The Car Buying Process” series, used cars, specifically certified used cars, get the spotlight. In my last article, I discussed marketers’ belief that Facebook ads alone can get potential car buyers into dealership’s showrooms. Unfortunately, the automotive industry doesn’t see results that easily. There are many avenues car buyers can decide to travel when it comes to buying or leasing their new car, and marketers need to be prepared to use an array of strategies that cater to their specific needs.

Used and certified used require much more time and deliberation in the car buying process for consumers. Instead of choosing new models from different brands, car buyers can expect to see a multitude of options, especially in the $25,000 price range. An Infiniti G37 and Mercedes Benz C300 can be found at or around $25,000, and best of all, they’re still under warranty, with most models having 20,000 – 30,000 miles on the odometer. These options can alter a consumer’s decision as luxury cars now play a factor, making an Infiniti or Mercedes Benz much more attractive than a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

However, despite luxury options within these car buyer’s budgets, they’re still going to need convincing to actually go through with it and choose luxury over an average mid-size sedan. This is where a steady stream of content and marketing genius come into play. Because both the Honda and Infiniti dealership have to sell a consumer on the idea of buying one of their cars, discussing the benefits of ownership must be the first priority, and that starts on Facebook.

Marketers believe a Facebook ad that promotes these models is enough, however there’s much more to it than spending money for sponsored advertising. You must present the car to the best of your abilities. Post native content, such as photos of the car, with interior and exterior shots. Discuss the benefits, such as luxury, performance, and reliability of you’re Infiniti; lower cost of ownership, better fuel economy, and reliability for Honda. You have to list the benefits, while also presenting the car with great photos posted to your Facebook page and Instagram account.

Facebook ads can only go so far. While they will generate likes, they won’t generate a sale. Going one step further with detailed photos can effect a car buyers decision because consumers do buy cars based off appearance. Because the used section of the automotive industry can have many options to choose from, consumers will need more convincing to actually buy used rather than new, and luxury over practicality. That’s why Facebook ads aren’t enough.

If you think about it, marketers deal with selling primarily new products. There aren’t many industries where a marketer would try promoting and selling used products, or lease offers. They only know how to sell and market what is new, which is why the automotive industry is lacking, offering no value to the consumer, and the dealerships can’t persuade that potential car buyer to choose used over new. There’s a disconnect between marketers and the automotive industry, which is why social media marketing strategies that are currently in place fail to work.

Do you want to influence a car buyer’s decision? Then you have to market the car in every way, shape, and form. Native content, pictures, and strong copy that tugs at the heart of consumers is how you can effect that consumer. Advertising is as good as dead when promoting a car. You have to sell them on the idea of owning your certified used car instead of buying a rival brand’s new model. That only happens when you fully inform consumers on the vehicles on your lots, and you show them that buying a luxury car will offer more value in the long term than buying an average mid-size sedan.

Car Dealerships Can Learn SMM From Racing Teams

Weekends during the summer attract car enthusiasts from all walks of life, who have different tastes in cars and racing series. NASCAR, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and Tudor United SportsCar Challenge are all racing during the weekend, giving racing fans a slew of options to choose from. Best of all, these racing series are engaging with their fans on all social media platforms, including the teams who participate in the racing events. The Internet live streams and on board camera views have made racing much more interactive, creating a more passionate and engaged fan base. Car dealerships can learn from these teams and racing series by making their social media accounts more engaging by posting native content.

Despite the theories that the car enthusiast community is relatively small, there are many people who take pride in the vehicles they own, or will own in the future. That’s why it’s important for dealerships to post content that gets potential car buyers excited. Your content alone could affect a person’s buying decision just by promoting the car in a positive way. Photos and written content that create emotion and feeling, giving people a reason to experience those feelings behind the wheel of the cars you sell, is an underrated strategy that can motivate a consumer to buy a particular brand.

