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In the World of Social Media Sometimes Employees Lead the Way

Social Media WorldA few weeks ago I suddenly found myself without a car.  My beloved car gave up the ghost without warning and so I had to rapidly dive into the hunt for a replacement.

Like so many others my search started on the internet and I used many different tools to learn about potential cars that I was interested in and that were in my price range.  I read reviews on Edmunds.com, searched, sorted and filtered on Autotrader.com and of course checked out local dealer websites.  Social media played a part as well as I spent quite a bit of time searching out what other owners of the car I was interested in had to say about the vehicle.

By the time I went to the dealership I felt well equipped to find the deal I wanted but I could not find the car I was looking for on the dealer websites.  Since I knew both of the dealerships near me had to have this particular car I drove first to one and then the other.  Sure enough both of them had a car that was perfect.  Now for the negotiations – let the games begin!

I went back and forth at the first dealership with a lovely saleswoman who’s hands were constantly tied by the mysterious “Carl” who no matter what kept insisting that the car I wanted was worth about $4,000 more than my research showed. So I walked.

At the second dealership my husband and I were helped by a great guy named Mike Ford.  His official title – Client Advisor.  I guess over the years the title of Car Salesman has just gotten too bad of a reputation.

Mike was awesome.  He knew we were prepared and so after a nice long test drive in the car it was time to start talking price.  In just over an hour I was signing the paper work on my “new” used car that I had gotten at exactly the price I was looking to pay.

But the story doesn’t end there.  In fact the whole point to this post is that once I had signed the papers Mike wanted to take photos of me with my new car to post on his Facebook account.  I was surprised because the dealership he worked for not only had a rather lackluster website but also no social media presence at all.

Mike explained to me that he liked to take photos of all the cars and clients he worked with and post them on Facebook and that he felt this was a great way to promote what he did and to stay in touch with people he knew would be repeat customers.  WOW!  Mike gets it!  Social media is a tool that businesses can use to:

  • Market their products
  • Stay in touch with past customers
  • Address custom concerns
  • As a customer service tool, etc.

This experience led me to look to see what if any car dealers were using social media – successfully or not.  Some are but most aren’t.

I found that there is an automotive social network on Ning.com with 640 members that is putting together a list of dealers using social media, social media tips and more.  Since I am not a member could not truly gauge the effectiveness of the site but from the front window it looks like a pretty good resource.

Companies are also starting to make Facebook apps for the automotive dealer industry such as the one introduced by GOSO which pulls up a dealers inventory.

So it looks like Mike won’t be a lone social media solider at his dealership for long.

 


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