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Facebook: What Days of the Week Work Best for Car Dealers? – Automotive Marketing

Facebook: What Days of the Week Work Best for Car Dealers?

Facebook Post Timing: Which Days of the Week Have the Best Engagement Rate Potential for Automotive Marketers?

Car Dealers and Automotive Marketing Professionals are less likely to post on Facebook on the weekend, and that seems like it might be a good decision, according to new study from Socialbakers…  
The research is based on an analysis of almost 2.9 million Facebook posts from 23,000 business and brand pages over a 2-month period. The researchers looked at the percentage of posts that were created on each day of the week, then looked at each day’s “engagement rate potential.”

Here’s how the researchers determined engagement rate potential (contrary to some press reports, the figures do not reflect actual engagement rates):

“Socialbakers first looked at the 4,000 most engaging posts from the analyzed sample. Then, to calculate Monday’s engagement rate potential, for example, they calculated the number of those top posts that were created on a Monday and then divided that number by the total number of posts published on Mondays. They repeated that calculation for each day of the week, and then made the resulting percentages relative to each other. (In so doing, they controlled for the variances in number of posts created on each day of the week.)”

Monday emerges as the best performer, with its relative percentage at 7.1%. What that means, then, is that posts created on Monday were 7.1% more likely to rank among the top posts than the average post created on any single day. (Alternatively: the share of posts created on Mondays making it into the top posts by engagement rate was 7.1% higher than the overall share.) By contrast, Saturday (-12.1%) and Sunday (-5.3%) were the worst performers.

 

So are automotive consumers less engaged on the weekend? Or is it that dealers and their social media marketing service providers are not only posting less on the weekends, but are also updating less engaging content?

While it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from the data, the study provides an interesting glimpse into potential opportunities. It also raises other questions, too: Are car dealers, businesses and brands not exploiting opportunities on the weekend, or are they right to be focusing more on posting during the week?

In an earlier study that looked at Twitter, Socialbakers found that Saturdays had the highest relative engagement rate (engagement rate relative to entire sample of tweets). Last year, research from Buddy Media indicated that brands’ tweets enjoyed higher engagement rates on the weekend.

It’s worth noting that the researchers do offer the requisite disclaimers: results likely differ by industry, market, nature of product or service, audience demographics, and season of the year. (The same caution needs to be applied to questions of email timing.)

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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TrueCar Sponsors Ten Full Ride AutoCon 2013 Scholarships – AutoConnections Conference and Exposition

 

AutoCon 2013 Announces a Special Program Sponsored by TrueCar to Award Ten “Full Ride Scholarships” for Dealership Managers to Attend AutoCon 2013*

Automotive Media Partners, LLC is proud to announce the creation of a “Full Ride Scholarship*” program sponsored by TrueCar of Santa Monica, California.  TrueCar’s pioneering sponsorship of this program provides the funds to cover the costs of transportation to and from Las Vegas, lodging at the Aria Resort and full AutoCon conference registration. 

One of the most surprising aspects of TrueCar’s sponsorship is that the company has funded ten (10) AutoCon “Full Ride Scholarships*”.  Ten automotive professionals will receive the educational, networking, inspiration and innovation benefits from attending the 2013 AutoConnections Conference and Exposition at no out of pocket expense for travel, meals during the event or conference fees to themselves or their dealerships. 

  

The TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship Program is further evidence of the remarkable transformation that has taken place at TrueCar since the beginning of 2012. After receiving a remarkable level of criticism within the auto industry during the second half of 2011, TrueCar has evolved and revised their automotive purchasing programs for consumers and affiliated corporations to be far more dealer friendly.  TrueCar’s objectives supported by these changes have included raising dealer profit margins to levels that provide more room for dealers to cover facility costs and the staffing levels needed to properly service new vehicle buyers sent to them by TrueCar.   


TrueCar understands and recognizes the need for ongoing training and thought leadership within the ranks of the retail automotive industry. 

Their management team has decided that one of the best ways to demonstrate this commitment to betterment of the industry is to commit the funds necessary to support independent dealer focused educational events such as AutoCon 2013. 

 

TrueCar executives Bernie Brenner and Mike Timmons approached the founders of the Automotive Digital Marketing and dealerElite professional communities, Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno and Mike Myers because these online networks have served as “Ground Zero” for some of the industry’s harshest criticism of TrueCar in the recent past.  

Surprising for a company as large as TrueCar is, their management team has reviewed the criticism published by members of the ADM and DealerELITE networks and taken corrective actions, changed their business models and worked with State dealer associations to create vehicle purchase programs that make sense for participating dealers. 

