It’s no secret that businesses all across the landscape have started to familiarize themselves with social media platforms when trying to attract new customers. And maybe it’s not just attracting customers, but also holding the interests of current ones as well. Whatever the strategy is, it’s apparent that car dealerships must start embracing the importance of social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even video-specific channels such as YouTube.
There are many ways to ordinarily approach Twitter and Facebook, but really in order to get your sales team on board you must think beyond just posting when the latest car model comes in. Here are a few ways to encourage your car salesmen/saleswomen to branch out and make their social imprint within the dealership.
Be fun, yet still professional, with tweeting.
Whether you’re designating one person within the dealership or a handful of people to interact on Twitter, it’s sometimes beneficial if you allow them to find creative ways to pique consumer (i.e. follower) interest, it could have a positive trickle-down effect on your social campaign and help steer more conversions because of that.
For instance, have a meeting where everyone’s brainstorming certain specials or promotions tied in within a select theme on Twitter. For example, your dealership might be running specials around the body shop or service station and want to spread the word beyond email newsletters. Why not have your sales staff tie in the specials alongside some article on “Top Driving Mistakes” or “Funniest Car Modifications” and offer consumers something more tangible to go with your promotion? It helps make your dealership stand out from the crowd because you’re promoting beyond the norm, but in a lighthearted manner.
Just be sure to hammer home that every tweet must remain within the guidelines of promotions and the company motto and not veer off into anything that might be seen as controversial.
Interact with your fans on facebook.
Too often I’ll come across a certain Facebook page designed around a dealership who’s maybe made less than a handful of updates beyond just showing a new seasonal lineup. And with the handful or more fans liking the page, some will comment, but get nothing in response. Dealerships must think beyond the “Likes” and more with personalization and branding. That’s where your sales staff can come in.
As before with the Twitter interactions, encourage the staff to get on Facebook daily and look at the activity for the day. How many new fans have there been? What questions are they asking? Are they dropping by to offer a review of their experience at the dealership? These and more questions should be asked among your staff and answered accordingly. First and foremost, familiarize them with Twitter and Facebook navigation and interaction. Once they’re caught up, make it a point to have them welcome in each new fan (or follower), even going as far as to offer that sales person’s contact info at the dealership should they need any more assistance.
And just as Twitter should be allowed for creative marketing approaches, the same mentality should be placed within the Facebook page as well. Find funny (but appropriate) memes to post as a caption to some type of promotion. Post customer experiences on the page and their excitement at driving off the lot with a new car…as long as you get their approval, of course. And if customers are posting questions/concerns about their experience, be there to answer. In reality, how well your sales team responds to Twitter/Facebook should be with the same effort and enthusiasm as they would to customer Q & A’s over email.
It helps break up monotony within the day.
Allowing your sales team to get heavily involved with the social marketing aspects goes beyond just simple marketing…it’s a team-building/skill-enhancement opportunity. More importantly, it should be seen as a productive diversion during any lulls of the day. Even though every car dealership out there would love to have customers funneling through at every second’s notice of every day, it’s just not the case. Whether it’s segmenting specific team members to work on Twitter and/or letting the others strategize with Facebook, YouTube or similar outlets, the key is to give them something productive and creative to work with. And as long as it’s not interfering with their routines of answering and reaching out to customers who either visited the dealership recently or filled out a questionnaire online, there’s a good chance the sales team will warm up to the fact that they’re in constant engagement at the office.
At the end of the day, whether you’re putting a single member of your team or multiple employees toward the social component of your dealership marketing, the key is to try and make every tweet, Facebook post, YouTube video or other action thoughtful and creative. Car buyers want information that’s both educational and digestible, and if you can think outside the norm of simply posting rehashed car model pictures and pricing, you can brand the dealership into something that spurns more curiosity and actions from the community of followers both currently onboard as well as the thousands out there waiting to be captured.0