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Engagement is the key for dealer social media strategy

Social media is a customer engagement strategy and not a marketing channel, according to Grants Seat dealer principal Darren Williams, one of the speakers at this year’s AM Hit for Six Conference.

“The problem is many businesses see social media as an extension of their marketing activity rather than a way to engage their customers and prospects,” comments Williams. “Businesses shouldn’t fall into the trap of treating Twitter and Facebook in the same way, they need to be used very differently even if events are linked and both feed into your website.”

For a single-site business, Grants’ social media activity is extensive and incorporates Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogging.

Tweets rarely refer to offers and tend to be both industry news and ‘fun’ comments as well as the business’ weekly ‘thank Crunchie it’s Friday’ whereby Grants posts a Crunchie chocolate bar to their most recent follower or the follower who retweets the company’s last comment.

Grants’ YouTube account consists of manufacturer videos as well as videos from the local ice hockey team it sponsors whilst blogging is now a crucial element for websites winning the Google ranking war.

Williams believes their social media activity provides the business with a ‘voice’ and a ‘personality’. He will share his social media experience and show how the right activity can achieve a higher profile, customer engagement and ultimately increase footfall and retention when he speaks at AM’s latest conference, which takes place at the Quadrangle Conference Centre, Oxford, on November 13.

He added: “There is synergy across all our social media and links back to our website but we use each channel very differently. For a small business in the South East, our social media activity gives us far more than our fair share of voice than we should have for our size. We use social media to give our business a very human face which enables us to engage with people very much in the same way we would if they walked through our doors.”

Grants’ approach is certainly working as the business has both netted a direct sale via Twitter as well as winning the AM award for Best Digital Initiative.

Hit for Six is AM’s new conference which explores six fundamental areas - new cars, used cars, aftersales, F&I, the digital arena and profit and brings together experts and dealer case studies to enable delegates to gain valuable insight and tangible solutions under one roof in one day.

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  • stephenjury - 23/10/2012 13:58

    Very true.... do not sell on facebook! Grant's do offer some good content. Sales plug from me, check out the page i manage for, 100's of engaged users each and every day.