How will the TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships be Awarded?

TrueCar has asked that the AutoConnections Conference Management Team take full control and responsibility for ensuring that the 10 Full Ride Scholarships be awarded based on merit and need.  Criteria will include a wide geographic representation by selecting automotive professionals from every region in North America.  Another consideration will be to award scholarships to professionals who represent a diverse range of vehicle brands and positions within the dealerships they serve.  

Written TrueCar Scholarship Application

The application process will be a simple online application that includes all the expected contact information, a description of the applicant’s role in the dealership where they work and space for them to describe in their own words why they should be awarded a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship to attend the AutoConnections Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas from September 4th to the 6th

Video TrueCar Scholarship Application

If you are better at explaining your reasons why you should be selected for a scholarship in a verbal manner, the AutoCon 2013 TrueCar scholarship committee will also be pleased to accept your proposal in a video format. Simply explain why you should be selected in a YouTube video that is either uploaded or embedded to either AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com or dealerELITE.net.

Please be sure to include the link to that video in your scholarship application where you write out your explanation of why YOU should be selected to receive a “Full Ride Scholarship”.

The AutoCon Scholarship Selection Committee is comprised of Ralph Paglia, Chris Saraceno, Mike Myers, Carrie Hemphill and Brian Pasch.  As applicants are being considered they will be contacted by a committee member and interviewed via phone and email.  Final selections will be made by committee vote and the awardees notified by email and phone.

AutoCon 2013 Scholarship Selection Committee

  • Ralph Paglia
  • Chris Saraceno
  • Mike Myers
  • Carrie Hemphill
  • Brian Pasch 

                                                    

Applications for TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships will be accepted starting Monday July 1, 2013 and award selections will begin Monday August 5, 2013.

AutoCon 2013 Sponsored by TrueCar

AutoCon 2013 Sponsored by TrueCar

With 10 TrueCar AutoCon Scholarships being awarded, the odds of being selected are probably better than any other similar program in the auto industry… So, do not hesitate to apply and encourage other automotive professionals to do so!  All of us who are stakeholders in the AutoCon event are thrilled with the investment being made by TrueCar to support what we believe is the best event in the auto industry.  The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon 2013 and the Full Ride Scholarship Program is appreciated and respected. 

In the past, TrueCar was a company that received an enormous amount of criticism, much of which has been emotionally charged and at times, crossed the boundaries of decency and professional behavior.  Many other companies faced with similar criticism and public ridicule would have released a barrage of legal actions to defend themselves.  TrueCar has consistently taken the high road and responded to their critics with program changes and by sending their senior executives to major auto industry events and meetings. 

 

The TrueCar sponsorship of AutoCon is further proof that this company is led by professionals who want to be valuable contributors to the overall success of the auto industry.

 

On behalf of the AutoCon team and the 10 auto industry professionals who will receive the benefit of these scholarship awards, a sincere thank you to TrueCar is extended.

Apply for a TrueCar AutoCon Scholarship online at http://AutoCon2013.com

    

*PLEASE NOTE: “Full Ride Scholarship” is the brand name for this category of award and is owned by Automotive Media Partners, LLC.  All “Full Ride Scholarships” associated with an AMP promoted event with include a travel stipend that reimburses the scholarship recipient for airfare expense submitted up to a maximum dollar amount. Recipients will also receive lodging for the nights of the conference itself. Any room charges authorized by the scholarship recipient, or incidental expenses are the responsibility of the scholarship recipient. Also included are the conference fees for registering and attending the event, which will usually include scheduled breakfasts and lunches that all event participants receive. It is important for scholarship recipients to understand that ANY expenses outside of airfare to and from the event, hotel lodging and conference registration fees are NOT INCLUDED in our version of a “Full Ride Scholarship”.  Furthermore, we strongly advise all scholarship recipients to travel with a valid major credit card and two forms of government issued ID. Adequate cash should be brought by scholarship recipients to cover meals outside of those scheduled on the conference agenda, local transportation and miscellaneous expenses… After all, you will be in Las Vegas and “Cash-In-Fist” is strongly advised!

   

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Will Car Dealers Leverage Social Media Advertising for Competitive Advantage in 2013?

Car Dealers: Social Media Matters When Seeking Your Competitive Advantage in Local Markets

In 2012, more than 1.4 billion people around the world used social networks, up 19% from 2011. But although the worldwide social network audience is enormous, it is by no means unified. Within the North American automotive marketing landscape social media based advertising continues to mature and develop capabilities that are simply unavailable in other media channels. As social networking giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and others grow and develop increased business engagement models, their ability to attract marketing and advertising investments from the automotive industry grows.

