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Outsourced or in-house? Social media strategy for car dealers

2: Outsourcing your social media

It’s all very well having a centralised marketing team staffed by experts who are tasked with on and offline marketing and constantly re-evaluating their approach, but many small- and medium-sized groups simply don’t have the budget to put such practices in place.

It makes outsourcing a compelling argument and it doesn’t have to be expensive – plenty of smaller companies  can deliver a specialist skill set which doesn’t affect headcount.

Social media expert Anna Farmery, who hosted a workshop at AM’s digital marketing conference in February, provides just such a service to a dealership in Yorkshire.

The dealership had been using social media to broadcast deals, but as soon as they switched to creating useful content, such as checklists for new buyers, it saw a 76% rise in engagement while increasing its email database by 124%.

“Time is short. Social media is about investing in the right content to the right people on the right sites. That takes a little research up front, a little time to create the content and a regular review of the success of that content,” said Farmery.

Content and objectives are at the heart of a successful strategy, she added.

“First you need to think about what you want from social media. It may be customer service, marketing or building your email list. They all need different kinds of content to succeed.”

3: Social media with manufacturer input

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  • Jason Moorhouse - 30/06/2014 12:43

    Great article and a valuable insight for motor groups stepping out into the world of Social media. During the past year of handing the Social Media output of Dews Motor Group I have learned a lot about engagement with our customers, and how important the right kind of Social Media content can change the perception of the company as a whole. As many of you will know, sell, sell, sell doesn't work on this kind of platform, all you are going to do is switch off your audience with either a 'unfollow' or a 'unlike'. People have adverts thrown at them all day long and the last bastion of personal on-line leisure time lies within Social Media, this is their time to relax and look at things that interest them. Give your company a name and a face to engage with, some light hearted content with a dusting of information about your latest offers in the right balance then you in turn create opportunities for people to approach you. I agree with Anna's comments, but I feel that to be able to engage effectively within a small or even medium sized company you need to have the in-house ability to react fast and be able to capitalise on opportunities presented. The new wave of Social media now gets people closer than ever to the brand they want to engage with, be it for a positive outcome or to air their views about a negative experience. So I would argue that the statement on the position of SME’s not being able to make provision for a Social Media Strategy should be contested, I feel that in the changing shape of communications with brands and the increased customer expectations you simply can’t afford to ignore this. Speed, Response and Trust expected from the modern customer is on the up and doesn't look set to plateau or go into decline any time soon and the best and most effective way of providing this is to man your Social Media stations. At the recent Car Dealer Magazine conference I was lucky enough to experience the new wave of small franchise/independent motor retailers paving the way on Social Media platforms. Proving that you don’t necessarily need big budgets and teams of marketing professionals to make an impact, just great content, charismatic people and the ability to personify your brand.

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