Hard Selling Copy On Social Media Doesn’t Work

Despite how many people say that their buying decisions aren’t influenced by what they see on social media, companies in many industries have seen success using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Unlike with traditional advertising, these businesses can’t get away with the, “BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE” gimmick, or any other hard selling copy that worked for television and radio. Car dealerships have still not caught up with the times and insist on selling you a car, whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, watching television, or when you’re listening to the radio. Selling cars in the primary goal, we all understand that. However, hard selling on Facebook is how you see no results from your social media marketing campaigns.

In my previous article, “The Marketing Disconnect Between Car Brands And Dealerships”, I covered the issues car dealerships are having with their social media marketing. This time I’m going more in-depth, taking a look at a major reason why car brands are seeing strong engagement, and dealerships aren’t.

Skimming through my Facebook news feed, a few of Chevrolet’s posts showed up on my screen, and both were perfectly written, using native content worth taking a look at. The first one read.

It’s been a school year for the books, but who’s ready for summer? For Show And Tell Tuesday, tell us where the perfect summer road trip will take you.

Notice, no hard selling copy. With the post, there was a picture of a Chevrolet Sonic in a mountainous region, probably somewhere near Arizona. What stands out here is that with the picture, along with the copy, Chevrolet is trying to evoke emotions, and if you’ve vacationed before, your car was probably part of the memories if you went on a road trip. Chevrolet fans started responding, sharing where they plan on going this summer. Because of the brand’s success at social media marketing, Chevy fans are open to interacting with the company, and with Chevy’s responses to a few of the commenters, there’s the appearance of a friendly conversation, building the trust customers want.

The next post was –

You can’t spell expressive without the SS.

One simple sentence, and Chevrolet SS fans start sharing photos of their cars. Chevy didn’t ask for pictures, it was a simple post with a catchy phrase. So far there has been over 4,500 likes and close to 300 shares. Could you imagine the exposure that one status got, along with the engagement and overall reach? These posts are vital to keeping loyal fans and followers coming back for more, which in-turn makes them more open to sharing their own experiences driving Chevrolets. So why aren’t car dealerships doing the same?

The usual posts for car dealerships is usually somewhere along the lines of, “You like this car? Come and see it”. There’s no value given to followers, no information about the car, and no good reason for potential customers to actually visit these dealerships. Instead of hard selling, or even subliminally trying to sell the cars features in your posts, create an emotional connection. Why are there consumers who buy from just one brand, or even one particular model? The experience and memories they had driving that car, along with its dependability. By not creating an emotional connection, you missed a perfect opportunity to attract brand loyal consumers, and possibly repelled them if the hard selling copy was just too much.

What’s unique about social media is that customers are beginning to become “friends” with companies. They may not admit it, but they’re sharing photos of their car, talking about their experiences, and like and share content these car brands are posting. Dealerships could do the exact same thing, and in fact, they’d be building lifelong customers and relationships, not just attracting new customers who might buy one car in their lifetime from that dealer. Social media can build consumer equity over time. You can’t take Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter lightly as customers are beginning to create virtual friendships with brands.

If anything, social media for car dealerships can be used as a tool for long term car sales, especially now with the rising number of consumers leasing instead of buying. This is leading to car buyers returning every 24 to 36 months. You can’t miss the opportunity that the economy and social media have given you. You could potentially have lifelong customers if you market right on all social media platforms.

Consumer Reports Has Buick In Top 10 Brands, Regal Best Sports Sedan

To most car owners, Consumer Reports’ findings are always suspect and are never truly accurate. Because they base part of their reports on the reviews of their subscribers, the findings can be a bit distorted. While they do test these cars themselves, they’re also using other forms of secondary statistics to decide which vehicles and brands are worthy to be put into the top 10. Shockingly, the Buick Regal gets best in the sports sedan class while the Buick Brand gets places in 7th behind Porsche, Subaru, and Audi in the top 10 auto brands.

Buick finds themselves among some of the most well-known brands in the industry, and it’s rather interesting how Consumer Reports came up with the findings. The real question is, based on what? Price? Reliability? Performance? It should be noted that the Buick Regal is in fact a rebadged Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, so no matter what your take is on this report, apparently having your car built in Germany can make all the difference when it comes to quality.

The Regal is priced between $29,000 – $40,000 putting it in the price range of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Volvo S60, and Infiniti G37/Q40 to name a few. That’s some worthy competition to be up against and to beat out. The one factor that hasn’t been taken into consideration is long term reliability, and seeing as though they’re basing these findings on the 2015 models, we can’t tell if the Regal is better overall in the sports sedan category when it comes to reliability.

When it comes to the Buick brand itself, they are making better cars, but that might be due to the rebadging of Opel’s. Buick is certainly selling nicer cars than a few years ago, but to put them in the same sentence as Porsche, Subaru, Audi, and Lexus in the top 10 auto brands is far too early and very bold.

The other shocker from this report is the Chevy Impala’s rank as best in the large sedan class. Again, I want to know what it’s based on. I’ll respect the honors it’s receiving if I could understand why exactly this car is better than all the other large sedans on the market. Even when it comes to Buick, I just want an explanation as to why and not just a graph showing me that the Buick Regal is best in the sports sedan class.

