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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Facebook Marketing for Car Dealers

When considering how to best utilize Facebook within a dealers' overall marketing strategy, I recommend considering the following questions, answers and commentary:

1. What is the single most significant measurement that dealers rely upon to determine whether a Social Media Marketing strategy, program or initiative is working well for them on Facebook?

Answer: Growth in the number of fans on the dealership's Facebook Page (Fan Acquisition).

2. What is the most consistent and proven Fan Acquisition strategy that has worked for car dealers in North America?

Answer: Facebook Advertising

3. What is the most important aspect of a dealer's Social Media Marketing strategy's Facebook implementation and tactics?

Answer: the creative, messaging and targeting of Facebook Advertising campaigns that are built and deployed for that dealership's Facebook Page(s).

Recommendation: Social Media Marketing professionals working for dealers as either employees or suppliers should focus on what most dealer principals have come to deem successful with Facebook, rather than what we ourselves take personal pride in... Which is usually stuff like having the coolest custom tabs, best content and securing a great Facebook vanity domain. After all if we only have 150 fans who see the Page, then who's going to appreciate all that work we did. More importantly, how will we increase a dealership's business results with a Facebook page if too few Facebook users who are in our market see any of it?

Likewise, we should take pride in accomplishing and executing what delivers the results that dealers, managers and sales teams seek... Especially when what they look at is actually closely associated with selling and servicing more vehicles!

4. What do dealers who are successful using Facebook to sell and service more cars have in common?

Answer: A successful Facebook Fan Acquisition plan, combined with an ongoing communication strategy that includes special offers, discounts, coupons, contests and sweepstakes.

Research shows that Automotive Consumers who use Facebook want offers and discounts first, product news and information second.

The point that I am trying to make is that providing whiz bang apps and custom content that dealership customers don't actually want within a fan page is not the best use of a dealership's time, budget and resources...

And, even if we are providing the RIGHT content that people want to get from our dealership's Facebook Page... Doing so with less than a thousand total fans is a poor use of dealer supplied time, budget and resources.

Most car dealers would be better served by focusing social media marketing resources, focus and attention on creating and implementing the most cost effective forms of Facebook advertising...

Once enough Facebook Fans are acquired, this would be followed by a focus on the most effective means of communicating with them.

5. What messaging should we use Facebook to communicate with our Fans?

Answer: The most desirable coupons, offers, discounts, promotions, customer reviews, contests and sweepstakes that generate the greatest number of responses and engagement from a continuously growing Facebook Fan Base.

Somebody once told me that simplification of what was previously perceived as too complex or confusing is a form of progress. So, here is my list of the three most important items for car dealers to focus on when considering what their Facebook Marketing Strategy should look like:

1. Advertise (Attract)
2. Communicate Offers (sell)
3. Provide Ongoing Value (Retain)

[Posted from Ralph Paglia's iPhone]

Ralph Paglia

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