The chart shown below shows five years of social media based advertising spend with fairly steady growth. I predict a faster rate of growth going into 2014 as the targeting, messaging and creative engagement models provided by social networks continue rapid development and increased effectiveness in achieving automotive marketing objectives.

 

US Online Social Network Advertising Spend from 2008 to 2013*:

  • $1.175 billion (2008)
  • $1.295 billion (2009)
  • $1.335 billion (2010)
  • $1.420 billion (2011)
  • $1.515 billion (2012)
  • $1.640 billion (2013)

Social Network Advertising Spend increases from another perspective*: 

*Data source: eMarketer

ADM Professional Community members have access to all the data and insights we publish about social media. You can learn more about social network usage around the world below, but you can learn a lot more by visiting the ADM Professional Community daily. Complete the “Sign Up” form on the upper right of every ADM page to submit a membership application and start the conversation with experienced automotive marketers and people selling more cars using strategies and their tactics within the social media universe.

Usage patterns are highly developed and predictable in some regions, and unstable and changing rapidly in others. And while many people use Facebook, not all social network users do. Facebook has shown many users how to get their most satisfying results from time spent online, this has driven an increased familiarity with online social media in general, and a cottage industry of social networks specializing in specific subject matters. Homegrown social networks, especially those seeking consumers, enthusiasts and influencers in automotive niches will play a larger role over time in most major markets in both the USA and Canada.

Countries such as India and Indonesia are rapidly becoming major usage centers for social networking, particularly via mobile phones, and will each see their user bases grow more than 50% in 2012. This phenomenon, combined with Facebook’s staggering growth in the region, mean that in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region will, for the first time, be home to more Facebook users than North America is. As North American automotive consumers have become more accustomed and skilled at using social networks via their introduction through Facebook, many of them have ventured outside of the social media behemoth to participate in User Generated Content (UGC) sites, specialized blogs and forums, as well as other networks.

In more mature markets like the USA and Canada, automotive marketers are looking to use the social media presences they have already established to deliver relevant content to fans. Social networks are making it easier for businesses, especially car dealers to broadcast changing incentives and promotional offers that create the deals which drive both sales and service recommendations across a wider network of users in real time with improved location and mobile targeting.

With Facebook’s New Ads Manager and the growing maturation of the platform comes an increasing effectiveness for their paid advertising models.  

This in turn enables car dealers to leverage user profile based targeting that delivers the right message to the right automotive consumer at the exact right time. More and more North American car dealers are using the growing platform maturity and advertiser responsiveness at Facebook for a competitive advantage over their neighboring dealership competition which has ignored Facebook’s emerging capabilities.

Data Sources: eMarketer, Facebook and MarketingCharts.com 

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

Twitter Cards Make Video Marketing Easy as 1-2-3 Tweet! – Automotive Social Media Professionals

Twitter Cards Make Video Marketing Easy as 1-2-3 Tweet!

Joe Schwartz

Joe Schwartz Describes How “Twitter Cards” Are Making Video Marketing Much Easier for Car Dealers

Twitter Video Cards

Twitter Video Cards

When marketers think of social media as a promotional channel, Facebook continues to be the network of choice. Of course, this trend may be the result of people sticking to a platform that feels safe. After all, Facebook remains the largest and most influential social platform on the web today, so much so that it claimed the most-searched term award for the fourth year in a row.

Twitter Users
Twitter Users

But other social networks shouldn’t be ignored, especially with sites like Twitter implementing new features regularly. According to eMarketer’s “US Digital Media Usage: A Snapshot of 2013,” Twitter user-ship grew significantly in 2012, but only 15 percent of the U.S. online population will engage on Twitter next year. Therefore, brands that want to drive traffic from a variety of social channels must learn how to engage users on whatever network they prefer. For many people, Twitter remains the most influential social hub, and brands may discover that video content thrives on this platform. 

According to the source, Twitter’s user base increased by 14.2 percent in 2012 to reach 36.3 million monthly active members. To reach those prospective and current customers, brands must develop social media marketing campaigns that make branded content enjoyable and simple. With Twitter Cards, video marketing may be the easy solution.

Online Video Viewers
Online Video Viewers

According to eMarketer, online view viewers reached 178.7 million people in 2012 to make up 56 percent of the nation’s population, and 73 percent of American internet users. As for mobile video viewers, 73.3 million people watched video content via their mobile devices in 2012, reaching 22.9 percent of the country’s population and 29.6 percent of mobile phone users. Thirty-one percent of the U.S. population and 40.4 percent of U.S. internet users viewed visual media from their tablet devices this year, making video content marketing a necessary practice for many brands.