Facebook and Instagram are the most effective platforms for car dealerships, but there’s always room to incorporate Twitter, as you can engage and interact with car buyers in your area. By posting native content, discussing car news of the brands you sell, and displaying the cars in your showroom, your strategy on Twitter won’t be stale compared to your competition. Twitter is often forgotten about, with dealerships either not having an account, or posting third party links that can be tracked back to Facebook and Instagram. Not only do you need to post native content, but it needs to be native to the platform you’re using if you want to see a growing interest and more followers joining the ranks of your social media accounts.

The racing series and teams who are active on social media, are slowly gaining interest in the sport they race in. While NASCAR is the most popular racing series in the United States, these smaller series are seeing more interest, as they’re posting content, streaming free live coverage on their website, and teams now using Periscope and their websites to stream on board camera angles. Dealerships can definitely learn from the distribution of content these teams share, and that starts by discussing the cars you have, the benefits of ownership, and posting pictures of the vehicles in your showroom on all your social media platforms.

Remember, the automotive industry requires a longer buying process with more deliberation and persuasion. Why should a car buyer choose your brand and the models you sell? Right now, consumers are more confused than ever, as car brands are entering new markets and competing with perennial powerhouses. You need to provide value to consumers, much like these smaller racing series and teams are offering value to viewers by sharing free live streams online, photos, and an inside look at what these teams do on and off the track. Your content can have a positive impact on your past, present, and future customers, and it’s crucial to use all social media platforms effectively.

Marketers’ Underestimation Of The Car Buying Process

Over the past few months I’ve watched many videos and have read articles discussing social media marketing for car dealerships. I’ve had a hunger to learn as much as I can to help bring value to dealerships and give them realistic sales growth that they want to see from their social media platforms. During this fascination, I’ve stumbled upon videos discussing marketing strategies, which include Facebook ads. It’s rather interesting to see marketers completely believing ads on social media alone will affect a car buyer’s decision. This isn’t the clothes industry where small purchases are made everyday, this is the auto industry, where it takes weeks for consumers to decide which car they want.

A car buyer has many options to choose from: whether to buy new, used, or lease; hatchback or sedan; Toyota, or Honda. The dealership’s jobs is to attract those consumers to their showrooms, giving them exactly what they want. Marketers insist on Facebook ads, but how effective are they really in the car buying process? To suggest that a Lexus dealership can post an ad, or several sponsored links and get customers on their lot because of those campaigns is a stretch. In several other industries, there’s no argument that you need some form of advertising campaign, but for car dealerships, there needs to be a different approach.

Selling emotion and feeling, has, and always will be more effective than hard selling a vehicle. Facebook and Instagram can create that emotional attachment to a car by using photos and videos. A picture of a BMW on a beach in California at night can make people feel the warmth, and experience being in that car, creating that desire to purchase one. A Facebook ad, much like a hard selling television commercial can’t offer that. There’s much more to the buying process for consumers than just seeing an ad and thinking, “I like that car, I think I’ll go buy it.”

Try talking to a Toyota owner; convince them a Honda is better and it will offer more value in the long term. The conversion won’t be easy, in fact you may not be able to sell them on the idea of owning a rival brand. If you can’t influence someone’s buying behavior in a one-on-one discussion, how will a car dealership’s Facebook ad, which is tailored to people in need of a car, going to work? The people in the market for a Toyota and who have a strong interest in a Camry, won’t need a Facebook ad to get them into the dealership.

It all comes down to value, content, and engagement. Consumers in my state of Massachusetts don’t need ads to tell them that a car dealership exists, they already know. More importantly, your social media platforms as a whole need to be promoting your vehicles, not hard selling them and shoving those models down the throats of consumers. Car sales via social media requires strategy and a consistent stream of content.

The car dealerships I’ve talked to all have different strategies and ways of going about social media marketing. One believes in building a community and creating long term customer equity, while another focuses on promoting their vehicles during seasonal and monthly sales events. Hard selling is not part of the equation, it’s about going in-depth and building that customer relationship.

What concerns me about old-school style marketers who bring old-school methods to social media is that they’ll turn off consumers on another platform that is highly effective. People don’t want to see ads from car dealerships on their phones and tablets when they’re home. They’re already being bombarded with television and radio ads, it’s time to end that trend on social media. Car dealerships; you need to create value by offering knowledge and information about the vehicles you sell. Consumers already know your existence, they just want to know that your vehicles will be worth the $30,000 price tag.

