If you’ve hesitated on getting involved in online marketing, now is the time to get your feet wet. In 2019, the internet and social media has taken a prominent place in our daily lives and has no intention of disappearing. So how can dealers take advantage of this opportunity?
“If leveraged to its fullest potential, social media platforms have the ability to help create brand demand and awareness, solidifying you or your brand as an authoritative source,” said Gabriel Cruz, media development manager at HISUN Motors. “This theory will help bring more door-swings and, in turn, makes the consumer more comfortable and willing to do business with you.”
Social media allows dealerships to build a stronger relationship with customers in comparison to traditional marketing methods like print and television ads.
“With the growing strong hold of digital platforms and media consumption in today’s society, it is important to make sure your brand is getting proper exposure by effectively leveraging these platforms to grow awareness among the consumers,” Cruz said. “You have the ability to tell a story to the consumer about your dealership and or brands you offer before they ever step foot in your dealership.”
You may already have a website that promotes your business, vehicles, products and services that you sell, but are you using your website to its fullest potential?
“Dealers should make sure they have strong photos of their dealership, inside and out, along with their address and any call to actions they can use to entice their customer including door busters, current specials or giveaway opportunities,” said Larry Vandiver, VP of dealer sales at HISUN Motors. “It is also important to make sure you’re selling the different aspects of your business including service, parts, accessories and inventory online.”
Once your website is in order, consider extending your dealership’s reach on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, who have millions of followers, which provides a great opportunity to improve SEO efforts and boost your business’ listings in search engines.
“Being active on any social media platform is already a great start,” Cruz said. “At this point in time, Facebook seems to be the most user-friendly platform, with Instagram and Twitter in a close second. If you really wanted to take it a step further, you can start narrowing down each platform by age demographic and develop an action plan for each platform that may cater to a different age group, which in-turn means different hobbies, lifestyles, product tastes and so forth, really giving you the opportunity to maximize your return.”
The goal with an online presence is to be interesting and unique, which gives viewers a good reason to come back to your page. Try exploring different types of posts and monitoring which ones bring you the best results, like highlighting dealership promotions, promoting sharable content like technical tips and maintenance, customer testimonials, contests, employee spotlights and much more.
Engaging with customers on social media in a professional manner will help boost ratings and encourage others to see your dealership in a positive light.
“Consumers also rely on past experiences. The more positive feedback or reviews you have available from other satisfied customers the better,” Cruz added.
Although it is free to create a business profile on social media platforms, consider budgeting some advertising dollars into social media to reach new customers who don’t currently follow you.
“Dealers should always set aside a budget for social media advertising,” Vandiver said. “It is important for your customers to see current posts and information about your dealership and products. It is also important to focus on customer follow up in regards to any questions regarding a possible sell. Setting up a follow up retention system or program is key.”
If you sell new vehicles, several OEMs offer programs to help dealers navigate the online landscape.
“As an OEM, HISUN is getting ready to launch a pilot program that will allow our dealers to work directly with the HISUN marketing team to access high quality content to share on social media on a regular basis,” Cruz said. “This will allow for the HISUN story to be told at its fullest potential and allow the dealer to focus more on the sale and in-dealership activity. It will also allow the dealer to start growing and building the HISUN brand recognition on a localized level.”
With the ability to reach new customers, connect with current customers and bring powersports enthusiasts into your dealership, take steps to optimize online marketing efforts to bring your dealership into the 21st century.
This article was sponsored by Hisun Motors. For more information, please visit hisunmotors.com