Auto dealerships are complicated businesses. They require thought, planning and all the tools of the trade to succeed. But where the tools to a successful dealership may once have looked more like a too friendly man in a loud print jacket, today they are more likely to come in the form of smart software.
Since most dealerships sell primarily one brand or manufacturer, it isn’t that surprising that some of the best new tools for them are from those companies. Brands like Ford or Toyota can afford to invest millions of dollars into big data tech tools such as the automotive BDC or business development center. These help dealerships pinpoint potential customers in their area. But this isn’t the only tool available to the many dealerships across the nation. Besides the tech tools sent by HQ, there are others that a dealership can find useful when establishing their name.
Creating a Presence on the Web
For most buyers, looking for a car begins on the web. Where the old model of visiting numerous dealerships, and comparing prices and models, was once the leading way to shop, today most car shoppers are looking online first. This makes the website the first and most important tech tool any dealership can have.
While many dealerships have boring and lackluster sites that do little more than tell you where they are located and what they sell, a website for a dealership can be so much more. Slick photos with expanding out features of the cars can help a potential buyer see every aspect of a model before they even enter the showroom. Safety and technical details should be made available for comparison, and beauty shots that show off the cars best features are a must have for any website. But having a website is just the start. If you are serious about having a presence on the web, you must also engage in social media.
Facebook and Friends
While there are plenty of social media sites that offer a wide amount of ways to connect, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are probably the three most important. Each social media site has its own audience, so if you have a key demographic you are trying to reach it helps to know what kind of social media they use. For a more mature buyer, let’s say you want to sell to successful executive types over 40, then reaching out on places like Facebook are probably your best bet.
Women are most likely to be reached on a site like this, but since you can dovetail your promotions on Facebook by demographic, it is easy to reach out only to visitors in your geographical area who have looked at cars online in the last 60 days. This makes a targeted approach much more likely to succeed. Whatever social media sites you decide to include in your campaigns, make sure you have someone dedicated at the dealership who is familiar with them and knows how to use them well. These tools can bring your dealership into the twenty-first century and help them to thrive in the competitive world of automotive dealerships.