Automakers and Dealers Driven to Social Media and Marketing

Car dealers and makers are always looking to drive up sales, and marketing and social media are two key components of that.

so_meMarketing that focuses on providing customers with both useful information and an engaging experience is key to boosting car sales.

According to research firm Autodata, automakers sold 1.55 million vehicles in March of this year, a slightly larger figure than at the same time last year; there is a little growth in the auto industry, but there is room for improvement.

So, how can carefully-crafted marketing and social media campaigns to engage customers?

Getting Customers Involved

As a marketing channel, social media is less of a soapbox and more of a conversation piece.

Customers are looking to interact with their favorite brands. Some automakers have been adding the “social” into social media with their market campaigns.

Take Citroen for example. Facebook followers were able to be part of the design team for Citroen’s upcoming C1 Connexion, using an app that allowed them to tweak the specifications of the car. With more than 24,000 versions of the car submitted, the campaign boosted Citroen’s social media engagement.

The popular UK-based Mini got in on the action by giving mini owners the chance to see their cars on digital billboards around the country.

Customers uploaded their images to Mini’s dedicated Tumblr hub, or by using Twitter hashtags. The campaign boosted both social media followers and sales for the brand.

Adding Visual Appeal

As the article “What Cars Are the Cheapest to Own?” points out, when deciding to buy a car, there are lots of budget-related and other practical factors to consider.

But for grabbing a customer’s interest and hopefully kicking off a series of events that will lead to a sale, automakers need good visual appeal, and Ford uses social media to achieve this beautifully.

Ford’s social media content includes witty and attention-grabbing Vine videos, Tumblr posts crafted to appeal to the younger demographic of their audience, and artful Instagram pictures that make you want to jump in and drive.

It all adds up to social media marketing that stays new and interesting post after post.

Making the Most of Different Channels

Car companies have a wide-range of marketing and social media channels available to them these days, giving them the opportunity to reach out to customers in different ways and hone their content for each channel to best suit the audience.

For automakers, this means there is more than one way to get their message across.

Honda put this to good use with Honda Stage, a dedicated YouTube channel and associated concert tour that showcased and supported musicians, while forming good connections with young followers and building a strong database of leads.

Automakers can also use their websites and blogs to promote high quality content.

Toyota and Mazda have turned the concept of blog content into vividly colored and visually appealing online magazines, where readers can browse interesting articles and connect with the larger community of Toyota and Mazda owners worldwide.

Building Trust with Customers

Social media is great for car dealerships, too.

There are a lot of jokes out there about car salesman. Social media is a fantastic tool for breaking the tired old stereotypes and providing customers with high quality content that helps build a relationship of trust.

Subaru dealer Subaru of Wichita uses their Facebook page to get their followers engaged. From asking questions of their followers to discussing pop culture, Subaru of Wichita makes sure their Facebook page is part of building a connection.

Frank Myers Auto Maxx in Salem keeps their followers interested with a range of content that matches their fun, friendly and knowledgeable personality.

From useful hints and tips on car maintenance and ownership, to humorous quotes and shareable giveaways, Frank Myers uses social media to keep customers interested in their brand.

For automakers and dealers everywhere, social media and online marketing provide a versatile method for driving brand awareness and building customer loyalty.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including branding, inbound marketing, and how to use social media to drive sales.

Apps Make Drive to New Cars Smoother

If you’re in the market for a new car, there are a number of apps that can help put you in the driver’s seat. Both buyers and sellers are using mobile apps to assist them in the new car negotiating process.

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When it comes to automobiles, here are just a few ways apps are making it easier to find and buy a new car:

Apps in the Fast Lane

Shopping for a new car can sometimes be a hassle, especially if you’re looking for the best possible price around. Luckily, mobile apps are taking all of the price comparing and dealership research out of the equation.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new car from a local dealership or an online dealer, downloading the right app can help you find the exact car you’re looking for from the comfort of your own mobile device.

In fact, car-buying apps are becoming so helpful that dealerships are even using them to stay ahead of the competition.

Negotiating Prices

As the following article shows, when you’re ready to negotiate the price of a new car, it’s helpful to know the vehicle’s true market value. Mobile apps like the official Kelly Blue Book app lists and compare the MSRP of just about every new car on the market.

Using this app will help you negotiate a better price, which definitely comes in handy when local dealerships tack on unnecessary fees to their inventory. Dealers are also using the Kelly Blue Book app to keep their MSRPs within the manufacturer’s recommended price range.

Comparing Dealers

Chances are you’ll make your new car purchase at a local dealership in order to make the process smooth and convenient. Before you choose a dealership or manufacturer, you can use the Edmunds app to make sure you’re getting the best possible price in your area.

The Edmunds app can quickly compare the car’s true market value with all of the dealerships in your area based on manufacturer. You can also use the app to find dealerships within a certain distance of your home and compare prices between those dealerships.

The app also lists current local sales of certain models, so you can find out which dealerships are willing to lower their price before you walk on the lot. This feature is equally helpful for dealerships looking to keep their prices competitive.

Car Buying 101

Knowing the ins and outs of a new car is an important part of the car buying process, which is where the AAA Auto Buying Tools app comes in to play.

With the AAA app, you can read reviews, check out the specs, peruse through the safety features, and even find out how much your monthly payments will be with any new car on the market.

Online Purchases

If the car you’re looking for isn’t in your area, you may have to turn to the Internet to buy your new car. The eBay Motors app makes it easy to search for the exact new car you’re looking based on make, model, and distance from your home.

Many dealerships are turning to eBay to list their new inventory because it takes their inventories from the local to national spotlight. You can follow new car auctions using the eBay Motors app and even place bids directly from your mobile device.

When you’re ready to get behind the wheel of a new car, keep in mind the helpful apps above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including technology and car buying.