With Americans using Twitter more often this year and video media becoming a prominent marketing material, businesses that want to build brand exposure and grab consumers’ attention must produce consistent visual content, and publish output on the microblogging site. Together, video marketing and social media marketing may drive higher conversions in the new year, and help marketers reach new audience segments online.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Twitter Compliment Card

Twitter Compliment Card (Photo credit: 13stock)

Official Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealers – Automotive Social Marketing Professionals

Official Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealers

Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealerships
 
Increasingly, social media influences how we buy and own cars. On Facebook, car dealerships can reach in-market consumers through their news feeds and friends.

 
Download the official Facebook best practices guide and learn how to:

  • Create a Facebook page for your car dealership
  • Get more fans to like your business on Facebook
  • Engage Your audience with high quality content
  • Drive more car sales with our most recent solutions
Are you an automotive professional who is new to Facebook?
 
ADM Professional Community Members can download the PDF file of the Facebook Best Practices Guide for Car Dealers by “right clicking” and choosing your browser’s equivalent of “Save As” here:

Source: Facebook recently created a “Facebook Best Practice Guide” for Car Dealerships that Patrick Workman wanted to share with the ADM Professional Community:

Feel free to share this with dealers and if you are a dealership supplier, with any of your clients, or include it in any newsletter or blog post…

Facebook for Automotive Retailers

How do I customize my Facebook timeline or Page URL address?
Where can I claim a Facebook username?

Customize the address for your timeline or Facebook Page by choosing a username. You can get one at: http://www.facebook.com/username.You can choose a username that Facebook suggests or create your own. Select Check availability to see if the username you want is available. If it is, click Confirm to confirm your choice.

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

 

Automotive News Interviews Richard Bustillo: “Dealers Get In Your Facebook”

Automotive Dealers Get in your Facebook

Stores post ads directly on site’s news feeds

Richard Bustillo of Rick Case Honda says Facebook is taking advantage of new opportunities to reach customers by putting ads directly in news feeds.

 —Automotive News  

Thought Leadership

Richard Bustillo, general manager of Rick Case Honda in Davie, Fla., believes Facebook has finally cracked the code to help dealerships sell vehicles and service.

Marketers have long viewed Facebook as an online cocktail party — fine for socializing but weak for selling cars.

Now that’s changing. Rick Case Honda and other dealerships are starting to take advantage of Facebook’s huge potential to reach customers on the users’ digital home turf, by putting ads directly into their customers’ news feeds.

Technical improvements introduced in September allow dealerships to take their customer lists — with just names and e-mail addresses — and find those people on Facebook. The “custom audience” feature allows dealerships to push ads directly to Facebook users’ news feeds, the must-see center column of the home page that consists of a constantly updated list of posts by a user’s Facebook friends.

Facebook users are more likely to look at news-feed ads than those in the more common ad location, the right side of a Facebook page, the social media giant says.

“Facebook is starting to understand what we need to sell cars,” Bustillo said.

In June at Rick Case Honda, an employee-pricing-for-all promotion on Facebook contributed to a strong month — 615 new vehicles sold — the most of any Honda store nationally for the month, Bustillo said.

Facebook played a key role in the campaign’s success, he said. The store took its customer list with thousands of names and e-mail addresses and identified who were Facebook users. It then delivered to their news feeds the employee-pricing offer, Bustillo said.

Facebook also has improved the ability of dealerships and the factories to put promotional videos in front of car shoppers, Bustillo said. Facebook users are three to four times more likely to click on a video than a static ad, the company has found.

Rick Case Honda in 2012 has sold 4,238 new Hondas through Oct. 23, the third most of any Honda store nationally, the dealership said.

The knock on Facebook, from a marketer’s standpoint, is that although the huge social media site has been useful for automakers to promote brand awareness, it has been nearly irrelevant in the shopping process.

As recently as May, Dataium, a consulting company that monitors online vehicle shopping behavior, found that of 20 million visitors to dealership Web sites, just 120 arrived there directly from a Facebook link. Of that microscopic number, only a handful left contact information to become sales leads, Dataium found.

On the other hand, automakers have been building huge banks of friends and sending them soft sells, such as sponsored stories, that talk about topics such as the environment without a direct pitch for vehicle sales. Jeep, for instance, has more than 2 million Facebook fans.

Viral Advantages

In an interview last week, Doug Frisbie, Facebook’s head of automotive global marketing, said Facebook attained the technical capability to put ads on Facebook users’ news feeds in late January.

