Successful automotive sales managers understand the benefits of effective communication skills to help set appointments. These skills are critical on the phone, internet lead emails, and as well as in person.
In physics, opposites attract. In sales, opposites repel. In business, customers buy from people who are most like them.
For automotive sales professionals, this becomes an opportunity to talk less and listen more. Find out as much as possible about the customer’s needs when it comes to their next purchase decision.
That puts particular emphasis on the skills of listening and asking proper questions.
Different ways of asking questions.
Ask for as much information as possible, require you to “filter” what you need; often begin with “what,” “why,” “how,” or “please explain.” Used to gather basic information – short question for a long answer.
Are answered with fewer words, often “yes” or “no.” Use to demonstrate your understanding, draw out quiet or shy customers.
Use to probe for clearer understanding, gauge customer reactions to your presentation, or to prepare the customer for confirming the decision. “You must have a good reason for feeling that way. Please tell me why?”
Usually open-ended, help focus the discussion and direct talkative customers towards an agreement. The question often contains the words you would like the customer to use in his or her answer. “What would you like to accomplish today?”
An effective appointment setting should involve an easy-to-follow, logical approach, every time we answer a sales call. Practice the dealership scripts and use them. Don’t be hesitant to give an example of terrible calls that you have heard either.
Before Attempting the Appointment
You must be prepared.
You must have a definite plan of action.
Smile! A smile can actually be heard over the phone.
Introduce yourself confidently to the customer.
Take good notes and politely ask the customer proper open-ended questions.
Let the customer know this is a great day to call, and an even greater day to come to the dealership.
Motivate prospects to want to set an appointment. Give them a choice of dates and times.
Things to avoid (Inbound calls)
Avoid answering the phone when you are in a hurry.
Avoid the urge to get the name and number too quickly.
Don’t be in a hurry to get the name and number just so you can hang up and call back to get a busy signal.
Don’t discount any lead.
Never pre-judge a customer’s ability to purchase.
Avoid using industry jargon.
Always be the professional – whether speaking to the customer in person, through email, web site chat or on the phone! What the customer hears on is the only impression they can have of you.
The automotive industry was already impacted by an unprecedented disruption before the coronavirus. We’ve seen shared mobility, driverless cars, and electric vehicles shake up the industry, so understanding how to adapt during difficult times is not a new challenge.
However, over the last couple of months, there has been a change in priority for people across Canada. According to Google people in early March were showing interest on dealerships – focusing on where to get cars, shopping for vehicles and checking out inventory.
Then around the 13th of March that all changed – quickly. For six weeks their main focus has been on basic necessities for everyday life – for example groceries. Where to go, how busy the stores are, and who has pick-up options.
Grocery Stores – Car Dealers Comparison – Canada
But as we adjust to things now – the interest level in dealerships has begun to grow again, while people are more familiar with grocery stores and the affect they have on every day.
Even though things are starting to focus on automotive – that doesn’t mean visiting the dealership. The new way of doing business will include virtual showrooms, online inventory, booking appointments and visiting customers. Digital is going to play a big part in the everyday for dealerhsips – understanding customer expectations, as well as the new ways people shop and buy, will be critical to success.
Over 1.8 billion people use Facebook on a regular basis. Allow that to sink in for a few seconds.
For retail automotive dealerships, more users mean more page likes and potential / current customers eyeballs. But with more users comes more competition at the same time. Now because of regular Facebook algorithm updates, dealership marketers need to be savvier than ever to compete with others.
Automotive dealers need to pull out all the stops to make sure their Facebook business page is very helpful, easy to find on the site, provides good value, and represents their dealership in the best way possible on the platform. In the market where everything is done online, anything less is lost revenue and customer acquisition opportunities.
Based on my experience with automotive dealers, I have come up with a comprehensive checklist the best Facebook Dealership Page tips, tricks, and optimization ideas. I suggest going through each one and checking each off the list. At the end of it all you will have a page worthy of your next Facebook page super fan.
Let’s get into it now with some thought-starters!
Claim your Facebook URL
This may seem like a basic point to cover, but once your dealership page has just 25 Likes, you can claim your vanity URL. Meaning you can direct fans to a URL like “facebook.com/YourDealershipName”.
This helps visitors to find your page on Facebook easier and makes it easier for you to promote your page on other marketing materials outside the dealership. It also ensures that users can easily search for you when on the site or mobile application.
Double Down on Past Posting Successes
Doubling down, recycling, or reposting past successful related content is a strategy often underutilized by most dealerships.
Everyday thoughts might lead you to create original content each and every time but that doesn’t always have to be the case for sharing content. To save you needed time and energy, try reposting or recycling content that has performed well in the past as well. For example if you did a retro vehicle post a year ago and it got some engagement – no harm in sharing it again with your followers.
