For Immediate Release
February 1, 2013
2013 – Car Dealer Resolutions:
6 Ways to More Fully Engage Women Car Buyers through Social Media
PITTSBURGH, PA- Women-Drivers.comAccording to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, two-thirds of all economic activity in our country is now influenced by shared opinions about a product, brand or service. That number is much higher within the automotive industry. Furthermore, over 50% of car buyers are women who shop online before ever visiting the dealership.
This year, dealers are making New Year’s resolutions to equip themselves with the knowledge they need to attract women car buyers through social media. But knowing doesn’t always make the difference, does it? We all know how to lose weight, but that doesn’t mean that we follow through. Women don’t turn exclusively to traditional media for information on buying decisions anymore. They get their product recommendations from peers and others through online sources and sites, and comparison shop at dealer websites and internet departments. .
Here are six effective ways dealers can use social media to attract this powerful buying segment.
#1. Create a powerful, interactive online presence.
If you don’t have a compelling online presence, you are losing business. Car sales can originate from internet leads, particularly from women car buyers. If your website is not attractive and doesn’t have good content, they will assume your dealership is bad and your competition is only a click away.
Ensure your auto-emails are personalized and have a link or two that pertains to something that will assist a woman buyer – above and beyond an image of the car and a standard quote. How about an article on interest rates or, how to lower car insurance or the latest safety and technology gadgets to keep her family safe? Have it be pertinent to her.
#2. Create positive associations and increase traffic.
Social media allows you to attract and maintain an audience of women car buyers who want to interact with you. Have active Facebook and Twitter channels with posts that are of value to her. Don’t always make it about the car; she buys a car only every 4 – 5 years on average. Remember WIIFT? What’ In It for Them. Once you have an audience that is engaged and listening, you can drive them to your website. Boost your brand reputation and SEO with reviews, reviews, reviews.
#3. Connect with your customers.
Women car buyers visit dealer websites based on the on-line recommendations of others. They also post reviews in great numbers and like to share information with others about your salespeople, customer service, and the value you offer. Connect with them and respond to the information shared. Never have a review go un-thanked or un-engaged. After all, customers want to be acknowledged.
Some women need a nudge – offer them a service coupon or discount for writing a review.
#4. Use social media to turn one-time women car buyers into repeat buyers.
Sound too good to be true? Farfetched? Right now it may.
Many dealerships have 20,000 customers in their database and 342 friends on Facebook – quite a disconnect. Target, Dove and Playtex don’t have this problem; after all it comes down to engaging content that women find valuable. It’s no secret that women as a whole have not been engaged by car dealerships before, so this remains a huge opportunity. Work with experts to put a strategy in place, and, unlike going to the MAC machine and getting cash, this is a much slower, steady and continuous marketing process.
#5. Listen intently to your customers.
Think of social media as a way to keep your dealership top of mind while hearing what your customers are saying (or, not saying). Women buyers want to talk to dealers directly and be heard. Directly, doesn’t translate to face to face with all; frequently this is done on review sites or email. Responding is key - look for opportunities to turn a (bad) review into a higher scoring one.
#6. Get Over It
In speaking with a dealer principal of a large, metropolitan Ford dealership last week, I asked him where was his dealer’s Facebook page – I had Googled it and nothing appeared. His response? “I don’t believe in Facebook. And we don’t have one and we are not going to have one.”
With Facebook recently hitting a billion members, I chuckled to myself. Sometimes in life, we need to get beyond our own point of view. A wise coach of mine told me years ago “Arrogance is thinking that the awesome mystery of life and business can be seen by just one point of view – your own.”
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