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Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry?

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On: Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 9:33AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Is Facebook A Good Marketing Strategy for The Automotive Industry?

A dealership technology panel was recently formed by the Rainbow-PUSH coalition in Detroit. The panel gathered at an automotive conference in order to evaluate whether advertising on Facebook is really effective for the auto industry.

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers representative Damon Lester says that many members are interested in setting up Facebook pages for their dealerships. The concern is that the social media site may be a way for employees to waste vital work time on the internet.

Other concerns dealers voiced was that Facebook could be a vehicle for bad public relations if disgruntled employees or customers decide to use the media site to “bad-mouth” the dealership. Auto dealers are also concerned that once negative statements are live online, there is nothing that can be done to remove them or reverse the effects.

According to Ryan Soffa, director of product development for Ford Motor Company’s FordDirect.com, dealerships fears are unfounded. Soffa explains that consumers have always had the ability to discuss negative experiences with their friends, neighbors and relatives. The difference with providing a Facebook page for those discussions is that the dealership will have an opportunity to get in on the discussion and give its feedback, “making things right,” according to Soffa.

And when buyers have good experiences with new vehicles, Soffa commented, “not only is the first customer happy, but everybody in that Facebook community can see how the dealer treats his customers fairly. That can help him get more business and more customers.”

On the positive side, Facebook users can create a lot of exposure for new vehicles which can pull a lot of new customers to the dealership ready to buy.

Considering the significantly lower price of social media advertising, compared to commercials on the radio or television, Soffa says that Facebook is the obvious choice, particularly when the target market is the younger buyer.

He also stated, “This is the next generation; this is what they use. We have to really embrace this to generate business.”




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