Since being asked to carry out and run a blog in work I have looked for ways that local companies in my area use social media to market them self’s and engage with customers, after 4-6 weeks of research I have noticed a varying difference from some companies having no social media and some actively using social media . But this just goes to show that a study into social media use by car dealers from 2012 was correct and is the trend not just for car dealers but throughout the motor industry.
The survey from the US highlights the growing importance of social media for car dealers.
The survey carried out by Digital Air Strike found that the majority of car buyers, 69%, use social media in their dealership selection process.
The 2012 Automotive Dealership Social Media and Online Reputation Study found dealers need to increase engagement with car shoppers on social networks and review sites during the car buying process.
This was a trend highlighted at the Motor Trader Social Media conference in 2011.
The study, measuring usage trends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, surveyed 275 car buyers who purchased a vehicle in the last six months.
- 69% of consumers said social media sites helped their vehicle purchase decision
- 68% of car shoppers said that dealership reviews impacted which dealership they visited when shopping for a vehicle
- 50% of consumers said that reading reviews affirmed their original choice of dealership
- 18% of consumers said they either selected a dealership based on the reviews they read or changed their choice of dealership after reading reviews on multiple dealerships
“This study highlights the importance of social networks and review sites in the car buying process,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder of Digital Air Strike.
As you can see from the study the motors industry seem to be jumping on the social media bandwagon slowly, but there are rays of sunshine, showing the many how its done and the industry is starting to sit up. One of the key examples on the big world-wide stage is Ford Motor Company
Ford has brought the social experience to the forefront of their marketing efforts.
Each time they add a new blog post, they pull in the image, headline of the post and the comments from readers onto the front page of their website. Those new to the site or those browsing for a new car get to experience the company and its culture from a social viewpoint right from the start.
Their blog, The Ford Story, is also unique. In the image below you can see their innovative layout where viewers can start reading the comments before they read the article, putting their fans’ and followers’ viewpoints first. Introducing your blog and your readers’ comments to new viewers sets a welcoming and friendly first impression for any company.
Notice the placement of the Stories button in the image below. Ford takes the social sharing component to the next level by not only asking their customers for their Ford stories, but also asking their community to share ideas that are in popular categories like Safety or Personalization.
Ford uses this as a way to get new ideas for their next generation of cars. These ideas are not taken lightly; Ford has used many of these innovations to advance the technology of their cars. They do a great job of involving their fans and customers into their company growth.
Also, photos are always a great way to attract new viewers and draw in existing audiences. In the image below Ford has added a Flickr widget to show off some of their latest photos, making their site more interactive and fun. (One little-known fact is that Flickr is a fantastic tool for search engine optimization. When you load your photos onto Flickr, you can tag them and optimize the descriptions.)