Loyalty Advocacy Influence Report

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Social Media Implications From Dealer.com

The rise of social media has broad impli­ca­tions for retail busi­nesses, espe­cially the auto­mo­tive sec­tor. Con­sumers now have the abil­ity to broad­cast their opin­ions and rec­om­men­da­tions to their net­works via social media.

To under­stand the effect of social media on deal­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers, Dri­ver­Side and Dealer.com part­nered with GfK Auto­mo­tive Research to study the impact of social media on the auto­mo­tive shop­ping process.

The orga­ni­za­tions sur­veyed nearly 2,000 U.S.-based con­sumers who had recently pur­chased a new car, or who were plan­ning to pur­chase one within 12 months and had started shop­ping. The find­ings from the sur­vey reveal just how much con­sumers are influ­enced by the advice and advo­cacy of oth­ers via social media chan­nels in mak­ing their pur­chase decisions.

In this report, we out­line the Five Fun­da­men­tals – five con­crete steps that both new car deal­er­ships and man­u­fac­tur­ers need to fol­low in order to lever­age social media to max­i­mize loy­alty, advo­cacy and influence.

  1. Step 1: Embrace Social Media as a Vital Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Chan­nel
    Social media and net­works are the new mar­ket­place for both man­u­fac­tur­ers and deal­ers. It is there­fore crit­i­cal that busi­nesses con­sider social media pro­grams with the same authen­tic­ity and seri­ous­ness with which they approach other areas of the business
  2. Step 2: Ask Prospec­tive Cus­tomers to Like/Friend/Follow You
    Step 2 seems almost too sim­ple to include, but ask­ing friends or prospects to friend or fol­low the deal­er­ship or brand is the crit­i­cal step to build­ing a solid social net­work. Yet too many often fail to take this step.
  3. Step 3: Cre­ate Con­tent That Dri­ves Con­sid­er­a­tion and Sales Among New Cus­tomers
    Our research uncov­ered the type of con­tent con­sumers want to see on social media chan­nels while they are shop­ping for their new vehi­cle. In addi­tion to trans­par­ent and prompt inter­ac­tion, deal­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers need to pro­vide con­tent that appeals to con­sumers and that will help drive con­sid­er­a­tion for the brand, model and dealership.
  4. Step 4: Cre­ate Con­tent That Dri­ves Loy­alty and Advo­cacy Among Own­ers
    64% of con­sumers believe they need to have a pas­sion for a brand first in order to engage that brand on social media. Con­sumers who have sig­naled the ulti­mate affin­ity for a vehi­cle brand via their pur­chase present a golden oppor­tu­nity for deal­ers and OEMs to engage and nur­ture them after they drive their new vehi­cle off the lot.
  5. Step 5: Lever­age Social Media to Break into the Con­sid­er­a­tion of Loy­al­ists and Encour­age Com­pet­i­tive Switch­ing
    Remem­ber that 41% of those who con­sider them­selves loyal to a brand are open to switch­ing to a new brand if it’s more com­pelling. In addi­tion to using social media to build loy­alty, man­u­fac­tur­ers and deal­ers should use it to lure cus­tomers away from oth­ers. Deal­ers should offer ser­vices and incen­tives that are both con­ve­nient and valu­able to attract new customers.

Visit Dealer.com for more infor­ma­tion. Get the full Loy­alty Advo­cacy Influ­ence Report here.

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