By: Laura Madison, National Director of Sales at Alan Ram's Proactive Training Solutions

The most frequent question I get asked by salespeople who want to use social media to sell cars is, “where do I start?” Many salespeople want to leverage social media to drive traffic in the door to see them, but don’t want a hassle and enormous time commitment. They want to work socially smart. Salespeople recognize Facebook can be a great place to start because of its engagement and reach, but often their first step is overwhelmingly ineffective:

Creating a business Page on Facebook highlighting your name and dealership (Laura at ABC Motors) is a mistake. Let me explain why, and what you should do instead.

Business Pages are Bogue

As I explain in my Social Selling course, business pages on Facebook are not going to be your greatest ally in building a social presence that converts to sales. Facebook doesn’t favor new business pages; so even if you go through all the trouble of directing your family, friends and prospective customers to this page, likely only 1% of them will see the new photo you posted of a redesigned model. Many salespeople also find that it’s challenging driving any significant amount of traffic and “Likes” to this page in the first place. The effort is significant and the return is terrible.  

The best Facebook pages are established pages with wide reaches.

So what can salespeople do?

Whenever possible, what I’ve found to be the most effective strategy is to participate within the already established (and often promoted and well-strategized) presence of your dealership.

Leverage Your Dealership’s Following

Think about it this way. Your dealership has a beautiful facility, one that has likely been there for some time, and works tirelessly to get people walking through the front door. Prospective customers know its location, easily find current dealership promotions online, and enjoy the popcorn near your service department.

Does it make sense for you to now build your own, mini-dealership, in the corner of the lot? One that is associated with the dealership but requires you to create substantial awareness to even get any prospective buyer to come to you? That’s what building your own “Laura at ABC Motors” Facebook page is like, building a dealership within the dealership. It’s an enormous amount of work and likely ultimately ineffective.

Any smart salespeople would rather take advantage of the advertising the dealership has done, the foot traffic they already receive, and build upon that traction to create awareness for them specifically. Participating under the social media umbrella of your dealership is precisely how to accomplish this.

Executing on this strategy is relatively simple. For example, salespeople can participate on the dealership’s existing Facebook page by providing content to post to this page, like interesting product videos or customer photos. 

Salespeople can also take this activity to YouTube, uploading personalized videos to the dealership’s YouTube page. Simple videos filmed by salespeople with a smartphone highlighting the best features of a top-selling vehicle or the changes to a recent redesign, can provide great visibility for a salesperson on a channel that likely is already recognized by YouTube. Recognition can mean more favorability from YouTube, showing a video to more prospective customers researching vehicle purchases.

These uploads can be facilitated very simply by a marketing director or whoever presently runs the dealership’s social media sites.

Use All Your Tools

Leveraging an established audience isn’t the only benefit to participating under the social umbrella of the dealership. Consider that the marketing manager, or whomever coordinates a dealership’s presence, often has great knowledge of how to tag videos for optimizing visibility, when is best to post, so much more. Taking advantage of that expertise only helps propel any videos/photos that salespeople share into the screens of prospective buyers.

Finally, there are a few additional benefits of executing on this umbrella strategy:

  • Increased visibility. When salespeople create and upload content, this activity boosts visibility of these social channels and increases a dealership’s online reach even further. The more active a dealership is on social media, the more eyeballs those channels will receive.
  • Improved search engine optimization. Increasing videos, posts, and activity on certain platforms can catapult the organic search engine optimization of a dealership’s channels. For example, salespeople uploading content to YouTube will boost the likelihood of those videos appearing on the first page results of a Google search.

This umbrella approach on social media is the fiercest way to see quick and sustainable results for salespeople. Dealerships who create an environment where salespeople can contribute to the dealership’s social presence will provide a powerful advantage in today’s competitive automotive space.

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