Update Facebook Cover Photo
Your Facebook cover photo is an often overlooked area for most dealership promotions. If you’re holding a dealership contest or giveaway, your Facebook cover photo can act like a promotional billboard. Show off the monthly incentives, one of a kind vehicles or something that highlights the customer experience.
Pin a post
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to pin a post to the top of your Facebook page feed. After publishing a new blog post, launching a new giveaway, or announcing a new vehicle, pin it to the top of your feed so that it’s the first post your visitors see when they visit the dealership page.
Complete Your About Us Page
You’d be surprised at how many dealerships about sections are left barren. Completing the about page of your business page is crucial. Your Facebook dealer business page can often be the first place your visitors head to after a Google search. Make sure all of your information is in order including your dealer website, social links, hours and contact information.
Include Like buttons on your Website and Blog
Having Facebook Like buttons on your own website and dealership blog can direct traffic from these channels to your Facebook Page, turning blog readers, and even customers into social media fans.
Entice them into liking your Page with a Call to Action – for example, “Like our page to stay up to date with the latest vehicles and dealership promotions!”
Question and Answers
Facebook media comes in all shapes and formats making it a perfect way to hold a Q&A session with your dealership followers. Post a start date and time for questions about vehicles or services offered. Some dealers are doing a lot more live videos now due to the Coronavirus on a regular basis to highlight the dealership, vehicles, and service.
Then post an update to request questions from your followers. Answer those questions live, pre-record a video, or just simply write in some replies. The choice is up to you on how to provide the content.
Promote your Dealership in your Email Signature
Putting a small button or link to your Facebook Dealership Page in your email signature can direct some traffic from the people you communicate with to your Facebook Page, which has the potential to help you gather a few Likes, while also showing your dealer to these people.
Promote your Page to your Email List
Give your dealership email subscribers a good reason to become your Facebook fans as well. Exclusive deals, content, or promotions will get your email subscribers to follow the content you post on Facebook dealership page.
Social media channels offer a great opportunity for businesses to connect further with the folks who love their brand. By increasing the level of transparency of your posts your building and strengthening the relationship you’re developing. People want to get to know you, your story, and why you’re in business. Give them an inside look and you’ll be rewarded with long term business.
Promote your Dealership with Facebook Ads
Facebook’s advertising tools have come a long way. For only a few dollars, you can get your Facebook page in front of potential customers who would be most interested in what you have to offer. Promote your page with Facebook ads and reach the people you’re trying to reach — only much quicker.
Run a Facebook Contest
Quite often a Facebook contest is the perfect opportunity to engage with and have fun with your customers and followers. A fantastic prize and fun entry rules will ensure that your content is shared amongst your fans and their friends as well.
Some dealers like to do a “share and like” contest to give away gift cards, to gain engagement with followers and those outside of the page to grow exposure.
Use Custom Facebook Tabs
Did you know that you could create custom landing pages right on your Facebook page? A custom Facebook tab allows anyone to create a custom landing page for almost any purpose. Get more email list subscribers, run a Facebook photo contest or direct people to a set up a test drive on the page. A custom Facebook tab has endless opportunities for a dealership.
Video is set to become a majority of the content on Facebook in the near future. With video production tools and cameras inside every cell phone, just about anyone can easily produce video. Video performs especially well with Facebook because it’s quick, entertaining, and easily sharable. Experiment with video for your audience, it could be the boost your content has been looking for. Start off with a video of used vehicles, as that can tell a story about a particular one on the lot. Then do videos on staff profiles, the service department and ultimately video on new models to share with the world.
Broadcasting to the world is no longer a function capable of only large media companies. Anyone can now jump onto Facebook and with a click of a button, broadcast to their automotive fans live. There are many creative ways to use live video. Use it for events, inside looks, Q&As, etc.
Experiment with Facebook Live and start interacting with your audience in real-time.
Post When your Fans are Online
Pay special attention to your Facebook insights to see when the majority of your fans are browsing through Facebook. It is easy to check your tracking to see what day and time your followers are most likely on Facebook. Obviously it can fluctuate based on a number of factors but gives a guideline to work with on a weekly basis for planning posts.
Post and adjust to those times to hit them at just the right moment.
Create Eye-Catching Images to Go with Your Posts
Strong visuals are a powerful tool in the dealership social media marketer’s toolbox. Visuals have the ability to communicate emotion and meaning in just seconds. Including visuals, each post has been proven time and time again to outperform content without visuals. There are times that a question posed to the community can gain great engagement with just text, but images get more on a consistent basis.
Test out Various Media Types
If your content has hit a roadblock and can’t seem to garner much engagement, maybe it’s not the content, maybe it’s the format. One of the things that makes Facebook such a dynamic platform is the media formats it supports.
Video, audio, written, and soon enough, Virtual Reality. There are many formats to experiment with. If you’re finding your content ignored, it may be time to try out video.
