Social media is becoming increasingly important for all industries, including the automotive world. And both customers and dealerships alike are flocking to social media to connect, research and market. In fact, Ally Auto released a great social media guide in a recent Automotive News issue surveying the current state of social media as it pertains to the dealership community. It highlights intriguing statistics, best practices, answers to commonly asked questions about social media and first-hand stories.

In the guide, Kass Dawson, head of automotive for Facebook, wraps it up accurately: “The framework of how much information people have access to now, and how they can get opinions has changed the way people shop for and buy things—especially cars.”

The proof is in the numbers. According to the report:

  • 95% of vehicle shoppers start their research online, and 37% of car shopping begins on social media
  • 73% of customers consulted online dealership reviews
  • Posting videos resulted in a 55% increase in website visits
  • There were 10 million individual mentions of buying a car on Twitter last year alone

And whether your dealership’s social media presence is established or you’re ready to get started, here are a few great best practices from the guide to keep in mind:

  • Listen to your customers, and look for opportunities to join the conversation.
  • Ensure your social media leader understands customer service principles and is either approved to talk on behalf of the dealership or is directly connected to someone who is; don’t leave your social media to the intern.
  • Turn your employees into social media advocates. Educate customer service representatives to be on the lookout for employees doing great things for customers, and share those stories.

If you want to read more of the report, you can find it here.