The Dealerist's Blog

November 7, 2009

500,000 People a Day, What Are You Waiting For?

Filed under: Automotive — Joe Turner @ 3:28 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

How many people do you know that won’t buy a lottery ticket until the jackpot reaches a certain amount?  I’ll bet we all know people like that, maybe even ourselves. 

Many dealers are like that when it comes to adopting new trends and technologies.  I’ve been in the retail car business for over 14 years.  I worked for dealers that scoffed at the notion of a website some even threatened representatives of websites companies.  Today, almost every dealership has a website. 

I read a report that Facebook is now adding 500,000 NEW users every DAY! 

For those of you that don’t get “in” until the jackpot is big enough, I have some news…the jackpot is at an all-time high.  It’s time for your dealership to get in Social Media.

By getting “in” I don’t mean just signing up on Facebook and Twitter.  No, getting “in” means that you and your staff are serious about actually joining in the conversation that’s all ready going on about your dealership.

Fortunately, a lot of big corporations have been using Social Media for some time so here are some of the lessons learned thus far.


It’s been said that good customer service makes the best marketing.  Start right now by offering customer service via Twitter.  Smart companies have been following Twitter and when someone mentions their company they respond quickly to any issues or potential issues.   

Have your Customer Service Manager or even you start following Twitter today.  Tell your customers about it when their in F&I, the service drive and even tell your unsold showroom traffic about your Twitter page.  If it were my store, I’d have it plastered on every door coming in and going out of the dealership. 

This will be a bitter pill for many but the rewards will be almost instantaneous.  Even if you can’t help a potentially upset customer right away via Twitter, you can at least point them in the right direction and get the resolution process started.   


When it comes to promotions there’s not much that has worked as well on the web or on the lot as the word “Free.”  Social media is no exception to this rule.

A restaurant recently had a drawing for a $100 gift card.  To enter the drawing people had to tweet  “Follow @Maggianos by 5pm CST to be entered to win $100 in Maggiano’s gift certificates,” during a specific  time frame.  As a result Maggiano’s gained over 2,000 followers in a single day. 

You could offer a free oil change for something similar.  Followers on Twitter are more valuable than any list of email addresses so any promotion that helps you get more followers is worth the effort.


This one will be hard for most of us, after all we’re car people.  We’ve been taught to always be closing.  But the reality of Social Media is that if you’re pitching they’ll stop following.  Instead use a bridge by occasionally embedding a link in your tweets back to your Facebook Fan Page.  There you can present special offers for all of your profit centers. 

Implement a Social Media Policy for your department managers.  Have each department tweet one useful tidbit either daily or every other day.  Then stagger the times that each department does their tweet.  The best part is the tweets don’t have to be original material.  You can “Re-Tweet” an OEM press release, an article about one of your models or seasonal reminders such as how to set the clock in the car back in the fall. 

There are too many ways to use Social Media than we can discuss in this small article.  If you have any questions at all or would like more information on ways you can use Twitter and Facebook please feel free to call me at 502-689-5370 or better yet follow me on Twitter I am @dealerist

So what are you waiting for?  The jackpot has never been bigger and with Facebook adding a half million people a day you can’t afford to wait anymore.


1 Comment »

  1. I completely agree that businesses should be on Facebook and Twitter, but I haven’t found many success stories of auto retailers using this social websites to engage with customers.

    Do you have any examples of dealers that are doing it right that you could share?

    Comment by Patrick — November 7, 2009 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

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