A 3,000-word post on a particular model can be a little dry for most marketers out there. But turn that post into a video with a walk-around and that’s a whole different ball game for the content creator and the viewer of the video.
Include a Call to Action
Many social media marketers will post to Facebook expecting a reaction and scratch their heads when it doesn’t happen from the followers. Maybe it’s just because you didn’t simply ask. Don’t expect your fans to know what you want to accomplish.
State explicitly what you’d like them to do by including a call-to-action. “Like this post, if you agree!”, “Share this if you know someone like this” or “Comment with your thoughts” are all examples of Calls to Action that push your fans to engage with the dealership.
Experiment with Emoticons
Emoticons can be included in the visuals bucket as well. They’re great at getting a mood, feeling, or emotion across quickly. Especially for younger or millennial audiences, emoticons add much more emotion and affect to Facebook updates. This can be fun and add great engagement.
If you’re having trouble finding a balance of content to post to your Facebook page, follow the 60-20-20 rule. Post original valuable and engaging content 60 percent of the time. 20 percent of the timeshare content that your fans would be interested in. Then feel free to be sales focused 20 percent of the time.
Let’s all agree that data or original research can sometimes be a snooze fest. Put a fun spin on the data you’ve collected by turning it into an infographic. For example if you want to highlight features of a vehicle – set up an image and show the information graphically on the layout.
This way it will have a higher chance of being engaged with and shared with users.
Share User-Generated Content (UGC)
Let your fans in on the fun. Loyal followers or die-hard fans are always creating content that incorporates the brands they love. Make them feel included by sharing the content they’ve painstakingly created for you. Not only will it make your fans feel important, but it’ll also lighten your workload in the process.
Partner with Influencers and Companies
It never hurts to ask for a little help for the dealership. Partnering with a popular influencer or companies in your market is a tactic that will really get your brand front and center. Depending on the popularity of the influencer or company you might have to pay or offer free products. Calculate if it’s worth the exposure or the number of leads it is expected to generate.
A great example of this could be a local sports team that you can cross-promote each other. Have them wear your logo or web site, and then have an autograph session at the dealership to bring people in and promote the team and dealership at the same time!
There’s no denying that everyone loves a funny reaction GIF. Like emoticons, GIFs are great at communicating a certain emotion or reaction that millennials really identify with. Experiment with GIFs when you post something fun to see if your content receives more engagement at the same time.
Don’t forget the weekends
Just because we have the weekends off doesn’t mean our fans aren’t on Facebook. Using Facebook’s handy scheduling feature you can post a bit of content on the weekends. It’s all about maintaining consistency.
Experiment with some Humor
Humour can be a powerful tool if used in the right way. Humour creates engagement because it’s so universal. A funny GIF, meme, or update creates an emotional connection between the dealership and the reader. Experiment by adding a bit of humor to your updates and see if it resonates with your dealership followers.
Tag Other Accounts
When it comes to partnerships or simple admiration remember to tag the accounts you’re referring to.
It creates a symbiotic relationship. It sends traffic to the other account and develops your relationship. If you’re trying to build a partnership or get someone to notice your dealership, tag them so that they get a heads up.
For example if you are part of a dealer group and like to cross-promote each other – tag the group page, sister dealerships, and other services offered.
Include your dealership in the popular conversation of the day by joining in on the hashtags. Hashtags include and categorize your updates in the larger global conversation. Remember to keep your hashtags specific to your industry or else your updates will get lost in the fold.
Some dealers make up a hashtag that is specific to their location and use that on other social media platforms.
Test content with ads
A dealership that has yet to get a foothold on it’s a most popular type of content can test things out with advertisements. With a few dollars, run a few blog posts ranging in subjects with Facebook ads. See which performs/converts best and continue on in that direction with your ads. Because Facebook targets based on interests, you’ll be able to see what content does best with your target audience.
Poll with Facebook reactions
The new Facebook reactions are a fun way to poll your audience regarding a certain subject. Figure out what the popular opinion is by creating a Facebook reaction poll. Your fans can vote according to the reactions you’ve assigned to each answer.
Respond to comments ASAP
For quite some time now Facebook has been a go-to place for customer feedback and support. Respond as quickly as you can to comments and reviews on your Facebook page.
By doing so your page will get marked with a “replies quickly” marker so that visitors know that you are active. Thus will be more likely to engage with you.
An amazing way to communicate with customers and leads is through Facebook Messenger. People can easily send a message to your dealer by clicking on “Send Message” – including from ads that are running as well.
Also, Messenger can easily be added to your web site – allowing people to interact using chat right on the site – communicating through Facebook. The best part of that is that it is free and easy to set up.