What do you think? Cars are not one of Consumer Reports’ strong suits, but I do agree with Subaru’s dominance in the mid-sized sedan and compact car classes. Who do you think should have gotten the honors in the sports sedan and large sedan classes? Do you agree that the Buick Regal is the best sports sedan, or Buick is a top 10 auto brand?

Consumer reports also left out the hatchback class, but we all know the GTI would have gone home with that award.

Chevrolet: From “Like A Rock” to “The Dollar Menu”

2014 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ
AlBargan / Foter / CC BY-ND

Chevrolet has been launching campaigns to attract an assortment of consumers for years by offering cheap prices for those who have poor credit or can’t afford buying a new car due to their financial situation. While that is a noble cause, one that has probably been successful, there are major implications the auto manufacturer faces by making such offers. After the launching of their latest marketing campaign, “Chevrolet’s Dollar Menu”, they’ve unofficially solidified their fate as being the McDonald’s of the automotive world.

The deal is one dollar down payment in a lease offer for the Chevy Cruze and Chevy Silvarado, making them the cheapest lease offers on the market today. Forgetting about the incentives, limited mileage because of a lease, and the deal itself, let’s take a step back for a minute and let this sink in. A dollar menu for an auto brand, not a fast food restaurant, but an American auto manufacturer.

With all the recalls Chevy has had to endure, and now offering some of their lineup for a dollar, they’ve now opened themselves up to the perception of being the car equivalent of McDonald’s. When it comes to the food McDonald’s offers, you could say, “It’s cheap, but in the long wrong could cause obesity”. Chevys are now cheap, but could break down 2,000 miles later. This is not the best approach for a struggling auto maker and completely makes the brand look bad by subliminally saying, “Our cars are lemons and no longer of good quality”.

Chevrolet was once a proud American auto maker, the Camaro and Corvette were highly coveted by young adults, the Silverado was a very popular and durable pickup truck, and the Impala and Malibu were decent four door sedans that could hold their own against their American counterparts. Even the commercials sent better messages by going with the slogan “Like a rock”. In a matter of 15 years, Chevrolet has gone from being a respected manufacturer, to being the prime example of not buying American when it comes to cars.

Instead of the dollar menu approach and sounding like a fast food restaurant, Chevy should try a strategy similar to Honda. The Honda Fit is being marketed as an affordable, yet fun and efficient compact hatchback that fills every need for young adults, as they’ve been the target of this recent advertising effort. Chevy has the Spark, Sonic, and Cruze, all with starting prices under $20,000, and this should be the basis of a marketing campaign. Honda isn’t playing the Chevy game by being a Burger King or Wendy’s, and instead has a sound marketing strategy to a specific audience who are in the market for the hatchback.

The Sonic is a fun, hot, little hatchback for Chevy, and they should roll with it as being the backbone of affordable cars in their lineup. In all honestly, if a Cruze is only $1 down, I don’t think I’d be willing to pay the $169 a month as it doesn’t seem worth it, and would then think that the Sonic or Spark should be offered for $.50 or $.75 down on a lease offer.

When it comes to the automotive world, there should never be a dollar menu. ‘Like a rock” was a better slogan as it promoted a durable and quality vehicle lineup by an American automaker. Chevy has a lot of work to do when it comes to brand image after the countless number of recalls, but if they really want to be respected again, they need to drop the dollar menu immediately.

1998 Pontiac Firebird vs 1998 Chevrolet Camaro: Which is Better?

At the time there was much debate over which car was better, the 1998 Pontiac Firebird or the 1998 Chevrolet Camaro. There is no doubt that in the 90’s, both of these American muscle cars were special in their own way, re-igniting the passion that had been lost with muscle cars over the years. In 1998, owning a Firebird or Camaro was a must; they were American, fast, and both came as convertibles or hardtops. They were the Goliaths of their time when it came to sports cars under $35,000, and even today, they still hold the same significance and might.

Both the Z28 Camaro and Firebird Trans Am had V8 engines that supplied 305 hp; the SS Camaro was given 320 hp. What also made them special was that they were customizable, which wasn’t too common with American cars at the time, as Japanese automakers were cheaper and so were the aftermarket parts. From a younger generation’s perspective, both the Firebird Trans AM and SS Camaro became the ultimate sports car that gave them the power they wanted without spending too much. These two muscle cars had the upper hand on the Japanese models that were popular with young adults, something that had been lacking until a few years ago with the reemergence of the Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Charger and Challenger.

To be fair, the Firebird and Camaro weren’t all that different. The body shape was similar, both had models with T-tops, and they were cars built by GM. It really comes down to personal preference, which if you didn’t own either of them, you’d probably still be debating whether the Camaro was better than the Firebird.

With their similarities, it might be safe to say they were both great, and still are. The roar of the V8 engine, combined with the T-top, and the appeal of a sports car, put them on every kid’s and adult’s wish list for sure. They will forever be classics, something that’s not usually said about cars manufactured in the 1990’s, but the Camaro and Firebird were very special and one of a kind.