It appears that the motor trade is somewhat slower than other business sectors to take advantage of social media, thinking that perhaps it is something for the “youth” and not really seeing the benefits to their business.
They are, it seems also frightened of the potential for bad publicity should they let the genie escape from the bottle. But the reality is the genie popped his cork quite some time ago and social media is here to stay and is growing exponentially. So the truth is car dealers may very well be receiving bad publicity on a daily basis and are just not aware of it.
Ironically the biggest increase in users of Facebook is people in their mid thirties and onwards which shows it’s actually not just for the kids.
Switched on businesses see it is a way of engage with customers old and new and are excited by the prospect of being able to reach a potentially huge market and promoting their brands through instant communication.
We can now instantly post comments via iPhones and Blackberry’s on different and various social media outlets but to some it may still seem like “another world”. One colleague reckons his teenage daughters post messages and pictures whilst they are still in the process of doing other things, whilst he stares on incredulously. But that in itself tells us that to the teenagers of today (i.e. the car buyers of tomorrow) social networking is second nature. It may also tell us something about females and multi-tasking but that’s probably for another time.
The reality is that not many dealers or car makers are particularly good or active in their use of social media and, dare I say it probably don’t understand what it is all about. The motor trade as a whole is notorious for the “this is the way we’ve always done it” mentality but that may all be about to change.
There are companies springing up now which offer business the opportunity to monitor all social media networks for mention of their company. This gives them the opportunity to capitalize on good publicity or deal head on with a disgruntled customer who is letting everyone know how ticked off they are.
Once the majority realise how important and what a great source of obtaining publicity it is then light bulbs will be pinging on above people’s heads throughout the business. When they cotton on to the fact that it provides the ability to promote special offers and great deals very inexpensively often with instant feedback there will be a sea change in outlook.
As one colleague recently exclaimed; “the timing is uncertain but the outcome is beyond question!”