However, a very important part of Messenger is to make sure that you have a process in place for the dealership to communicate with the customers. This may mean having salespeople connected to the account. But I would suggest that there should be managers involved to oversee and monitor the conversations taking place, jumping in when appropriate on behalf of the dealership.
You can set up automatic replies – more on that coming soon!
Share From Instagram
Have a stellar Instagram account for your dealership? Connect it with your Facebook account and share photos from Instagram to your Facebook feed. This way your Facebook fans can follow you on Instagram and vice versa.
Test optimal post length
You’ll see varying opinions on Facebook post length so it’s always best to test what works best for you. Generally, a short Facebook post performs better because people don’t have the attention spans to read a long post BUT there are exceptions. Test, test, test.
Use the Correct Image Dimensions
A blurry, out of focus image is an unforgivable sin these days. Post your visuals to Facebook in the best resolution possible for your fans. A quick Google search will pull up the most recent optimal image resolutions.
Use a social media management tool
If you’re looking to take your social media efforts to the next level, you should consider using a social media management tool. A social media management tool saves you time and headache by organizing everything into one platform for you to diagnose problems, schedule updates, and listen to what your fans are saying.
As part of your self-promotion strategy show off your past client successes. A captivating story of their rise to success can lead to more clients and more interest in what you have to offer.
Offer Facebook exclusive promotions
Make your Facebook fans feel special. Give your audience a reason to follow you on Facebook by offering Facebook exclusive deals and promotions. “Offer only valid for Facebook followers.”
Go behind the scenes
Much of marketing is building a relationship between the brand and the consumer. Social media offers the perfect opportunity to give your fans an inside look at the inner workings of your dealership. Show them what they’re buying into and what your dealership is all about. Behind the scenes, access makes fans feel special and is a powerful tool for strengthening relationships.
Just like any other review platform, encourage your fans to leave honest reviews about their experience. Positive or negative, it provides feedback for you for improvement. Plus, positive reviews are social proof for those on the fence about giving your dealership a try.
Automotive Salespeople using social media to provide value to potential customers by answering questions, responding to comments, and sharing content throughout the buying process – from awareness to consideration until a customer is ready to buy a new or used vehicle.
Social Media Statistics
Just look at the sobering statistics related to social media usage.
Everyone likely has a Facebook friend in the car business. When those in the market see salespeople in their Facebook news feeds, they become more familiar with them.
When they see a car salesperson repeatedly and they’re being genuine, they begin to see them as a friend and begin to really trust that salesperson. Eventually – and perhaps without ever actually meeting them – they see them as their friend in the car business; the one person they’re going to call the next time they need a new vehicle.
Today’s customer wants to find information fast, and they don’t want to come to the dealership to get it. That is where digital marketing and specifically social media come into play.
Dealers need to provide a wealth of data and engaging information to compete for their business.
If you don’t give them the information they are looking for, they will visit another dealership.
While there was once a time that you didn’t need a Facebook page and other social media accounts to compete, that time has long passed as we enter an ever more digital world.
Not only must you have active accounts, but you have to have engaging and valuable content.
Social Selling Defines Brand
With social selling, you get to decide exactly what your brand is and what it is not. Additionally, the more you repeat this brand message, the more it becomes a reality in the minds of prospects.
Strong automotive dealers have defined its brand as a group of honest, hardworking, yet fun salespeople looking to sell a few cars.
They’re community-minded and good people to know if you’re ever looking for a new vehicle. At least that’s what their social posts are saying about them. The dealership brand is exactly what you decide it is when you leverage real social selling.
Social Selling Produces Differentiation
Let’s say you’re a Volkswagen dealer in a highly competitive market. If all you want to do is get down in the mud on price while you spend thousands on Google every month to buy clicks to your website, then social selling is not for you. You believe that a Jetta is a Jetta is a Jetta.
With social selling, you can create differentiation between your brand of Volkswagen Jetta and your competitors’ brands. The trust and familiarity you build separate you from the other dealers in the same market. You still need to be priced competitively, but you no longer have to offer the lowest price every time to win the deal.
Social Selling Drives Buyers
Just as running a great “loss leader” in the Saturday print newspaper once drove ready potential customers to your dealership, so does great social selling today.
Whether you’re an individual salesperson creating your own brand on Social Media or the dealership’s social media manager. The key is building authentic content, stong familiarity, trust, and differentiation you’re creating puts you on the top of some car shoppers’ lists.
This means they’ll visit you first when they’re in the market for a vehicle. Giving you the first (and best) chance to sell them a vehicle.
Social Selling Helps Authenticity
With social selling, you create authenticity in advance of the dealership visit. This means – pay attention – that when someone in your network decides they want a new vehicle, they often come to you first before they spend hours shopping online. Before they find value and relevancy based on the interaction with social media.
