Social Media is Just Relationship Building
by Adam Boalt
Founder & President of GOSO
hen I was invited to around your dealership is the
write an article for the first thing that pops into a cus-
Texas Independent tomer’s mind.
Automobile Dealers Association I The initial step in building
was told to be straightforward, this relationship is gaining
because the association members permission. Social media is
would be able to see through me a permission-based marketing.
mile away. Just because you have permis-
Our company’s Marketing sion to interact with customers
Strategist is from Amarillo, Texas, doesn’t mean you have to sell
and he’s the same way. He wants to them. If you do they will
to get straight to the point and get stop following you, but say
there fast. So I’m going to take a the right things and not only
lesson from the Texans and lay my will they continue to follow
cards out on the table. you, they’ll recommend you to
The funny thing is car dealers their friends.
are already using social media Whenever you sell a car ask Do you guys still have that blue ‘03
practices. A good salesperson your customer to follow you on Alero on your lot? I called sales a
knows you can’t pressure some- Facebook or Twitter to receive while back but no one called me.
one into buying a car. If you important information about their The dealership responded:
pounce too hard and too fast new car. This information should Give us a call at (***) ***-****, ask for
you’ll scare them away. Social be everything useful to a new car Joe and I can help you out with any
media is the same way. owner: questions you have. I’ll be expecting
The emphasis must always be Recall information your call.
on the social aspect. Social media Service specials and coupons This is someone that fell
is about building relationships so Referral incentive program through the cracks in the sales
that when the buying cycle comes information department but found another
Owner training classes route through Twitter. If this per-
Warranty information son buys from that dealership, the
Tips on how to take care word of mouth referral will be
of their car something like this:
That’s all information new The sales department didn’t call me
car owners want to know back but when I tweeted them, they
about. If you can maintain a responded quickly.
relationship with the people Social media can be an effective
you’ve already sold to, they’ll backstop for your existing sales
likely return to you when they structure.
need their next car, and refer All of these are the obvious uses
their friends to you. but as dealers post information,
you have to make sure that social
Social Media in Action is still on your mind. Dealers must
Here’s an example of an always remember that you’re a
actual Twitter message from a part of a community. So talk.
buyer to a dealer:
34 TIADA DEALER March 2010
About what? tomer’s are. So it seems pretty access to tools and information
Anything important to your clear that we should be there too,” that they didn’t have years ago.
community. I hear high school said Zack Butler, Online The power has shifted.
football is big in Texas. So talk Marketing Manager at Seth The conversation about your
about Friday’s game. Talk about Wadley Ford in Oklahoma. brand and your dealership is
the weather. Post links to commu- Seth Wadley Ford has been in already happening online. The
nity events. Anything, just talk to the social media game for a couple question is: do you want to be a
your community. years now and the reason they part of that conversation?
will be successful is because As I was told to shoot straight,
Dealers must they understand one thing
about social media - it is not a
I’m telling you to do the same
with your customers. The modern
always remember quick and easy fix.
Social media takes commit-
consumer is growing weary of
being sold to. They can see right
that you’re a part ment and time. The ROI of
direct response marketing is
through any marketing plan out
there. But if dealers remember that
of a community. dropping daily while referral they are a part of a community,
based marketing increases. then you’ll find that the customer
It’s important to understand Two thirds of automotive sales are will be responsive and
that social media is here to stay. A referral based. Social media is the you will sell some auto-
lot of people hope that it fades epitome of word of mouth market- mobiles.
away and fades away fast but it ing, but the key to social media is
won’t. Automotive dealers around again, relationships.
the country are beginning to see Automotive dealers are tough Adam Boalt is founder and President of GOSO, a social
this. salesmen but the Internet is giving media suite of tools and services designed for the auto-
motive industry. Interested parties may learn more at
“Social media shouldn’t be customers a voice that they have www.goso.com or by calling 877.311.GOSO (4676).
ignored. That’s where our cus- never had before. Consumers have
March 2010 TIADA DEALER 35