Tag Archive | "social media"

Study: Dealerships Missing Out With Facebook Messenger, After-Hour Leads


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Only 16% of the 1,500 dealerships mystery-shopped by Digital Air Strike responded to internet leads within 15 minutes and 18% didn’t respond at all. The findings are part of the social media firm’s 2018 Mystery Shop Study, which was conducted over a four-month period and included leads submitted on a dealers’ websites and through Facebook’s Messenger app.

While the remaining 66% of dealers did respond to the test leads submitted, Digital Air Strike noted that industry best practices indicate that a customer is three times more likely to visit the dealership when a lead is responded to within 10 minutes.

“We wanted to get a better understanding of how dealers truly respond to leads,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike. “The results reveal a tremendous opportunity for dealerships and manufacturers to improve their lead responses, including increased use of Facebook Messenger combined with the power of Facebook Marketplace, and to leverage more engagement tools such as financing calculators, vehicle photos/video and after-hours quoting tools that can bridge the gaps we found in automotive consumer interactions.”

As part of its mystery-shop, the social media firm sent tested dealers a specific vehicle request that included questions that required specific answers. The top dealership ranked by OEM that responded with the information requested and did so within 15 minutes included Fiat at 34%; Toyota at 20%; Mercedes at 18%; Ford at 17%; and BMW at 16%. The average time across all stores and all OEMs to respond to a lead was more than 24 hours, with some dealers taking up to four days to respond. Additionally, only 36% of dealers shopped responded to requests submitted afterhours.

“This potentially represents lost business as multiple manufacturers have stated that up to 40% of all consumer leads are submitted when dealerships are closed,” the firm noted in its press release. “Consumers are shopping after work when no one is at the dealership to respond; however, there are innovative tools that can provide intelligent responses to consumers even after hours.”

The mystery-shop also revealed that 64% of dealerships didn’t respond to leads on Facebook Messenger, which 1.3 billion consumers use as a direct line to reach business. Making that connection even more relevant is Facebook Marketplace, which allows pre-owned vehicle inventory to automatically be showcased to consumers closest to dealerships.

“Whether it is a lack of knowledge or ability to leverage this powerful tool, many dealers are missing sales if they don’t respond to consumers on Facebook,” the firm noted. “Consumer use of Facebook Messenger is exploding and, according to Facebook, “autos” is one of the most popular categories on Facebook Marketplace with millions of Americans looking at vehicles each day.”

According to study results, only 25% of dealerships provided pre-owned vehicle options, and only 15% provided additional new-vehicle options. That means that 85% of dealerships are missing the opportunity to give customers options that may be better suited to their budgets.

“According to multiple industry sources, up to 45% of all consumers end up purchasing a different vehicle than the one they originally inquire about, so providing multiple vehicle choices in a response to a consumer has been shown to increase the chances of closing a deal with that consumer,” Digital Air Strike noted.

Additionally, 53% of dealerships shopped by the social media firm did not respond with a price or any vehicle information despite requests for that information. And only 31% of those that did provided included lease and rebate information.

As for content included in dealers’ responses, only 19% included vehicle photos and only 1% included video in their response. The firm pointed to findings in its sixth annual Automotive Social Media Trends Study as evidence that content does matter, with 48% of car buyers saying a faster and more detailed response that includes actual vehicle photos and video would make them buy from one dealership over another.

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NADA Hires Digital Media Director


TYSONS, Va. — The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has hired Abram Olmstead as its digital media director. Olmstead will oversee the NADA’s communications efforts across all digital platforms, as well as lead the development of the association’s strategy for using online platforms to communicate with and market to both internal and external audiences.

“In order to be successful advocates for our dealer members, NADA has to be able to engage and influence the conversation wherever it is occurring,” said NADA President Peter Welch. “Having an experienced communicator like Abram lead our strategy for engaging across the entire digital and social media landscape will do wonders for NADA’s ability to remind consumers, regulators, and other critical influencers of the numerous benefits that franchised new-car dealers provide their customers.”

Before joining the NADA, Olmstead served as the senior manager of digital strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There he lead the chamber’s social media and digital marketing efforts managed the day-to-day messaging, crafted and implemented long-term strategies and expanded the reach and sophistication of the chamber’s digital media presence.

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EasyCare Named Finalist in Digital PR News Awards


NORCROSS, Ga. — F&I product provider EasyCare is one of three finalists vying for Digital PR News’ “Online Community” award, a competition that recognizes outstanding digital communications and campaigns. The award will be handed out at weekly publication’s Digital PR Award luncheon on Nov. 9 in New York City.

The F&I product provider’s Love the Car Business social media initiative is competing against the ALS Association’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the United Nations Foundation’s +SocialGood campaign. The competition, which awards organization in 34 categories, is being judged by corporate, agency and academic executives, as well as PR News staffers.

