How to target car buyers using social media

Social Media Desktop

Business need to embrace social media if they want to expand and succeed, Jeremy Evans is managing director at Marketing Delivery explains how

The key to successful marketing has always been to follow your customers, reaching them where they are most likely to see a company’s marketing output. Social media – whether Facebook, Twitter or one of the many others – is increasingly becoming a key tool as a car retailer to generate sales, so it shouldn’t be thought of as a place for tittle-tattle and cute pictures of pets. But how do you embrace the marketing opportunities it presents?

There are times when neither email nor telephone represent the optimal methods for marketing, particularly for consumers with busy, ever-changing lifestyles. Engaging with them on social media, however, is more in-tune with consumers’ media browsing habits – and can create leads and deliver tangible results for dealers as a result.

In the UK alone 40 million people visit Facebook at least once a month, while 80% of those access it more than once a day? What’s more, 75% of UK Facebook traffic falls during the working week. Using the platform’s targeting features therefore makes it an ideal tool for customer conquest and lead generation.

As ever, it’s about marketing to customers where they are most likely to see it – and, increasingly, prospective car buyers are becoming more receptive to social media marketing from retailers.

Car dealers can use online social media to remarket stock, target their advertising at groups of people in their local area, and even automate lead capture. And the reporting tools offered by the likes of Facebook mean dealers can adapt their marketing more easily based on levels of engagement.

Many enquiries may come from online classifieds services or walk-ins, but – for car dealers – these still represent passive approaches to marketing. Instead, social media enables dealers to put their name and their products out there on retailers’ own terms.

Many companies – including mine, Marketing Delivery – offer tools that allow dealers to create and automatically maintain a Facebook product catalogue based on a stock feed taken directly from their website. Once this is set up, it’s easy to automatically populate organic and paid for adverts, and use targeting tools to promote posts to relevant audiences.

Dealers keen to make the most of social-generated vehicle enquiries also need robust enquiry management in place.

By integrating automated electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) technology, dealers can more efficiently engage prospective buyers. A successful eCRM strategy draws on multiple communications channels, and social media is now mentioned in the same breath as emails and texts when targeting prospects and generating leads.

The older methods of marketing your business and products aren’t going to disappear overnight, but embracing new channels will help you grow your business further. Social media isn’t just a space for pictures of kittens.

Jeremy Evans is managing director at Marketing Delivery