 

Ads placed there are more than eight times more likely than ads on the right side of a user’s Facebook page to prompt a reader to comment on the item or actively “like” it, Frisbie said. Facebook refers to a user’s interaction with an ad or item as “engagement.” And advertisers are seeing 10 times greater recall from news-feed ads than from static ads, he said.

Bustillo said he likes the news-feed ads because the dealership pays for them only when Facebook users click on them. That’s similar to Google paid search.

The ads also have the potential to go viral, Bustillo said. Each Facebook user has on average 130 friends, Facebook said. If a Facebook user shares an ad with friends, it has a multiplier effect of reaching people without additional cost to the dealership. The dealership pays for an ad only when the original audience clicks on it, Bustillo said.

Facebook declined to say how many dealerships or automakers have used the new capabilities to find their customers on Facebook or deliver ads to news feeds.

The company is watching for backlash from its users, accustomed to conversing relatively free of advertising, to having ads placed in their news feeds.

“We are carefully monitoring user engagement and sentiment,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in an earnings call last week. “We look at how users are engaging on our platform, and as we’ve increased the number of ads and news feed we’ve been careful — carefully monitoring that engagement.”

Joe Castle, dealer principal of Castle Chevrolet in suburban Chicago, has matched about 8,000 people on his 14,000-person customer list with their Facebook addresses. In the past three weeks, he sent to their Facebook news feeds an offer for them to buy one oil change and get one free.

In the first two weeks, the campaign, which cost him about $500, generated about $12,000 in oil changes and other maintenance, Castle said. Castle Chevrolet pays Facebook about 60 cents when a customer targeted on Facebook clicks on the offer, he said. The store sold about 1,200 new vehicles in 2011.

“Facebook has really dialed it in,” said Castle, who also is founder of Socialdealer, a social media and reputation-management company for dealers.

Facebook’s features to target shoppers are evolving, Frisbie said. Within a month, Facebook expects to pilot a program with R.L. Polk & Co. that will allow automakers and dealerships to use Polk’s huge database of owners to identify sales prospects, he said.

“We’re talking about getting the right message at the right time in front of in-market shoppers,” Frisbie said.

Target Accord

Rick Case Honda expects to make heavy use of ads and video on Facebook news feeds next year to promote the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord sedan, Bustillo said.

The store is waiting to launch the campaign until early next year, though the 2013s are available now, to leave time for the store to clear 2012 models still in stock, he said.

When the campaign is rolled out, Bustillo said, he intends to shoot videos to potential customers through Facebook extolling the features of the sedan. Moreover, with the help of campaign consultant Tier10Marketing.com, the store will target Accord customers with equity in their cars so he can offer them a new Accord for the same or lower monthly payments, Bustillo said.  The targeting capability of Facebook makes it an economical media buy, he said.

Rick Case Honda spends about 20 percent of a $250,000 monthly advertising budget on digital advertising.Bustillo said he gets his best return on investment on the $2,000 a month that he spends on Facebook ads.

“I’m chomping at the bit to get started,” Bustillo said of the upcoming Accord campaign.

You can reach David Barkholz at dbarkholz@crain.com. — Follow David on Twitter and 

via Automotive News Interviews Richard Bustillo: “Dealers Get In Your Facebook” – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Facebook is Making Free Marketing on Pages Less Powerful – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Like Google has done with giving more SERP page 1 real estate to sponsored links and other revenue generating content, Facebook will as a business necessity continuously look for ways to convert anything of value for businesses and brands from the “free” or “Earned Media” realm and migrate the process or practice into the “Paid Media” fee based Facebook Advertising manager application and Facebook marketing services… To me, there is nothing wrong with this, and I have been aware of the strategy and have embraced it since I started working with Facebook on the Ford Digital Advertising Program in 2008.  Heck, it is sort of like the ads you see on ADM and other sites managed by my company, Automotive Media Partners, LLC… On a much smaller scale, of course… But that is why you see advertising on these sites, because ultimately if a network or website is to move beyond a “hobby” and towards a revenue realization model, you have got to stop giving away valuable marketing, communications, branding and advertising to transition into generating a fair income for the business owners… Facebook is no exception!

