Less than 10% of the UK’s top 200 car dealer are using social media to support external communications activity, according the new research.
GForces, the online marketing company, surveyed the top 200 dealers in the UK and found that only 18 were using any form of social media like blogs, Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of their business.
Tim Smith, GForces’ commercial director, said: “Blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be a very useful addition to a dealer’s marketing arsenal.
“Having a blog, for example, improves your business’s online visibility by using keywords related to your activity and products, and back-links to your website, to improve traffic. It can influence the importance search engines place on your sites. This has an effect on how high a website ranks, as the content produced within social media can help generate relevance around your products and services.
“The numbers involved are simply staggering,” added Smith. “In August, 14.5 million people in the UK visited at least one blog, representing 41% of the total internet audience. If just 0.01% of these find their way to a blog maintained by your business, then you have an opportunity to market your stock to a wider, previously untapped audience.”
There are many ways in which dealers can make targeted use of social media, according to the Kent-based outfit. For example, some companies are already using Twitter to promote weekend vehicle launches, the latest deals and scrappage incentives. Others use Facebook, which records over 10 million unique users each month, to showcase non-commercial activities, such as relationships with charities and local sporting teams.
Smith said: “The likes of Facebook and Twitter are here to stay. Car dealers can certainly use these as an avenue through which to shout about new offers and the latest additions to their stock lists. Customers are already engaging with social media, and dealers would do well to think about how to tap into its true commercial potential.”
GForces’ top tips for using social networking sites:
- Maintain it – If you want to blog or tweet, make sure you do so regularly and react when interacted with, as people don’t like being ignored.
- Offer something – Social media users ‘friend’ companies because they’re looking for a special offer or reward for doing so. Disappoint them and they won’t be back.
- Give it impact – Make sure you blog or post about something relevant to your audience. This will make links to your site stronger and drive qualified traffic to your site.
- Combined approach – Establish your presence in a variety of social media to get your message across to as wide an audience as possible to increase the traffic to your website.
- Ensure accuracy – Although it might seem a little less formal, it’s still important that status updates, tweets and blogs contain the correct info.