Proof of Sale is a Misnomer

by · August 16, 2011

If you haven’t seen this report on USA Today about Scott Robinson Honda in Irvine California, you might want to take two minutes to do so. In the video, subject John Pohlig unashamedly confirms that he, “can not prove” a single vehicle sale as a result of using social media.

Why is this important?

It’s important because it shows the mentality of the car dealer industry.

How often do you hear from the dealer Principal or GM state that they don’t see the point in social media because they don’t see how it sells cars? Or how often does your supervisor approach you with questions like, “how are things going for us on Facebook? Are we selling any cars from it yet?”

Study after study suggests, and marketers using social media confirm, that the point of social media is not for selling or closing deals, but rather for numerous other purposes such as to:

  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Build your brand and reputation online
  • Add value to the customer experience
  • Establish and maintain relationships
  • And more…

Fortunately this is becoming a moot point that I think many dealers are getting past, but for those that aren’t, this is a good story to consider.

Now, this isn’t to say that you should not expect results from your efforts using social media, just that matching it to the number of cars you sell as a result is not the right metric to go by. That’s what lead-to-show and show-to-close ratios do. But that is a whole other topic. I just wanted to draw attention to this important example you can refer to when put under the gun at your dealership for your efforts on the social web.

What are some things you can share from your experience with people at your dealership who are not embracing social media as a viable means for branding your dealership?

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.