How to Bridge Cultural Divides with Auto Shoppers
The other day a friend said to me, “Facebook is for old people. Ewe.” She was referring to the fact that while she does use social media, Facebook is not part of the mix for her. It was quite evident that there is a cultural divide forming right now, especially considering that she is 28 and her sentiment towards Facebook is not uncommon for people within her demographic.
According to current research, the largest age demographic using Facebook 35-54 year olds, a prime car buying demographics, yes, but not for long. The age segments behind this are both on the decline when it comes to Facebook usage.
Do you see the cultural divide forming?
How does this affect your dealership? Are you and your staff aware of what is taking shape? Do you have a plan for what lies ahead? Does that even matter?
I believe it does. Businesses are always susceptible to anticipated yet unforeseen obstacles and interference.
Don’t Depend on Others
The “unsinkable” Titanic in 1921 had an architect and a captain, both confident in their vessel, themselves, and each other, both knowing the risk and magnitude of the Titanic’s greatness. They relied on a crew to navigate the ship safely to New York.
The crew failed.
Your dealership is a vessel. Whether or not it is a titanic could be a different story, but it is a vessel. Your vessel and its crew can go down too in unseeming circumstances.
How do you combat this?
For starters, I think you must be prepared to adapt and change. For some dealers this might require embracing paid media on Facebook which today is referred to as a “pay-to-play” social network. Not necessarily a bad thing, but certainly a present-day reality. Paid media on Facebook allows you to reach highly targeted audiences at a low cost right where you need to be…on news feeds of peoples’ smartphones.
For some dealers this might mean embracing YouTube, LinkedIn, or even Pinterest for that matter. YouTube has extraordinary advertising potential for dealers in search (SEO) and with branding (Pre-roll display advertising).
Regardless of what it is, you must be on your toes at all times, willing and ready to try new things and make them work.
Yes, I know, you hear this all the time. Well maybe it is true.
History Repeats Itself
I remember in the early 2000’s talking with dealers rejecting the web and the idea of websites. They hated the “Internet Shopper” because she was too informed. I often wonder how long before that tune changed with those dealers.
Today is no different with Reputation and Social Media. Ignore it or procrastinate it and you will indeed fall behind. No doubt. Quite frankly, you might already be falling behind if you aren’t tackling these essential digital marketing strategies.
Fortunately it doesn’t take much to cover your bases. By implementing a few simple measures at your dealership, applying some of the right technology, and partnering with the right vendors I believe you can get your dealership in the top 25% of the dealer base when it comes to your online presence.
Why? Because believe it or not, the effort required to address the basics are not that difficult. The cost is still relatively low compared to most forms of advertising and the majority of dealers are still “getting around to it.”
So where are you? Still getting around to it, or taking action?
Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Future Mobility & Connectivity Podcast, Ryan began working in the automotive industry in 2001, establishing his roots in online vehicle merchandising before expanding into digital marketing and now multi media for Automotive B2B. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.