They come to that dealership first because they trust. Being authentic. They want that dealership to help them find the right vehicle (relevancy) at a good price (value). In essence, this turns the transaction upside down and allows the dealership to make better grosses because the dealership defined what’s a good value.
Social Selling Next Steps
If you’re a sales manager or dealer principal and you’re spending any time at all trying to decide if social selling makes sense for your dealership or especially for your individual salespeople, the time has come to stop talking about it and start doing it.
If you have the experience and the resources, you are equally capable of creating a social media strategy for your dealership.
But, often working with a professional certainly can help to ensure that you will generate the best results. Meaning, less time spent on testing out different tactics hoping to uncover the one that moves the needle for your dealership.
How do I become a car salesperson with no experience?
As we know the automotive industry is a great way to grow an amazing career. No matter where you are in life, one can jump into the industry and fall in love with everything involved while making some money.
Every day new people join the industry and have been long called “green peas” to highlight their rookie status. While there is often an interview process to become a salesperson in the dealership, people from all walks of life can be successful (or not) selling cars.
Speaking from personal experience when selling cars, it is amazing seeing who can make it and who doesn’t work out in a particular dealership. I have seen people with comedy backgrounds who thought would rock it – become shy and have a tough time with people. Some people with technical knowledge find common ground with folks and do amazing. Of course, there have been people that were musicians and waiters that totally rock the sales process.
When it comes to sales in the automotive industry – one thing that I was told always stuck with me. A veteran that had become a finance manager said: “always be the new guy, being naive can get you far”. It seemed to work that way too – when new always asking questions, talking to sales manager, and being “new” helped with the sales process.
There is almost always training available from dealers when it comes to sales techniques. This could be put on by the dealership, manufacturer or online courses.
When choosing a dealership that you want to apply, look for strong management. They will make all the difference in the process. Leadership will ensure that they work with you to become a great salesperson and have a chance to become successful at selling cars.
While I had been around the industry for a while – when selling cars, literally jumped in after a couple of days learning about the dealership. After about a week hit my stride and started selling a few cars – focusing on floor traffic, phone calls before joining the internet team.
That is where real great opportunities being to roll in. Remember to be yourself during the sales process. People buy cars from other people, so do a great job on email, phone calls and text messages. Most people have done research about vehicles online and the purchase decision is based on real-world relationships.
The age-old question has always been “how do we get more appointments?” to just get them to the dealership. There has always been a thought process of just get them into the dealer, test drives a vehicle, and then have a good shot at selling them – with a turnover to the Sales Manager to close the deal. Times have certainly changed with the digital age – not counting on the recent Coronavirus but in the last few years of digital dealerships.
So with that here are six ways that I think we can look at for getting traffic – digital and in-person to your dealership!
#1 Social Media
Some dealers are still not comfortable with using social media to its full potential. Building trust for a dealership is certainly key in bringing folks to the dealership. One of the best and most relevant ways is to share your “story” on social media. This means building excitement and consistency in messages on social media. The platforms include Facebook, Instagram (including Instagram Stories), Twitter, and even the newest one TikTok.
For example – delivery pictures and having the customer tag themselves when appropriate – get them to share the picture. It is a strong message to have a customer show where they bought a car, what they bought, and by a simple picture of why they purchased from that dealership!
Another idea is to highlight your team members – people buy cars from people…. so doing something to differentiate from other dealerships on why their team should have a chance to earn the customers’ business.
#2 Targeted Email Campaigns
While a lot of dealers conduct mass email blasts to leads that were received or customers that had purchased. But taking it to another level will help drive specific traffic to your web site and in turn dealership. Using email platforms allows you to do custom lists that are generated from the names, interactions, and current status.
A dealership collects leads from various sources, new and used leads, then broken down to specific models.
Using strong email campaigns allows for targeting based on all of these factors. For example, if you have a manufacturer promotion on a particular model then you can target leads that had shown interest in that specific model. Then track the interaction they have with the email – taking it to the next level how they interact with the web site. So put a landing page on a web site with the promotion, a lead form and also track how the viewer goes through the web site – page by page and who they are specifically.
#3 Local Search Engine Optimization
Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimization), sometimes referred to as local search engine marketing, is an incredibly effective way to market your local dealership online. It helps businesses promote their vehicles and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them online in the local market.
This is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which differ greatly from what’s practiced in standard SEO, and some of which are far easier to manage using Local SEO tools and can require specific local Search Engine Optimization services.
Whereas anyone in the world with good enough SEO and authority can rank for a search query like “how to fix a blocked drain”. When the query has much more purchase intent behind it, it becomes “car dealers near me” or “best dealership in [specific location]”.
When building content for the dealership web site focuses on the models sold by the location, along with the local market. That way it helps Google connect that dealership with the models sold in the local market.
#4 Targeted Text Marketing
Text marketing campaigns may seem outdated to some, but they are an invaluable marketing tool for others. Last year, on average 456,000 Twitter tweets were sent every minute of the day. A pretty impressive number, isn’t it?