PALO ALTO, CA - JULY 06:  Facebook CEO Mark Zu...
PALO ALTO, CA – JULY 06: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (L) watches a demonstration of the new Facebook video chat during a news conference at Facebook headquarters July 6, 2011 in Palo Alto, California. Zuckerberg announced new features that are coming to Facebook including video chat and a group chat feature. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Since the early days of Facebook when I was privileged to work with Tom Chisholm (he took his FB stock, cash out and retired at end of 2010), he explained that the whole strategy around Facebook Pages for businesses was to give them away at no charge so as to drive demand for advertising within Facebook without those ads sending FB users outside of Facebook. To this day, you will find that any FB advertising that links to a site outside of Facebook does VERY poorly, especially compared to how impressively effective similar ads are when they point to a dealership’s Facebook Page or an App within it (formerly tabs).  That is not the consumer, it is by design and built into the algorithm… Facebook makes sure that siphoning traffic away from Facebook is more costly and generates a lower ROI… Before you get irritated, I would do the same thing with my networks if I could easily make it happen! It makes ense from a FB perspective to encourage traffic coming into Facebook and all engagement and even business activities occur within the Facebook platform… Since FB is so eager to help companies develop their own business generating apps on the Facebook platform, it is difficult to criticize their strategy.

Take a look at last week’s cover story in Automotive News about “Dealers Getting in Your Facebook” featuring Rick Case Honda and an interview with Richard Bustillo about his $2,000 a month Facebook Advertising budget… I convinced Richard to invest in Facebook Advertising starting last March and his campaigns within Facebook continue to generate more revenue and profits than any other $2,000 he spends on non-Facebook advertising media. It is satisfying to go from convincing a dealer to try it, and then to where it is the last part of his advertising budget he would cut!

Here is an excerpt from the Automotive News Interview with Richard Bustillo:

Dealers get in your Facebook

Stores post ads directly on site’s news feeds

Richard Bustillo of Rick Case Honda says Facebook is taking advantage of new opportunities to reach customers by putting ads directly in news feeds.

Richard Bustillo, general manager of Rick Case Honda in Davie, Fla., believes Facebook has finally cracked the code to help dealerships sell vehicles and service.

Marketers have long viewed Facebook as an online cocktail party — fine for socializing but weak for selling cars.

Now that’s changing. Rick Case Honda and other dealerships are starting to take advantage of Facebook’s huge potential to reach customers on the users’ digital home turf, by putting ads directly into their customers’ news feeds.

Technical improvements introduced in September allow dealerships to take their customer lists — with just names and e-mail addresses — and find those people on Facebook. The “custom audience” feature allows dealerships to push ads directly to Facebook users’ news feeds, the must-see center column of the home page that consists of a constantly updated list of posts by a user’s Facebook friends.

Facebook users are more likely to look at news-feed ads than those in the more common ad location, the right side of a Facebook page, the social media giant says.

“Facebook is starting to understand what we need to sell cars,” Bustillo said.

In June at Rick Case Honda, an employee-pricing-for-all promotion on Facebook contributed to a strong month — 615 new vehicles sold — the most of any Honda store nationally for the month, Bustillo said.

Facebook played a key role in the campaign’s success, he said. The store took its customer list with thousands of names and e-mail addresses and identified who were Facebook users. It then delivered to their news feeds the employee-pricing offer, Bustillo said.

Facebook also has improved the ability of dealerships and the factories to put promotional videos in front of car shoppers, Bustillo said. Facebook users are three to four times more likely to click on a video than a static ad, the company has found.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20121029/RETAIL07/310299951#ixzz2BP…

via Facebook is Making Free Marketing on Pages Less Powerful – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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What The Merovingian Can Teach You About Marketing – Automotive Marketing Professionals

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

Larry Bruce writes: “Facebook or Adwords is not a choice; it’s a question of message and intent…the “WHY”of it all.

What Ford and Scott Monty knows, that GM doesn’t, is that people don’t go to Facebook to find Ford or to find out “What’s going on at Ford”? The truth is, they don’t care!  People go on Facebook to keep up with friends and family and to discover things that are important to them, in other words, the “WHY” of what makes them visit a page. Ford and Scott Monty’s team do a terrific job of producing content with that intent, the “Why” of it all, in mind.  People go on Google and other search engines to find things, that is their intent, their “WHY” and smart marketers buy keywords and write ads with that intent in mind. It’s a “WHY” question NOT a “WHAT” question…  It shouldn’t be “WHAT” are your goals from the platform?

But…  WHY are they there?  And more importantly, how can your message fit the visitor’s “why”?  The Merovingian would be proud!” Please use the link provided to read Larry’s entire article, view the video he included and leave a comment… RP

 

via What The Merovingian Can Teach You About Marketing – Automotive Marketing Professionals.

