Dealership Advertising Budgets Should Include Automotive Social Media Marketing

With the rapidly emerging predominance of User Generated Content (UGC) activity on Social Networks, photo and video hosting sites, and various types of blogs as a percentage of total consumer online activity, it would seem to be only a matter of time before car dealers realize the necessity of creating online dealership communities made up of members who contribute to site content, dialogue and the exchange of information and assets. Despite the low cost, and even no cost access to various Web 2.0 User Generated Content sites and resources that all dealers have access to, there are costs involved to do it right, and there is a lot of time consuming work to get it right. Let’s face it, nobody works for free and neither do people asked to get a dealership social marketing strategy off the ground and put into place… And then there is maintenance. The fact is, conventional old school advertising campaigns don’t engage people any more, they just interrupt whatever customers are doing and at most, if done really right, they entertain customers. By approaching the tactical implementation of a social marketing strategy with a relatively small monthly budget, dealers can:
1. Have a dedicated URL that enhances SEO for their Dealership Community
2. Remove advertising on their Community site and use the space for their own ads
3. Enroll in a Dealer Review program and use filtered content widgets and RSS feeds for Reputation Management
4. Sponsor various contests and awards to encourage customers to actively participate in the dealer’s community
5. Use Search Advertising to attract customers and drive dealership community enrollment
7. Sponsor various events and club activities that are announced on the dealer’s community site

From what I have seen so far, the most successful dealership UGC communities will attract and engage a healthy mix of existing dealership customers, dealership employees, dealership suppliers, OEM field staff and prospective dealership customers from various sources of traffic. I will use this article to display a list of dealership community sites that I believe best represent this emerging form of online customer relationship and reputation management. As time goes on, my intent is to keep this article updated with the addition of more dealership Web 2.0 UGC community sites as they are created and I find out about them.

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)

Check out the following dealership created online UGC communities based on Web 2.0 site platforms… The recently created Automotive Avenues Dealership Community was was built by an ADP Digital Advertising team Marketing Analyst, Tom DiSanto:

1. Ford-Community.com
2. SandersonCommunity.com
3. San-Tan-Ford.com
4. TysingerCommunity.ning.com
5. Beck Toyota Scion Community at BeckToyota.ning.com
6. The Upstate Honda Enthusiast Community – Breakaway Honda; Greenville, SC
7. The Boston Cadillac Community created by ADM Professional Chris Fousek
8. My Jeep Community at MyJeepCommunity.com from Westbury Jeep in Westbury, NY
9. The Boston Honda Community at HondaGallery.ning.com created for Honda Gallery of North Reading, MA.
10. The Acton Toyota Community is a great example of getting dealership employees to participate.
11. ADM’s very own Amy Rothenberger has created an exceptionally well designed Mazda Community site.
12. A new Online Automotive Community at www.FordCommunity.com is from Rich Ford of Albuquerque.
13. Check out www.MyDubSpace.com created by ADM’s own Ken Nix!
14. Check out the 7 Store Kenny Ross Auto Group Community at www.KennyRossCommunity.com which is set up with all the optional Ning Premium Services including ownership of the Advertising space and revenue stream.
15. Gallery Honda in North Reading, MA: www.Boston-Honda.com
16. Gallery BMW stores of Norwood and Norwell, MA: www.Boston-BMW.com
17. Gallery Volkswagen of Norwood, MA: www.Boston-Volkswagen.com
18. Gallery Mazda of Norwood, MA; www.Boston-Mazda.com
19. The Automotive Avenues Credit Union affiliated dealership in Denver, CO; www.Automotive-Avenues.com
20. The Ancira Auto Group in San Antonio, TX is one of the most successful dealer groups in America to embrace Social Media Marketing and Reputation Management, in addition to over 100 social network profiles and blogs, their core online community is at www.AnciraCommunity.com with over 200 active employees participating!

Non-Animated Versions of Advertisements used by Automotive Avenues to Drive Community Enrollment:

MyDubSpace.com is an online social network of new and classic Volkswagen, Owners and Enthusiasts.


The Tysinger Auto Group Community in Virginia Beach, VA

The Tysinger Community site is very impressive. Richard set it up for his dealership’s customers, employees and suppliers… There are so few people that really understand the value in creating an online dealership community when it is not just to sell, sell, sell today! I know that Tysinger’s customers, the dealership employees and the suppliers that the Tysinger stores use will appreciate the work on Richard’s part.

It would be great if Richard would publish on ADM anything that he sees or notices in regards to making a dealership Web 2.0 type site work or not work… I will participate as much as I can, and will be sure to let anyone in Tysinger’s area know about their dealership community, and their efforts at carving out a new customer relationship development and management model…

For the SandersonCommunity.com site, I downloaded about 10,000 names and email addresses from their ILM, then uploaded them into the Ning invite system and sent them out… If I had to do it over again, I would have broken up those 10,000 emails into 10 separate files and spaced out the invitations at 1,000 per week for 10 weeks.

The Ford-Community.com site is one of the better examples I have yet seen of a dealer leveraging the power of DealerRater.com’s customer review data feed that pushes positive reviews to dealer designated websites… Perfect for the Web 2.0/UGC applications such as a dealer community built on the Ning platform.

Other great examples of Reputation Management by Car Dealers using DealerRater.com Certified Dealer Tools within their community site include the New York metro based Westbury Jeep’s www.MyJeepCommunity.com and the Automotive Avenues Credit Union vehicle sales dealership in Denver at www.Automotive-Avenues.com

Wendell Dossett is an active ADM Professional who has created an online community for his dealership’s customers, employees and suppliers. The Beck Toyota Scion Community is one of many newer dealership sponsored communities and holds a ton of promise, especially given the social networking characteristics of the typical Scion owner… We are looking forward to hearing from Wendell about what works and what doesn’t with this new genre of dealership website.

To learn more about the Automotive Social Marketing and Reputation Management Solutions from the ADP Digital Marketing Team please complete the online form available by clicking on the image below:



THIS ARTICLE WILL BE UPDATED PERIODICALLY WITH ADDITIONAL DEALER COMMUNITY WEB 2.0 SITES ADDED TO THE LIST ABOVE

Find more videos like this on Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)


About Ralph Paglia

Ralph Paglia; President of ADM Consulting, LLC former Vice President - Digital at Tier10 Marketing. Director - Digital Marketing at ADP Dealer Services from 2007 through end of 2010 where he was responsible for industry vertical thought leadership and solution creation while establishing new ADP digital marketing solutions. For many years, Ralph has created automotive marketing business models that support business revenue growth and generate shareholder value, while building a network of relationships and partnerships resulting in alliances that support revenue growth.

Posted on January 4, 2010, in Automotive, Automotive Digital Marketing, Automotive Professionals, Automotive Social, Automotive Social Marketing, Car Dealers, Reputation Management, Social Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Suppliers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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