Your Employees May Be Doing Social Media but Do They REALLY Know How to USE It?

Social media has many advantages in today’s digital world. And, leveraging these social media accounts and platforms through employees enables your dealership to reach local customers through the networks of these employees.


Many salespeople use social media to promote themselves and increase awareness of their dealership, so as to attract customers and business. Those that use it effectively find that it can be very profitable for them and their dealerships. However, some dealers have expressed concerns about these personal branding efforts.


An article in Fast Company details the challenges that have arisen with the rise of this phenomenon. Employees that use these networks may be versed in using them for personal use. However, not many are trained in the proper use of these networks in a business setting. William Ward, a professor at Syracuse University who specializes in social media, stated that, “Because somebody grows up being a social media native, it doesn’t make them an expert in using social media at work. That’s like saying ‘I grew up with a fax machine, so that makes me an expert in business.’”


In the automotive industry, it’s pretty much an established fact that salespeople will naturally bring business and sales into the dealership, organically, from their friends and family. Their network of family, friends and associates tend to trust them to be fair in assisting them to get a good deal. Nothing has changed. If anything, the salesperson’s ability to bring this type of business into the dealership has expanded from simply word-of-mouth recommendations, to the huge potential of digital relationships.


Of course, this extended voice necessitates at least a minimal amount of training to ensure that the employee is not simply wasting time at work, and that both the dealership and the employee are portrayed in the best possible light. There are many free options available from social media companies, as well as platforms that can assist your employees in gaining a basic understanding of how to correctly use social media in a business setting. In addition, there are industry-specific tools available that allow your salespeople to maximize exposure in a way that presents the dealership in a good light and encourages engagement.


It would certainly be beneficial to explore some of these free on-line social media training programs with your employees. Customers increasingly use digital means to connect with dealerships and their employees. Social media training ensures that, at the very least, your employees know how to effectively leverage social media platforms to benefit both the dealership and themselves.


Social media can be a great and efficient way to reach potential customers in the local vicinity, as well as to engage with existing customers on a more personal level -- similar to the standard practices of phone calls and snail mail messages in the past. Your employees will use social media regardless of whether you train them or not. If they are educated in its proper use in a business setting, this can help to bring even more business and boost the dealership’s visibility in your community.

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Comment by steven chessin on February 1, 2016 at 1:18pm

I agree with Jim  - compliance of media standards  - including personal social media is necessary - but - the  "monitoring" should be from the start - rather than after-the-fact when it is too late.    

Comment by Jim Boldebook on January 30, 2016 at 6:18pm

Good post Paul, but I urge dealers to monitor any salesperson's site so they can avoid legal issues. 

For instance, a salesman at dealership I work with was posting payments with vehicle pics.  Absolutely illegal and it can come back on the dealership even if it is done without the dealers permission.  FCC is paying attention to digital posts..even if its third party.    Also,if a facebook user posts his/her page and allows comments, You risk the chance of having negative comments posted on that site.   

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