Social Marketing Overview
Social media platforms are gaining popularity in automotive marketing and this is because of the level of engagement, which they create about brands. With the advent of social media posts in Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and other social sites, it is clear that car dealers are able to further leverage their social media involvement.
When used properly, automotive social marketing can provide value and engagement to followers. One thing car dealers need to realize is that the social conversions put across on social media should be humanized and not sound like sales pitches.
Although social signals are used by search engines to increase the ranking of websites on SERPs, this aspect is misleading automotive dealers. Some car dealers are using social sites as sales pitches to simply catapult their sites to appear on the top hits of search engines not realizing that this may only offer temporary results.
Car buyers need to be engaged with informative, interesting and value content that can help them make good buying decision. The message car dealers pass to consumers will determine how they create consumer confidence and loyalty. When the process of automotive social marketing is handled by professionals, this can help turn around the brand name awareness as well as build a community of followers who can be converted to buyers.
Don’t Leave Your Social Sites Alone
A stale Twitter, Facebook or PInterest account is not a positive image for a car dealership. This means that car dealers should actively engage in conversations in social sites. However, the main question is; do they have the time and expertise to achieve this? Automotive brand manufacturers and dealers who have repositioned themselves in automotive social marketing are today reaping the benefits.
How Ford Does Social
In May 2009, the head of Social Media at Ford, Scott Monty had four times the number of Twitter followers than Chrysler and GM combined. From these followers, a good number of them totaling to 100 were tapped and used as “agents” to drive Ford’s Fiesta model for six months and then share their experience in social media sites like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr.
This kind of move in automotive social marketing helped Ford create brand passion and build a community of followers. This helped in driving traffic and increasing engagement something, which has seen Ford record good results in sales through social media. Today, Ford has more than 70 tailored Facebook pages with over 10 million fans.
GM Uses Social Effectively
In another positive move in adopting automotive social marketing strategies, General Motors (GM) used social channels to get itself from the bankruptcy crisis it plunged into a few years ago. When Toyota was faced with massive car safety recalls, things turned haywire for the giant automobile brand. This turn of events compelled GM to temporarily beef up its social media team to communicate with consumers.
This saw GM leverage its Facebook, Twitter and Blogs to update consumers on new developments. The team engaged directly with consumers by answering questions and commenting on blogs. Any interview or press conference that was held about the recalled car brand, it was alerted through social media to consumers.
Through the social media, GM managed to build its reputation despite the tarnished image it suffered. Consumers appreciated and responded well to GM’s sincerity and transparency and this clearly demonstrates how automakers can effectively use social media as a tool of communication in times of crisis. In essence, automotive social marketing should be emphasized by car dealers and handled by professionals in order to help create brand name awareness and provide essential information that can help consumers make informed decision when buying cars and automobile parts.