Social Media Recess is Over. It's Time to Get to Class.

Are you still waiting for the Social Media fad to blow over? It's crazy but many dealers and other small businesses are lagging behind in the Social marketing game. Cars.com issued a study recently saying that 46% of Social Media users have shared their recommendation for a dealership. 41% say they saw a post that caused them to rethink their purchase decision. Do you really want to be missing out on nearly 50% of potential business? I wrote a … [Read more...]

Who Else Wants a Stellar Online Reputation?

Last week I blogged about Social Media assassins and how to diffuse the situation when your online reputation is at stake.  I had a lot of people comment back to me saying, "But what about those that you just can't please?  So now we should make everyone a VIP?"  In a sense, yes.  It's just a matter of how you define a VIP.  When conflict arises, I agree it's hard to keep your cool.  Your customer's angry so naturally the exchange becomes … [Read more...]

2 Vital Ingredients to Online Reputation Success

Do you feel like your being held hostage by online ratings sites?  Dealers are very concerned about their online reputation and consider those ratings an integral part of their marketing.  When I'm asked to assess a dealer's online presence, very often I find their online reviews are negative and not consistent with the actual customer experience that happens at their store everyday. Why is it that dealers and other businesses have such … [Read more...]

10 Steps to Stellar Dealership Online Ratings

Online ratings are killing some dealerships.  This fact is what got me into Social Media for dealers in the first place.  2 years ago I sat down on my couch one night and conducted a short market study.  I picked a high-line brand that I know well and looked up all their 50 California dealers on Yelp.  I nearly fell off the couch.  All but 4 stores had horrible reviews.  Some of these stores were run by great operators, people who were my … [Read more...]

5 Tips to Get Started on Facebook for Car Salespeople

If you're a car salesperson, you need Social Media. You need an online network just like you do your customer list. You need referrals through word-of-mouth because you know those relationships are the most profitable.  Getting started may seem overwhelming because you most likely view Facebook as something your "kids do for fun".  Well, it's a lot more than that--you can generate leads online.  That's right: You can sell cars on Social … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Remarkable Dealership Video Testimonials

A recommendation from someone else still remains the most-trusted source of information to help buyers when deciding to purchase a vehicle.  They reach out to their network on Social Media, they visit Yelp and other review sites and they eventually land on your dealership’s website.  They come to your site to peruse your inventory and maybe even chat online to negotiate a deal.  It’s pretty powerful to see and hear your loyal happy customers’ … [Read more...]

5 Reasons Dealerships Need a Social Media Manager

Car dealers in Southern California (and probably everywhere else) are asking themselves whether or not they need a Social Media manager. Many are noticing the popularity of Social networks and it was all the rage at NADA2011. The problem is they don't know who, how, why, when or where to start. I wrote in a post a while back that dealers are on Social Media...even if they aren't. Right now, your customers are out there reading/writing reviews, … [Read more...]

3 Myths of The 2011 Dealership Sales Department

"In a few years, auto dealerships will ONLY need Internet Sales Depts. The ground is shifting guys, get on the program." That was my recent post on my Facebook wall and Twitter and, as I had hoped, it started some conversations.  My strategy was inspired by Automotive News writer Donna Harris' article All hands should be ready to handle internet leads. We need to have this conversation guys because our business model is outdated.  Many respected … [Read more...]

Top 6 Dealership Social Media Predictions for 2011

As I sit down to write this post, I'm reminded of a situation where I once had to break the news to the owner of a dealership that he needed $1 million cash infusion to keep his store running. He'd been doing things the same way for years and it cost him dearly. The signs of demise were always there, predictions were made, but he chose not to act. It's a similar story with Social Media and online reputations for dealerships today. Doing things … [Read more...]

Speaking Fluent Social Media

My first job in the car business was working for this crazy family who owned 2 dealerships.  The patriarch of the family had immigrated from Europe and loved talking to his customers.  He would turn on the "Swiss Country Gentleman" shtick and they would eat it up like ugly girls asked to the Prom.  He even had commercials on late-night local TV using the same persona telling everyone that "Our salesmen don't work on commission".  This brought a … [Read more...]