Start building a deep relationship with your customers. Give them relevant content worth engaging and responding to. The auto industry can no longer hard sell at the rate they are. It’s time to start offering value and motivating car buyers to purchase your brand through great native content.

Be The Primary Resource of Information For Your Customers

Rarely, if ever, do I see companies in the automotive industry, especially car dealerships, be the primary resource for car buying research. Whether this has to do with dealership’s fear of liability should their information be inaccurate or belief that car buyers always research using third party resources, these dealerships are missing a golden opportunity to appear more knowledgeable than their competition. Social media should be the platform to display your expertise, and seeing that car buyers are still unsure about what vehicle they want to purchase, despite resources they have on the Internet, you should provide them with information that answers their questions, problems, and concerns.

As the automotive industry becomes more competitive as the years progress, car buyers are finding themselves indecisive in almost every market. The CUV, SUV, and hatchback markets are filled with auto brands competing for the top spot, but unless you’re diligently researching, it might be difficult distinguishing who offers more. This is where car dealerships can have a lasting impression on potential car buyers. Discuss the vehicles you have on your lot, post pictures that give an inside look at the vehicle, talk about benefits of ownership, and why future car buyers should choose the brand you sell over other brands.

For consumers who are looking at hatchbacks, why should they buy a Volkswagen Golf over a Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra GT, Kia Forte5 or Honda Fit? Would some of your potential customers see the need to buy the e-Golf, which is an electric powered variant of the German hatchback? Despite the knowledge that’s at their fingertips, consumers don’t know the difference. You have to be that resource through your social media pages, and share the specifications, facts, and the benefits because the consumers aren’t quite sure.

Why should car magazines or even people giving car buying advice on Reddit be the primary resource of information? I’ve seen time and time again where people who have no knowledge of the car industry are giving car recommendations to people who would be better served buying a cheaper more economical car that fits their budget. Someone who is on the fence about buying a new Toyota Camry or Honda Accord shouldn’t be influenced into buying a used Infiniti or Lexus. Because the Internet allows anyone to give advice, why don’t car dealerships join in, and be that legitimate and accurate resource that can influence car buyers in a positive way?

In previous articles, I’ve talked about native content and how vital and essential it is on Facebook and Instagram. Being a resource ties into native content. Be the library of knowledge consumers are looking for. You’re the ones with the vehicles and have been trained to sell those specific brands, use that to your advantage.

The car industry is stubborn to try new ways of marketing, but native content, along with giving consumers information on the cars they’re looking for beyond just the price tag, can have a major impact on your social media marketing. As I’ve said before, selling hard on Facebook and Instagram doesn’t work, so why not give potential car buyers the benefits of owning the car, and then they’ll decide whether they’ll visit your dealership or not.

Use Social Media To Showcase Your Cars

I’ve gone in-depth on the importance of a strong social media presence for car dealerships. Now it’s time to take it up a notch and discuss content, primarily content of the cars and services you offer. As I’ve said many times before, only 5-10% of dealerships are actually using social media effectively, and not just selling hard trying to make a quick sale. The more I talk to marketers in the industry and car dealerships who market on Facebook and Instagram, the more I realize that social media is meant to build a connection, one that takes a lot of time and effort.

How to build that connection is the question many car dealerships ask themselves because they’re not seeing engagement from current followers and are seeing absolutely little to no results using social media. The answer to their problem lies within the native content they post, or the lack thereof. Dealerships who primarily use the same content from the car brand itself, share third party articles, or revert to hard selling give up with Facebook and Instagram within a few months. The ones who are still operating their accounts post inconsistently or with very little interest because they don’t see the results they want. Again, it all comes down to native content.

Combine your dealership’s showroom, car lot, a smartphone or some other camera, and social media and you’ve got all the content you could ever want. For example, I’ve seen a decent amount of car dealerships who sell the entire Fiat-Chrysler brand (this includes Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler). They have a wide selection of vehicles that go from high performance vehicles with the Challenger and Charger, to luxury sedans such as the Chrysler 200 and 300, to off-road capable SUV’s that cover the entire Jeep lineup. It’s not possible that these dealerships can’t put together a collage, a handful of posts, or interesting content centered around these vehicles.

