I love coming across examples of businesses and industries using social media effectively. This should come as no surprise to you given 100+ Case Studies: Social Media Marketing Examples. In this article, I focus on car dealers.
FastCompany.com published an article in January 2010 titled Why Going Social Can Make or Break the Automotive Industry.
The article refers to the automotive industry as a 'needs' industry and states that "people can only hold onto their current vehicles for so long before needing to add to or replace them. Without action, many in the industry will see the rebound of slow sales over the last 2 years, but many are turning to a "new" way of reaching out to the consumers: social media."
Many industries, including flooring, many home- or building-focused industries, even apparel, strike me as being similarly needs based. Would you agree?
The article calls attention to how the car industry has traditionally communicated marketing messages to customers - namely in non-social ways:
"The nature of social media - being social and engaging with other people - is something that has been foreign to an industry that has relied on direct, to-the-point advertising to get their message across."
Exceptions exist - e.g., Ford and Scott Monty. However, at the car dealer level where customers come into direct contact with car brands and the people representing them, and where they look for someone to trust for their purchase and long-term service relationship, social media hasn't yet been embraced as a means to engage.
Social media engagement goes beyond pushing traditional marketing messages about automotive deals and discounts through Facebook and Twitter. It requires listening [see Car dealers don't listen on Twitter either] and responding, being human and truly addressing what matters when customers reach out to car dealers.
Here are two good car dealer social media examples you may enjoy.
- The Marlboro Nissan Blog
- Jill Merriam's Key Hyundai of CT Blog - by the way, Jill has created a series of YouTube videos called Dirty Trick Free Zone
What's your reaction? Have you come across examples of car dealers effectively using social media to connect with customers?
What about dealers in other industries?