In recent months, IMN conducted an extensive study on the social media needs of our customers in the automotive industry. Much of what IMN learned was common sense, some was surprising, but seven trends clearly emerged as indicated below.
One clear observation: Auto dealers need an experienced partner with the content, distribution, analytics and auto expertise required to help them be successful in this new landscape.
1. Social Still a New Frontier for Dealers
Although the dealers we interviewed are testing many tactics to increase their social presence, average confidence in their overall social media strategy was relatively low. Growing their social media audience was high in importance; social lead generation rated much lower. Many expressed doubt that social channels could be used as lead/business drivers. The dealers in the study were, for the most part, pragmatic about what is feasible to measure. Most would be very interested if their tools could go beyond basic data and provide reliable ROI metrics.
2. Dealer Presence Across Social Media has Room for Growth
Among those who answered our survey, a good number were on Twitter as well as Facebook, but not using it regularly or, in their minds, effectively. Very few had profiles for their business on YouTube, Google+ or other niche platforms. Many had not even “claimed” their business page on Yelp, foursquare or other social media platforms that enable customer feedback and rewards.