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Guest opinion: accept the power of Facebook - and the benefits to car dealers

Mark Kelland, Dragon2000

Worldwide Facebook has 2 billion users, with an estimated 37 million users in the UK, testament to the company’s dominant position in the social media market.*

Facebook reached another milestone in January 2017, recording market share of 87.08%. (*Source: Statista, 2017).

In the UK, the average Facebook user logs in 17 times a day, with heavy users logging in more so.   

It is used more than once a day by around 44% of UK adults and just 21% don’t use Facebook at all. 

There is no doubt this social media channel is one of the most effective ways to engage with car buyers on a local level and it simply can’t be ignored by dealers.

While some thought that Facebook may have just been a passing fad 10 years ago, the reality is that it has grown to be quite the opposite.  

It’s now a lifestyle for people of all ages and from all walks of life. 

Just about every person a dealer does business with will use Facebook for personal and/or business use, so it should be something dealers embrace.

Facebook marketing is also great for Google, as it rewards its content in rankings. 

Well-followed social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest are key – the more social interactions a dealer has, the more Google puts trust in it being a relevant and genuine search result. 

Google will also have more content to return in searches, therefore increasing dealers’ visibility amongst potential customers who do not have any connections to the business within their social media circle.

Many dealers have embraced Facebook as a marketing tool and have worked very hard to build up their following – some in the tens of thousands. 

They are targeting potential customers who are likely to buy their cars and promote their new and used car offers and finance deals. 

When a dealer posts a special offer, or has their stock displayed on a dedicated stock tab, it is seen by a great many people who are already interested in that dealer’s brand. 

We are hearing more and more from dealers how effective Facebook is becoming in generating enquiries and sales - in some cases deposits have been taken within only a few hours of a vehicle offer being posted.

Many potential car buyers are also using Facebook to also research how a dealer conducts their business, because of the interaction with other customers, via reviews and posted comments. 

With Facebook in particular, dealers that have their business page verified as a genuine business - which displays a grey tick against their name in searches and on their pages - adds to customer trust, that they are dealing with a ‘proper’ company.

The reality for dealers today is that marketing their business and stock using Facebook is too effective to be ignored. Facebook is free to use – all it costs the dealer is a little time and effort in posting interesting updates to keep their audience engaged.

Author: Mark Kelland (pictured), Dragon2000


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