The Impact Of Social Media On Automotive Advertising - Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow!

Technology driven solutions are changing the automotive advertising industry even as I write this post. During my 35 plus year career in the auto industry I have observed the shift from newspaper, direct mail, radio and TV to email, text and internet based communications to sell cars and service. Why then are so many auto dealers surprised when I tell them that the next generation of car buyers will rely on social media and consumer generated content vs. today's more dealer centric marketing methods?

The evolution of technology driven Social Media platforms have already satisfied consumer preferences with the integration of video on Facebook and the addition of more efficient networking communities like Twitter, Pinetrest and Instagram. Organic search has been replaced with paid advertising on search engines to accomodate commercial messaging to pay for the media and customer generated content is more relevant to auto shoppers than self serving auto dealer sales or service offers so it is the content of choice for online consumers.

The point of this post is that next generation social media tools that reside entirely within Facebook, like the customer engagement conversion/marketing app being offered by HELIOS, will provide the relevancy and transparency consumers demand when shopping for a vehicle without their having to leave their discussions with friends and family that already have their attention. Old school best practices built on relationship based selling systems are better delivered on social media than any conventional or digital channel.

Next generation consumers will respond to "pull" messaging delivered by friends before they will be "pushed" into a purchase by a direct sales message delivered by a dealer. Intuitive connections to social networks initiated by algorithms that track online activities will involve consumers in discussions that bring them to market before they even realize that they are looking for a vehicle.

Simply put, yesterday's social media was powered by organic search which has given way to today's social media driven by paid advertising and tomorrow's social media that will rely on consumer generated content delivered through apps that respond to their most personal desires in a seamless manner. The ability for automotive advertising agencies and auto dealers to insert themselves into the discussion that is the market before, during and after a vehicle purchase as well as being the first to apply next generation social media tools should be the goal of any forward thinking dealer based on the experienced impact of previous changes in technology driven marketing.

Why then is it so difficult for auto dealers to see past the deficiencies of yesterday's and today's social media and share in the visions of the social media of tomorrow? After all, what are friends for!

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