About three years ago before we had any official products on the market, a lot of time was spent trying to find ways to use a blog to display inventory. But after a short while I put that effort to rest because it did not make sense to try to re-invent the wheel of displaying inventory online since so many other companies and websites had already essentially perfected the art. It was like trying to find a technology solution for a problem that did not exist. In the end, we stuck with using dealership blogs strictly for SEO purposes which quickly became the norm in the auto industry.
Today, Social Media sites such as facebook and Twitter are known for their growing benefits in Search Marketing, but I don’t see blogs receiving the hype that these sites are receiving, despite the proven track record that blogs have as a tool for Inbound Marketing. And now with companies like GOSO offering an inventory solution that integrates with facebook, or MediaRevo which manages transaction-geared landing pages for auto dealer sites that are advertised with paid placement on facebook, it seems that the turbines of automotive online retail remain steadfastly drawn towards vehicle sales.
Is this the right approach for auto dealers, to be using Social Media tools such as facebook and Twitter to push their commodity?
Studies and statistics show that Social Media is more about content, conversation, and relationships and less about conversion and transaction. So how will using Social Media to solicit vehicles bid with customers in these marketplaces? Does it not seem that these communication channels may be better utilized by auto dealers to concentrate on other areas of their operation such as service, parts, & financing?
It may be too soon to say what the best practices are for auto dealers when it comes to Social Media. And I am not suggesting that the display of inventory there is a bad or good practice. Dealers respond to this type of marketing because they are accustomed to it. Dealers always want to sell more cars…TODAY.
In today’s economy, new possibilities are opening up. One of those possibilities is for this new marketing medium to offer dealers not just another place to sell autos, but also a place to expand all aspects of their operations.
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.