The showroom is usually where the best vehicles are stored. Take photos of them and post those pictures to Instagram. If winter is around the corner, start promoting your Jeeps by posting great content displaying them on your Facebook page. You might say, “But I’m not seeing results”, and that’s because you’re not using social media in a way that appeals to your customer base. Social media is all about visualization, eye candy that makes people Like, share, and comment on the photos or other forms of native content you’re sharing. Just posting generic photos of cars, with the hard selling copy such as, “We’ve got the SUV’s you need for this winter, so come test driver one” won’t work. Not on Facebook. If the customer really needs a vehicle, he or she will visit your showroom, there is no need for selling hard on another platform.

Take photos of the exterior and interior. Show the center console and interior features. Because cars have become more technologically advanced, consumers now want to experience being in the drivers seat to get an idea of what they’ll be expecting when they test driver the vehicle. The best way to do that is by posting pictures of the interiors, both on Facebook and Instagram. Another idea is to share photos of the cars you have in front of your store. Make the customer aware of what your dealership looks like, and use the nice cars you’re selling to your advantage. Your cars are your decorations, don’t be afraid to display them.

Social media is changing how consumers shop. Unfortunately the automotive industry is far behind the curve. To become relevant to your target customer base, you have to market in a way that is relevant to them and how they interact on the Internet. It’s essential to speak their language, and give them what they want when they’re scrolling through their news feeds.

Facebook and Instagram Are Important Platforms For Car Dealerships

With the existence of social media and the changes in how we communicate, there’s now a difference in how people shop. Instagram and Youtube has given consumers the ability to visualize themselves owning and driving the cars they see, both in pictures and videos. Facebook then comes in as being visual, while also striking a cord with customers, by writing a few sentences that make an emotional connection with the cars they own, or will own in the future. Car dealerships are far behind this curve, as car brands have taken to Instagram and Facebook, seeing results that’s creating a very loyal following.

Think back to when your parents or one of your older neighbors bought a car. Sometimes they’d be extremely loyal to a certain brand. “I only buy a Cadillac” or, “Ford makes the best cars and that’s why they’re the only cars I drive”. Today, it’s much different. Consumers aren’t as brand loyal in some cases, and can easily be influenced by other brands just by their marketing and the products they’re selling. Not only can the cars themselves influence these consumers, but also their interactions with the brands on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook is where most of the one-on-one interactions take place, and for the car dealerships who are using the platform correctly, they’re building long-term relationships with those customers. On a side note, this is where posting native content worth engaging with comes into play. If you’re posting articles from Car & Driver, Consumer Reports, or some other third party source, you won’t see engagement from your followers. By sharing pictures of vehicles in your showroom, along with exterior and interior shots of individual cars, you’ll begin to see growing interest from current and potential future customers.

I can’t stress enough the importance of interior pictures of your cars. Very few car dealerships use them on social media, and in fact, you’re withholding the most effective content you currently have. Anyone can Google search the car they want, but very few photos with the interior of the car with a real life setting. Usually most photos have a white backdrop, or fake scenery in the background, giving customers an inaccurate view of what they’ll be experiencing when they get behind the wheel.

I understand that the dealerships who do post pictures of their pre-owned lot on Facebook tend to not go too far into detail because there’s a high probability that particular car could be gone tomorrow, possibly upsetting a few followers. However, you shouldn’t be too shy from sharing your pre-owned lot, even if it’s a wide shot, especially if they’re certified pre-owned inventory where most if not all of the vehicles are by one brand.

With new cars though, post pictures, both the interior and exterior. Why have your customers go on or to get a visual of the cars you sell. While you do want them to go on your website for those details, having those pictures on Facebook too would allow interested customers to contact you via social media. This allows for instant communication, or you can try encouraging them to call if they have more questions.