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Why Dealer Facebook Fans Hide Posts At Shockingly High Rates – Automotive Social Marketing

Why Dealer Facebook Fans Hide Posts At Shockingly High Rates

 

The article shown further down was originally published by Fast Company and has been getting a lot of attention from a wide audience, including many business executives and leaders outside of social media marketing circles.  The author touches on the subject of chasing “Fan Count” more than measuring “engagement”. However, I believe that the issues around the need for improving rates of customer engagement within a car dealer’s social media marketing strategy are more directly addressed by understanding the data shown in the chart on the left… The disparity between what marketing professionals THINK that customers want and what the customers actually say they want is illustrated by the varying red and black bar graph data points.

It is no surprise to anyone who has been a member of the ADM Professional Community that an author would be calling for “maximizing fan engagement”, in my opinion we have thrown the word “engagement” around like chips at a Las Vegas Poker Room, what we need to better understand is what the drivers behind increased consumer engagement really are, and which ones are relevant to car dealers. 

It is also no surprise that your dealership’s most loyal customers will “Like” your Facebook Page out of sheer loyalty… But beyond that core group of your most loyal customers, who are certainly VERY important and your Facebook posts should address their needs, what will everyone else respond to?

For example, when asked, most automotive consumers expect some fairly simple and predictable things from being a Fan (Like) a car dealer’s Facebook Page:

  • Service Coupons that save them money
  • Special Offers on Accessories that save them money
  • Discount Promotions on new and used vehicles that save them money 

Now, I am the first person to suggest that dealers communicate a lot more than promotional offers, discounts and service coupons, but I will also suggest that we do not ignore what the marketing research indicates over and over again… Provide value to your dealership’s Facebook Fans in the form of money saving discounts, offers and promotions. 

I have re-posted the Fast Company article below for your review and consideration:

Your Facebook Fans Are Hiding Your Posts At An Alarming Rate

For far too long marketers focused on maximizing fan count instead of maximizing fan engagement, and now we’re paying the price–to the tune of users who block all of your page’s updates. Here are the (bleak) statistics and what you can do about them.

We are all counting numbers around our communities. After all, a thousand fans looks better than a hundred. But have you personally ever hid a post from a brand you’re a fan of? And have you, as a marketer, ever wondered how many of your fans do the same thing?

There are four types of negative feedback on Facebook ranging from undesirable, to worst for a marketer, starting with:

  • Hide: hides a single specific post from the user’s newsfeed
  • Hide All: hides all the posts by that page from the user’s newsfeed. This used to be known as “unsubscribing.”
  • Unlike Page: “unfan” the page
  • Report spam: user thinks your page is spam

Negative feedback means your content isn’t aligned with your fan base. That doesn’t always mean your content is bad–sometimes you are delivering great content to the wrong audience. Or sometimes you are simply posting too frequently and overwhelming the users.

The importance of this metric seems to be dangerously underestimated by marketers.

I was curious how frequently fans take any of the above actions, so I asked the team at PageLever if they could share some benchmarks. PageLever is a Facebook analytics tool that provides much deeper insights than Facebook’s native Insights. They currently measure more than 1 billion Facebook fans across thousands of fan pages; so I consider their benchmarks to be pretty accurate. (Disclosure: Intel is a customer)

What they found was rather interesting: 98% of post views generate no negative feedback. But the other 2% of the time a fan responds with some form of negative feedback:


(Note: The Y-axis on negative feedback over time uses a logarithmic scale. A linear scale made it impossible to see the Report Spam and Unlike Page because they were so small compared to Hiding Posts.)

Results from the data:

  • 1 out of 50 post views gets a negative response
  • Facebook fans are most likely to block ALL your page stories when they take a negative feedback action, 60 times more likely than unfanning your page. Which means that just because your brand has a lot of fans doesn’t mean all those fans are seeing the page content. Some fans may have just hidden the page.
  • Fans are more likely to report a post as spam than to unlike the page.
  • Why do 2% of fans unsubscribe?

For far too long marketers focused on maximizing fan count instead of maximizing fan engagement, and now we’re paying the price. This has nothing to do with Facebook’s algorithms and has everything to do with content marketers put in front of their fans…in many cases content our fans don’t want to see.

What can marketers do to ensure that fans engage with them instead of hiding their content?

Your fans will remain loyal as long as the content remains relevant and expectations for frequency are met.

1) Focus your fan acquisition efforts on quality fans rather than quantity fans.

Identify your ideal fans-–those are the folks who will truly engage with you because they love your product and your brand. Accept that a portion of your existing fans may no longer be interested in what you have to say, and don’t get frustrated if your unsubscribe rates are temporarily higher than this average of 2%. It may just mean that you need a different set of fans, not a new content strategy.

