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Does Facebook Marketing Really Boost a Dealership’s Sales?

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by credit

Volkswagen’s Little Darth Vader and Ford’s Ryan Seacrest are automotive advertisement icons which made the two car makers’ promotion viral in and through the social media. These show that car makers and dealerships have been using social media to promote their brand and are expecting a rise in their sales through it.

It does not need statistics to tell that Facebook has been a popular marketing tool in the automotive industry. Obviously, more and more dealers realize its potential and efficiency in helping their business grow. However, social media experts and Facebook itself have a different view about the social networking site as a marketing tool.

In a report, the manager of Facebook’s global marketing solutions, Doug Simpson, said that Facebook should only be used as a branding tool rather than for retailing. Facebook is an effective tool for engaging customers which would result in word of mouth and recommendations which other forms of advertising cannot achieve, according to Simpson.

Moreover, he also said that Facebook is a useful source of data for dealers because through it, they would know about consumers’ behavior in the said social networking site. This will allow them to produce more relevant and effective content in their pages. However, Facebook isn’t also sure if using the social networking site for dealership marketing and sales efforts will indeed bring more sales to dealerships.

Meanwhile, the report also includes a Ford dealer’s opinion about Facebook as a marketing tool. For him, it is simply a place where “vehicle owners and friends can be heard.” Car dealers may be indeed successful in attracting prospects but turning them into auto dealer leads and then into sales, eventually, appears to be the greater challenge.

However, a recent report from Ad Age showed that a large number of car makers in 2011 have turned to newer forms of advertising, including social media. It shows that car dealers haven’t pulled out their sales tactics in social networking sites such as Facebook, despite others’ opinions on how it should be used in marketing, as they continue to see its sales potential.

Dealers use features of Facebook such as fan pages, ads, and wall posts to promote their brand, products, and services. Social networking sites are effective in establishing connections and building relationships with auto dealer leads. These are also places where dealers can build an image of trust and credibility for themselves.

In the final analysis, there exist two obvious facts: (1) Not all users who would like a dealership Facebook page will purchase from it and, (2) there are quite a good number of dealership stories where a social media campaign triggered an influx of sales. Facebook has indeed been a popular and effective marketing tool across industries. However, its role in increasing a dealership’s sales perhaps still needs to be looked at.

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