As I’ve said before in multiple articles in the past, I’m very against the hard sell on social media. You’re building a community of happy customers, while also reaching out to potential car buyers. Never revert to the, “Come visit our showroom” line, because that doesn’t work. If the customer is interested they’ll visit your dealership. Your job on Facebook and Instagram is to give them a visual appeal that attracts them to your dealership and social media pages. While your ultimate goal is to sell cars, Facebook and Instagram should be used with the intent of creating a connection with the customers, whether they’ll be visiting your dealership to buy a car, or after they’ve already purchased it.

Many dealerships aren’t even using social media, and if they are, it consists of hard selling copy, along with recycled content used from some other dealership or the car brand’s advertising department. Post native content that the consumer can’t get anywhere else. That’s your value proposition on social media, and because 90-95% of dealerships don’t use Facebook or Instagram right, there’s your advantage over the competition. Social media is meant to build a long-term, and hopefully, a life-long connection with the customer. Don’t hard sell and just continue posting relevant and native content that will keep your followers coming back for more.

Car Dealerships: Stop Posting Content Your Customers Have No Interest In

Every morning I check car dealerships’ social media accounts, and to my disappointment, 90-95% of dealerships are all posting content that is boring and irrelevant. It comes as no surprise that lack of interesting posts has led to silent Facebook pages that see no engagement from fans and followers. As a result, car dealerships’ social media pages have become inactive over time. After not seeing results from the articles and non-native content they’re sharing, these dealerships then revert to hard selling, which on social media never works. There’s better ways to utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to attract both former and future customers.

Recently I came across a post on a luxury dealership’s Facebook page discussing racing technology the brand is using in their race cars, and also adding a link for further reading. That article would be worth sharing on a car magazine’s account that has scores of racing enthusiasts. The question one must ask is, “How many of this dealership’s customers will take their new cars out onto a track?” Not too many is my guess. Similar articles were being shared, not only on that account, but several other dealership’s fan pages as well. There’s a reason why customers don’t engage with the business they bought their car from. The content just isn’t compelling.

It’s rather interesting though, when these companies start sharing news about keeping their new cars looking clean, removing scratches, and posting native content of their dealership and cars in the showroom, all of a sudden the customers start interacting. You’re selling some amazing products that the car brands have spent much time marketing, why not continue marketing them in a way that makes your showroom appealing while also attracting interest by potential car buyers to visit your business? The car buying experience should be exciting, especially if your customers are purchasing a new car. That experience starts on social media.

The dealerships who understand this are posting top quality photos of their best vehicles. Exclusive content, whether that be from your blog, showroom, or pictures on Instagram is how you stand out amongst the crowd. Sure, articles from car magazines and Consumer Reports are great, but don’t make that the main focus of your social media pages. Your business should take center stage, not in terms of selling, but attracting, and you do that by using all the tools social media has given you and sharing interesting content worth reading and engaging with.

I’ve seen far too many dealerships making the mistake of posting content that brings no value to the consumer. In fact, I cringe every morning because I know you’re selling amazing vehicles that should be leaving your dealership’s lots much faster than they really are. Facebook and Instagram are the biggest, and most important platforms in your industry. Stop posting irrelevant articles or news that serves no purpose or doesn’t help customers decide whether to visit your showroom or someone else’s. You have an entire inventory worth sharing. That should be the basis for your content on social media, with articles and news stories from third party sources being the icing on the cake.

The Marketing Disconnect Between Car Brands And Dealerships

In business and marketing, we’re taught about the importance of having a supply chain in which every member does their part to the best of their ability. When it comes to car brands themselves, they have manufacturers and suppliers producing the parts necessary to make a specific model, and from there those brands need a good distribution system to get their cars to dealerships’ showrooms. In the marketing and advertising branch however, there is a disconnect that begins on the local level, where dealerships aren’t carrying the marketing momentum via social media to their cities and states.

Social media marketing is unique because you can target your audience on a local and personal level instead of paying thousands on advertising for radio and television. With Facebook and Instagram you can get a good idea at what content works, draws the most interest and engagement, and understand exactly what the customer wants on a more personal level. Car brands have the power to distribute their ads on a national scale, while car dealerships are left with the daunting challenge to market locally, while also contending with other dealerships who sell the same car brands.