2) Stay on-topic with your content.

Even the most loyal fan will leave after reading 10 off-topic posts in a row. Be humble enough to admit you don’t always know what your fans want to read–so ask what they want to see.
Whether you run a poll or simply pose a question, it’s worth doing this at least once a quarter. Once you receive the feedback ensure you act on it, and adjust your content strategy according to those findings.

In addition, track your metrics very closely to see which posts not only are getting the most engagement, but the most organic virality. Those are the topics that resonate.

3) Match your fans’ expectations for posting frequency.

How to time your Facebook posts to reach the most fans is a perennially popular topic, but just like an email list, it’s easy to wear out your fans, even with good content. My recommendation is post once a day. If you have an event that offers a lot of good information, go for several times a day for several days of the event, but not more than that.

4) Tweak your copy so it’s recognizably your brand voice.

Sometimes the problem isn’t that the content is off-topic, but that it’s off-voice. Your brand has a unique voice which your fans know and appreciate, so make sure your posts are phrased in a way your customers expect. And don’t forget that you are human, so write like a human, not like a PR professional.

5) Experiment.

Finally, don’t be afraid to try new content, new format, and new approaches. You might be surprised what types of posts your fans might react to in the most positive way. The key with experimentation is not just trying new things, but measuring the results and adjusting in real time.

–Ekaterina Walter is Intel’s social media strategist. Follow her @Ekaterina.

[Image: Flickr user Staci Myers]

Source: www.FastCompany.com

via Why Dealer Facebook Fans Hide Posts At Shockingly High Rates – Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

Wall Clutter and Pushy Sales Efforts Discourage Customers from Liking Dealer Facebook Pages

English: Graph of social media activities

English: Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wall Clutter and Pushy Sales Efforts Discourage Customers from Liking Dealer Facebook Pages

Excessive Frequency of Posts, Fear of Unwanted Contact by Sales People Discourage Car Dealership Likes On Facebook

Social media users who don’t like Car Dealers on Facebook are primarily deterred by newsfeed clutter (47%), while many don’t want to be contacted (36%) or are concerned about their privacy (30%), finds Lab42 in September 2012 survey results.

Irrelevant Content Clutter was also the culprit for unliking Dealer Facebook Pages: among the 73% who have done so, dealers posting too frequently was the top reason why. March 2012 survey results from Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) and Constanct Contact similarly found that over-communication was a leading turnoff for Facebook likers.

Dealership Discounts and Promotional Offers Drive Likes More Than Loyalty

Overall, the Lab42 study finds that 87% of the social media users surveyed like business pages on Facebook. When asked their biggest motivator for doing so, these respondents cited promotions and discounts most often (34%), followed by free giveaways (21%). Loyalty and business trust were cited by 14% and 11% respectively. 77% of respondents who liked businesses on Facebook reported having saved money as a result of their likes.

Still, 46% have liked a business from which they had no intention of buying. Asked why, 52% of this segment reported having liked the business for a free item, while 46% said they couldn’t afford the products, and 24% that they liked the business to help out a friend.

Even so, most social media users appear to truly wish to connect with car dealers and other businesses via Facebook. Of those who like a car dealership’s Facebook Page, 82% believe that Facebook is a good place to interact with those businesses. 3 in 4 feel more connected to the business on Facebook, and 35% feel that the car dealers and business owners listen to them on Facebook. This preference for engagement on Facebook is supported by the June 2012 results from an Allstate/National Journal survey, which found that 64% of social media users want to see an increase in companies using social media to respond to customer questions and c….

Embarrassment Does Not Discourage Car Dealer Facebook Likes

The Lab42 survey also finds that some product categories discourage likes. 22% of respondents reported having been too embarrassed to like a certain business or brand, most often in the categories of adult novelties, weight loss products and health and wellness products. Car Dealers were not found to be a source of embarrassment and this factor does not influence their Facebook Likes.

The overall results reveal that the leading ways by which car dealers can get non-likers to like them on Facebook are through more giveaways; posting less often; and letting consumers hide the fact that they like the business.

But, car dealers and other businesses may see little value from that engagement, particularly from young social network users. April 2012 survey results from a group of professors showed that almost 7 in 10 Millennials who like a business on Facebook rarely o…, while a February 2012 report from Ehrenberg-Bass Institute revealed that just 1% of Facebook users who like big brands such as Procter & Gamble or Coca-Cola actually engage with those brands.

About The Data: The Lab42 data is derived from a survey of 1000 social media users.

Data Source: www.marketingcharts.com

via Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community.

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