But it’s a measly looking figure next to the 15.2 million text messages that were sent every minute. And that doesn’t include app to app messaging!
Texting is the most effective direct marketing channel. It has the best engagement rates – and is a lot less annoying than a phone call. The open rate of text messages is as high as 99%, according to some reports. This is much higher than email marketing, which has an average open rate of 32%. Thanks to a lack of spam filter and the fact that people check their phones more obsessively than their email inbox, companies can yield a great return using text marketing campaigns.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you segment your audience so you can send them targeted messages. This way your texts are more likely to be welcomed by your customer and lead to a conversion.
#5 Local Citations
Local citations positively impact local search engine rankings for a dealership. The number of citations a dealer accrues, the accuracy of the data they feature, and the quality of the platforms they exist on all influence rankings. Search engines like Google amass data about each business. If what they encounter is accurate, the search engine trusts the validity of the data, which is believed to strengthen the dealerships’ chance of ranking well. However, if the data search engines encounter is inconsistent, this trust is eroded, lessening ranking opportunities.
Local citations either positively or negatively impact consumers. Accurate citations help people discover a local business, which can result in web, phone, and foot traffic, culminating in sales, and more service department customers. Inaccurate citations, however, can misdirect customers, leading to a loss of reputation and revenue.
#5 Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your dealership name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you, and more.
Google My Business doesn’t just make it easier for customers to find you physically, but digitally too. It can vastly improve your search visibility in Google.
Not to mention, when prospective customers are looking for local businesses, they are generally ready to make a purchase (or at the very least are highly interested in making a purchase).
Folks don’t Google, “dealerships in Toronto” to read a blog about vehicles… they do so because they’re looking for a vehicle and want to hand over their hard-earned money to whoever has the vehicles they are looking for in Toronto.
Add as much information and media as you can, including a dealership profile photo, the market you serve, your dealership hours, attributes (e.g. “wheelchair accessible,” “free wifi”), the day and year you opened, and a public phone number and obviously website URL.
Dealership reviews not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can strengthen a company’s credibility. Dealer reviews have the power to gain customer trust, and they encourage people to interact with the sales and service departments. Customer interaction ultimately leads to improved profits for the dealership.
One of the best ways to encourage future customers to leave positive reviews? Respond to current ones. Not only does leaving an appreciate response show the original reviewer you’re thankful for their support. But it also makes that positive review stand out on your listingand influences people to leave their own reviews.
You should also respond to negative dealership reviews to show you take them seriously and placate the unhappy customer. But make sure you’re extremely courteous — attacking them back will only make you look unprofessional and their review more credible in the eyes of the reader.
I hope that this list helps you with some thought starters on how to drive more digital and foot traffic to your dealership. Tackling all of these can be difficult for sure so take it one step at a time. Obviously, if you need help with any of these subjects or ideas – contact me anytime!
Today we’re talking all about the app TikTok, which launched in 2016, and in 2018 the application gained popularity and became the most downloaded app in the USA.
TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps on the planet allowing users to upload 15-second videos that they can share with the world.
Trends include lip-syncing to an archive of popular songs dancing and collaborations allowing the user to do it with someone by replying to their video.
So look how does it work? Well it’s really simple you just download the app like what you
would any other platform and then create an account you’ll have to come up with some kind of user name. Really no different to Facebook, Instagram, or anything like that.
Watching TikTok Videos
Now once you’re logged in you can instantly start watching everybody’s videos and there are so so many videos on TikTok. This is one of the most random apps you’ll ever see. You open up the app on your phone and then it will take you to a 15-second video and that 15-second video will just loop.
If you swipe up it will take you to the next one, so on and so on and so on. There’s a bit of a lot o when it comes to what you’ll land on when you swipe up because it really could be anything.
What you see on TikTok
Now the more time you spend on the app the more you will tap into the algorithm so
we’ll start to show you videos that are related to stuff that you’ve liked and engaged with.
From an automotive perspective, there is a lot of content added on the platform – will highlight some of the well-done ones on here as well!
But apart from that it really is just a smorgasbord of weird creative amazing bizarre videos I’ve ever come across ok then let’s talk trends so look there are definitely trends on tick-tock and just to name a few there is the Adele trend.
There’s another one when you use a finger gun no lip-syncing is a huge part of tick-tock okay it’s what a lot of people use it for lip-syncing to a song or lip-syncing to a quote from a film.
There are also some really creative people on there are artists, there are people that dance. It’s just a really random app full of really random things so as a consumer there’s plenty of
content for you to sit there and watch.
But as a creator what can we do what kind of videos can we upload to TikTok now they make it incredibly easy to shoot edit and upload a video all within a few minutes.