“The automotive finance and insurance business isn’t one you’d readily associate with authentic consumer engagement. However, the use of behavioral science, business design and a relevant communication plan that place consumers at the center of everything is inevitable for all brands that wish to succeed,” said Allan Wright, vice president of innovation and experience at EasyCare. “Only companies who embrace the consumer-driven process and build their own culture around a core belief in community will be a positive influence on the societal shift.”

Starting in 2013 with an original goal of 100 Facebook likes, EasyCare’s social experiment turned into a full-blown social media movement that grew from 20,000 fans in February 2014 to more than 80,000 engaged fans influencing more than one million people this year.

With the social conversation incorporating user-generated content, the Love of the Car Business fan base continues to engage by submitting hundreds of car and community photos each month in relation to the firm’s hastag campaigns: #KidsNCars, #WhatsYourCarsName, #LoveCarTrivia and more. The success of the initiative also led to the creation of a dedicated website, providing a digital stage for the campaigns fans to share their personal #lovethecarbusiness stories with fellow industry advocates.

To view the #lovethecarbusiness website, click here.

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J.D. Power: Tech-Focused Car Buyers Consume Media at High Rates


WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Consumers who shop for and purchase a vehicle based on its in-vehicle technology consume media — Internet, television and magazines — at high rates, according to the summer edition of J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report.

The report provides a comprehensive view on the factors that influence consumers’ new-vehicle purchases, as well as attitudinal, lifestyle, recreational and media consumption behaviors.

More than four in 10 (43%) premium brand drivers and 28% of non-premium brand drivers cite their vehicle’s latest technology features as one of the reasons they purchased their vehicle. These new-vehicle drivers embrace technology not only in their vehicles, but also as part of their lifestyle. More new-vehicle drivers who purchase based on technological features access the Internet on tablets (54%) and smartphones (69%) than those who don’t buy for advanced technology (46% and 63%, respectively).

New-vehicle drivers who seek technology also consume media at high rates, spending more time on the Internet for personal use, watch more television and read more magazines than those who don’t seek technology. In fact, technology-seeking drivers are more likely to read a magazine through an app than those who don’t buy for advanced technology (33% vs. 27%, respectively).

“It’s important that auto manufacturers promote the technological virtues of their vehicles to consumers via the media they consume,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power. “Targeting these technology seekers with the right messaging is critical to using marketing dollars efficiently to reach consumers who will actually buy new vehicles because of new technology.”

In-vehicle technology has become the new battleground for attracting, satisfying and retaining customers. While advanced technology in vehicles is often thought of in terms of smartphone connectivity, voice commands and navigation, many recent technological innovations help improve vehicle fuel economy, driving assistance, collision avoidance and safety.

The report finds that vehicles with advanced technology features are purchased at similar rates across gender and age demographics. By gender, 31% of men and 28% of women indicate one of the reasons they purchased their new vehicle was because it had the latest technology features. New-vehicle drivers who purchase based on the latest technology are also similar across age groups: 34 years and younger (31%); 35 to 54 years old (28%); and 55 years and older (31%). Notably, technology is now incorporated in so many aspects of a vehicle that it appeals not only to premium brand drivers or males, but also to the entire spectrum of new-vehicle buyers; therefore demographics are not sufficient to target technology seeking buyers.

Among premium brands, Lincoln, Infiniti, Cadillac and Audi have the highest proportions of buyers who cite “latest technology features” as a reason for purchasing their vehicle. As for non-premium brands, Mazda, Buick and Chrysler have the highest rates of buyers who purchase for the latest technology.

The study also found that drivers who cited advanced technology as a purchase reason spend an average of 33 hours a week watching television and list “The Walking Dead,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Voice” among their favorite shows. Younger new-vehicle drivers watch less television than older drivers on a weekly basis: buyers 34 years and younger (20 hours); 35 to 54 years old (24 hours); and 55 years and older (35 hours). Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) spend 32 hours weekly, on average, watching TV, and account for a large portion of the automotive market. Favored cable channels among Boomers (listed in alphabetical order) are the Golf Channel, Hallmark Channel, Oxygen, Syfy and TV Land.

Technology-seeking drivers also read an average of nine magazines, with high rates of reading magazines focused on wealth, science/technology and travel. Magazine readership has increased year over year, as new-vehicle buyers read an average of eight magazines in 2015 vs. seven in 2014. But the greatest increase in magazine readership year over year is for titles with content related to business/personal finance; wealth; men’s lifestyle/fitness/outdoor; travel; and women’s lifestyle.

J.D. Power also looked at drivers’ social media habits. Nearly 70% of new-vehicle drivers access social media websites or apps. Facebook is the most popular social media site accessed by new-vehicle drivers, followed by LinkedIn and Pinterest.

The 2015 U.S. Automotive Media and Marketing Report—Summer is based on a nationwide survey of 28,983 principal drivers of recently purchased or leased new vehicles. The report is based on drivers who acquired their vehicle between November 2013 and October 2014.

