It’s no secret that car dealers are always seeking out new and creative ways to drive sales.

During my conversations with customers on this topic, social media is often mentioned as one of the many tools in the toolbox used by dealers to help connect with their buyers and move more inventory. Unfortunately, most dealers are diving right in without a plan in place. They know their dealership should be on sites like Facebook and Twitter, but are unclear as to how they can maximize their presence, create value and generate more customers.

Thankfully, there are a number of great resources available to dealers to help them make the most of their social media program. I recently came across an Automotive News Power Training webinar titled “30 Tips in 30 Minutes: Using Social Media to Sell More Cars.” In just half an hour, I learned some simple and helpful tactics that dealers could use to help improve their social media strategies and boost sales over time.

Here are just a few of the tips shared in the webinar:

  • Know what your prospects see when they view your business online. Assign someone on your team to regularly search for your dealership on search engines like Google and document what people are saying on sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google Reviews, blogs and YouTube. That way, you know what a car shopper’s perception of your dealership is before they even set foot in the door.
  • Encourage positive reviews. Once the sale is complete, providing a good follow-up “ask” is very important. Give customers the opportunity to take a quick, simple survey with clear instructions on how to submit their feedback. Even better, offer them an appropriate incentive to share their opinion with you. Ask their permission if you can share positive reviews on your public webpages and social media sites.
  • Include social media in your monthly advertising plan. While social networks are free to join, investing in your program can create additional value. Social advertising can be a very cost-effective and visual way to share your dealership’s current offers while reaching new customers in your target geographic area.
  • Share a blend of content. Customers don’t want to be “marketed at” with every single post, so share interesting content from OEMs such as videos, historic moments or photos. Also consider highlighting your dealership’s work culture, community involvement or share photos of happy customers with their new cars. But remember to integrate deals into your content mix – that’s what customers want the most.

With 45% of car buyers reporting that social media, including dealership review sites, were more helpful or as helpful as dealership’s website, it’s important to get smart on all things “social.”

If you’re interested in viewing the webinar, you can register here.