There’s a huge archive of music to choose from and there are different video effects you can add to your footage but what’s it like to use this app as a Video Creator.
Well, I thought I’d find out now once, so opened an account I thought I’d upload my first video now I put no thought into this just to be really clear I literally uploaded the first video that I found on my phone and within a week of that video had over 50,000 of views.
Which was just insane to me but just as an example let’s compare tick-tock to YouTube okay I upload a 15-second video on my phone and it gets 50,000 views to look at the views on this video as an experiment okay but it’s nowhere near 50,000 views right getting that amount of views is actually really difficult.
I upload a video 15 seconds long which is just hanging around on my phone and I get
50,000 views so with the first video getting so many views are put on experiment and upload some more so in the last week I’ve uploaded six videos and as you can see they’ve had varying degrees of success.
TikTok – Facebook Videos
So my first video as I mentioned did pretty well it got fifty-nine thousand views I then uploaded two more videos that you would have seen on this channel before I used these as Facebookprofile videos they didn’t do very well one only got 567 views the other one got
I then uploaded another video that also did terribly 158 views and then uploaded another one that did pretty well that got over 7,000 views but then I created a video specifically for tick-tock the rest of these videos were just videos that I had sat on my and that video I used one of the trending hashtags it was the finger gun and that got over 23,000 views by being
on tick-tock, for just one week I managed to get there than 93,000 two views which
I’ve got to say I’m really impressed with tick-tock I guess to sum up you could say minimal effort maximum results if you’re looking to get eyes on your content and to grow a following quickly then honestly TikTok could be one of the easiest and quickest ways to do that.
We all know that the last couple of months have been extremely difficult for everybody, including the automotive industry.
Tracking the data that is provided for search from Google, it highlights how there has been a change in priorities for internet users. When you compare the relevant searches between Dealerships and Grocery Stores over the last 60 days or so it tells a story.
Middle of March
When you look at the United States Statistics and the Canadian Statistics they are almost exactly the same for the period. Around the middle of March, there was a switch in priorities for people.
Before dealerships were shown as more important when it came to search activity online. With the current pandemic thought it obviously shows that people were focused on the essential everyday items.
When it comes to automotive marketing it is a tough time for all dealers. Walking a fine line between pushing inventory, models, or manufacturer information and providing updates on the dealership.
The Automotive Future
This will obviously change over time but there is certainly time before anything drastic happens in the automotive industry. Keep an eye on the future, as we get through this pandemic. It will change the industry forever. There will be more focus on digital showrooms for dealers, an online finance process and arranging delivery.
Below you will see visuals of how the last 60 days has been between the two search categories. It starts off with automotive being key and then around the middle of March there was a sudden switch to the grocery industry.
Stick with digital retail and we will get through this on the other side. One highlight is that with digital retailing now when an appointment is set it is more likely that a lead is going to purchase.
For automotive dealers that are saying you’re not yet using SMS marketing and sending text messages to your customers, ouch you are missing out big time.
Let me explain why today I want to open your eyes to one of the most powerful communication technologies available for your dealership text message marketing with an average SMS open rate of 98% compared to 20% for emails.
A 45 percent response rate for SMS compared to only 6% for emails you can see why your dealership absolutely needs to harness automotive text marketing is the perfect complement to your email marketingstrategy.
But the edge of text marketing doesn’t stop at open rates it takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text while it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email that’s because 95% of all text messages are read within three minutes.
Average Read Time
Most on average being read in under five seconds and think about it nobody deletes a text message without reading it now don’t take me wrong I’m not dissing email marketing it is still one of the three most powerful marketing tools to drive traffic and sales for dealerships but SMS marketing is a necessary complement to your email strategy.
This will strengthen some of the inherent weaknesses of an email campaign need an additional kicker to get you onboard with text automotive marketing
This statistic from a digital marketing magazine claiming that 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via text. So, your dealership’s customers want you to send them text messages now. For obvious reasons, the importance of text marketing rides on the coattails of the rising popularity of mobile phones.
Mobile Phone Capabilities
With the growing list of mobile capabilities and functions added to mobile devices daily, you know mobile technology is not something going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact with the meteoric rise of mobile phones, you know most of your customers will have their device in their hands or pockets when you send them your text message.
Which is a marketer dream warning be prepared for some rough replies now if I’m the one hand you have 75% of your customers who would like to get offers by text messages be prepared for some course replies from some members of the other 25% SMS marketing is very personal.
With email, people are used to getting newsletters invoices corporate communications and even some spam in their email inbox but text messages are still mostly used for friends,’ family members, and colleagues.
For this reason, don’t be surprised by some of the harsh replies. You’ll get from some individuals who don’t want your dealership on their phone don’t take it personally and don’t let these few negative voices detract you from your text marketing gameplan. Why would you want to take away from most of your customers something they want because of a few bad apples? Just make sure you always follow the laws and regulations
that are in effect in your dealership area.