As I’ve said before, native content is extremely important. It gets the most engagement by fans, and is more likely to go viral than recycled content used by car brands and other dealerships. It’s rather interesting that car brands do post native content consistently, reaping the rewards, while car dealerships don’t follow the same marketing path. There is no excuse for this as dealerships have these cars in their showrooms and on their lots. They can take similar photos, posting interior and exterior shots of the car, creating a buzz and a desire to see the car in person by potential car buyers.

Facebook and Instagram are the most important social media marketing tools that make your native content go viral. By posting pictures of your best cars on Facebook, and then later on Instagram, you’re going to accumulate a following, both locally and even globally. The point of social media marketing is to get recognized. Prior to researching car dealerships in my area, I had no knowledge of their existence, especially those that were within a 20 mile radius. The prestigious dealerships are always well-known, but they also have a strong reputation of being the best in the area. For smaller dealerships, you don’t have that luxury, which is why social media marketing is vital to your business’ success.

Using social media to its full potential is crucial, and if the marketing is done right, it could pay dividends later on down the road. People always ask why dealerships don’t use social media, and it’s because they don’t see immediate results. But with hard work comes the reward. By putting in the time and dedication, you’ll see more engagement, followers, and interested customers. Remember, social media marketing isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and by taking steps everyday towards the finish line, you will accomplish your overall goal: Selling more cars, and creating a close-knit community of loyal customers.

Car Dealerships: Find A Social Media Manager To Run Your Accounts

Having spent a lot of time visiting car dealerships’ Facebook pages, both local and across the country, it’s apparent which dealerships understand the importance of having a social media manager behind the desk and overseeing accounts. I’d say somewhere between 5-10% of dealerships have a sound social media marketing strategy where they’re posting native content on their Facebook and Instagram pages, instead of online ads and photos the car brands supplies. These dealerships are seeing a strong interest in their cars from followers, and are on occasion, asking questions about prices and other details about the cars the dealerships are displaying. For the 90-95% of dealerships who clearly have a person who has no social media marketing experience running the social media accounts, there’s a significant decrease in likes and engagement.

I want to make it clear that it’s not the dealership’s, or the person who is running the social media pages fault. However, by placing people who don’t have any social media experience outside of running their own personal accounts behind the desk, you’re putting them in a position where they can’t thrive and are completely out of their element, costing you followers and strong engagement. Sometimes, it’s almost as if dealerships’ social media pages become that Facebook friend you forgot you had, and after about 8 months, you see them on your friends list and think, “Oh yeah, I remember him!” Social media pages should never be forgotten; they must contain content worth reading and seeing, and always make customers come back for more.

Most of the dealerships that I found across the country have upwards to 10,000 – 20,000 likes on Facebook. This could be due to social media dark posts; which are ads that get sent to specifically targeted audiences, but don’t show up on your Facebook page. These ads will be seen on the side bar and in the news feeds of this targeted audience, and these ads don’t have to contain hard selling copy, a cool picture of your best car in the showroom could be enough to attract followers and likes. Through this, you have the makings of a virtual word of mouth. The people who like your page are real, not fake, and they’ll share any photo or content that’s relevant to them, making your native content go viral. This is already happening on Instagram, just on a smaller scale and without the use of advertising and spent money.

I always felt that the dealerships that are seeing great results from their social media presence, not only hired someone who understands the ins and outs of social media marketing, but also has to some degree, a passion for cars. It’s easy to identify a salesman running a page, due to the high frequency of hard selling content, which is why people are repelled from going to your Facebook page. As with any form of content, whether that be sharing local news events, pictures of your customers getting their new car, or the employees you have, it can get old. There needs to be a well-balanced mix, along with native content that contains pictures of your cars in the showrooms, or out on the lot.

I can’t stress it enough; you have an inventory, use it. While these cars are in someway like holiday decorations, show them off. No one knows you have these cars at your dealership, unless they do research from third party resources. Be that primary resource, and make sure those customers are coming to you, and not the dealership selling the same car brand 15-20 miles away.