Always provide recipients with a way to easily unsubscribe from your distribution list once these people are off your text broadcast list you’ll be left with a captive audience who will embrace your SMS marketing efforts.
Ready to send your first text broadcast? Well, keep it real when creating your text message don’t make the mistake of using a corporate voice as if you were talking to the masses picture one customer in your mind.
Write the text for him or her using simple language just like you would when texting a
friend or family member keep in mind that each text is a hundred and sixty characters long so if your message is longer than 160 characters even by one letter you will be charged for a second credit by your automotive text provider.
I personally like to use the equivalent of two text messages or just under 320
characters I don’t feel that 160 characters or enough to create curiosity communicate.
Call to Action Texts
My call to action and provide the recipients with the ability to unsubscribe just make sure you factor the costs when deciding on the length of the message if your text broadcast
technology allows it you can use merge fields or tokens to personalize your text messages but I haven’t found it improves conversions for our dealers.
What does improve conversions is when you keep it real and stay away from the usual boring corporate tone make sure you also use links to landing pages where people can learn more about the opportunity that you’re communicating just make sure the pages are mobile-friendly and designed specifically for being viewed on phones.
Text marketing and technology when it comes to technology find one that will allow you to manage your unsubscribe lists easily that’s a critical component.
You’ll also want a technology that will allow different members of your team to
respond to people engaging in a conversation. From a cloud-based back-end where your whole team can share it 24/7 you don’t want all those replies going to one single device.
You also want a technology that will allow you to adjust a throttle of your broadcast if you’re sending a few hundred or even a few thousand text messages you want them to
trickle out at a speed that will allow your team members to manage the requests.
Remember most people will respond within seconds I personally like to adjust the throttle to around 25 text messages every 15 minutes you also want a technology that will allow you to adjust your broadcast schedule.
You don’t want to be sending text messages to your customers in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning they will not forgive you I find this sweet spot to be between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and the best response rate to be around lunchtime and right after dinner if you’re using small lists you might also want to look into a text marketing platform.
That provides bot technology this will allow you to automate the dialogue with your prospects in the early stages of the conversation need some help if you require help building your dealerships text marketing strategy.
SEO refers to search engine optimization. It is a process to increase the organic search rankings of a website. There are millions of searches being done online. People search for almost every imaginable thing from how to care for their pets to particular vehicles and services at a dealership.
While searching, people enter some words or phrases in the search box. These are known as keywords or key phrases. A dealership website owner’s aim is to have high rankings for a lot of important keywords related to the site’s niche.
The advantage of high rankings is that you can get thousands of free visitors to your website without spending a dime on advertising. And this traffic will keep coming to your website automatically as long as your site is still ranking high on the search engines.
What’s more – your site will be getting visitors even while you are sleeping, eating or enjoying time with your family.
In order to enjoy all these benefits, we need to optimize our website in a certain way so that it stands a good chance of ranking highly in the search engines. Each search engine is different and gives priority to different factors.
It may be almost impossible to optimize our website keeping all the search engines in mind. Thankfully we don’t have to do so. If we focus on just the top 3-5 search engines, it should be sufficient for us to get thousands of free targeted visitors.
Let us discuss 3 important areas you have to focus on first in order to optimize your website for higher rankings.
Pay Attention to Post Titles
Each automotive webpage has a title. What you place between the title tags is very important from the Automotive SEO point of view.
You should place your most important keywords which you are targeting in the title. The keywords should be placed in the title is such a manner that it should make sense to humans also.
Our webpage titles should appeal to search engines as well as human visitors. If your title is just a bunch of keywords without much sense or appeal, then people will may not click to visit your site even if you have a high ranking in the search engine.
Pay Attention to Header Tags
Header tags are like subtitles of your page. Again, header tags are important from human as well as SEO point of view.
Header tags should also contain your important keywords so that the search engines understand what your page is about. These header tags are also important for human visitors to your website. If someone is just scanning your article, he/she can read through the subtitles to decide whether the article is of their interest and deserves to be read further or not.
Pay Attention to Content
Your articles should be of good quality and useful to the reader. They should serve some purpose.
The article should contain your important keywords written in a natural manner so that it makes complete sense to human readers also. If you write high-quality content and spread your important automotive keywords throughout the content then stand a good chance of impressing the search engines as well as human visitors.
These are the 3 most important parts of your webpage you should pay attention to if you want to gain high search rankings. The benefits of top rankings are immense. So start paying more attention to your blog post titles, subtitles as well as the actual content.
If you do so then you can reap the benefits in terms of good search rankings as well as high conversions from website visitors.
There are many other factors that need your attention in order to improve site rankings, but all efforts should start from here. You should first and foremost try and optimize your content then worry about other factors.
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