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Digital Air Strike Announces the Winners of the 2nd Annual Social Media and Reputation Awards


Sunnyvale, Calif. – Digital Air Strike, a full-service social media, reputation management and lead response company in the automotive industry, announced the winners of the 2nd annual Social Media and Reputation Awards at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) convention in New Orleans, Jan. 25, 2014.

The Social Media and Reputation Awards showcase auto dealers’ and manufacturers’ social media performance, and recognize the best-in-class marketers on the social Web. Data for the awards was compiled from Digital Air Strike dealership clients’ Facebook Insights, the top five review sites (as ranked by car buyers in the 2013 Automotive Social Media and Online Reputation Trends Study: Cars.com, Edmunds, Google+ Local, Yelp and Yahoo! Local), and monitoring social Web mentions/YouTube views.

“It is exciting to see the growth in social media marketing and review site activity over the past twelve months. This is the second year that we have accumulated the data for the Automotive Social Media and Reputation Awards and we are extremely impressed at how many of the nation’s dealerships and OEMs are leveraging the benefits of using sites such as Facebook, Yelp and YouTube in their marketing mix,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO, Digital Air Strike. “Our team at Digital Air Strike work personally with every one of our individual dealerships and OEM groups to ensure that they maximum their on-line exposure by staying engaged with their consumers, managing their social reputation, and ultimately selling more automobiles.”

The 2013 ‘Individual Dealer’ winners are:

Best Facebook Contest & Ads Campaign
This award recognizes an individual dealer with the best Facebook advertising performance, and who has created the most engaging dialogue with its fans. Contestants were ranked in five categories: click through rate, cost per click, cost per impression, cost per Like and cost per action.

  • Platinum Award Winner: Bob Stall Chevrolet
  • Gold Award Winner: Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Best Reputation
This award demonstrates superior reputation management performance across the top five online review sites, and measured effectiveness at driving Web traffic from these review sites to the dealership Web site. The total number of ratings and scores in 2013 were collected to create an aggregate score. Dealers needed at least 100 reviews to qualify, must have 10+ reviews from each key review site (Cars.com, Edmunds, Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp), and must have 100+ customer surveys completed.

  • Platinum Award Winner: Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac
  • Gold Award Winner: Norm Reeves Honda Superstore

Customer Sales Satisfaction
This award goes to the dealer that has customers who have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding their car buying experience. To qualify, a dealer must have over 100 customer surveys completed, and 90% of all submitted sales surveys are 4 – 5 star ratings.

  • Platinum Award Winner: Karl Chevrolet
  • Gold Award Winner: Al Serra Chevrolet

Customer Service Satisfaction
This award goes to the dealer that has customers who have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding their car servicing experience. To qualify, a dealer must have over 100 customer surveys completed, and 90% of all submitted service surveys are 4 – 5 star ratings.

  • Platinum Award Winner: Bob Brown Chevrolet
  • Gold Award Winner: Milton Ruben Toyota

Greatest Local Facebook Reach
This award recognizes the dealer with the greatest local reach and largest in-market fan base within a 50-mile radius.

  • Platinum Award Winner: Paragon Honda
  • Gold Award Winners: Sutton Ford Lincoln Mercury & Peters Auto Mall

Increase In Facebook Likes and Engagement
This award showcases the best single auto dealer performance using Facebook as an effective marketing tool. Qualifications included at least 1000 Fans by the end of 2013, and Liker growth exceeding 5000 Likers.

  • Winner: Merced Toyota

Most Improved Social Media Reputation
This award demonstrates superior reputation management performance across the top five online review sites, and measured effectiveness at driving Web traffic from these review sites to the dealership Web site. The winner must have reviews posted to 4 out of 5 review sites, and must have shown an increase in ratings on 4 out of 5 review sites.

  • Winner: Tim Lally

Most Positive Yelp Page Actions
This award recognizes the dealer that has leveraged the popularity of Yelp to drive dealership interest and traffic. To qualify the dealers must have at least a 4 star rating, at least 500 customer leads, and at least 2,000 page views.

  • Winner: Hyundai Serramonte

The 2013 ‘Auto Manufacturer’ winners are:

Highest Average Star Rating
This award recognizes the auto manufacturer that has the highest positive reviews in 2013.

  • Winner: General Motors

Highest Average Yelp Rating
This award recognizes the auto manufacturer that has leveraged the popularity of Yelp to drive dealership interest and traffic. To qualify the OEM must have at least 50 stores available to review, and at least 3,000 reviews in 2013.

  • Winner: Hyundai

Most Positive Reviews Per Store
This award goes to the auto manufacturer with the highest positive reviews per store, and who has at least 1,500 positive reviews in 2013.

  • Winner: Honda

Best Sales Survey Rating
This award goes to the auto manufacturer that has at least 8,000 customer sales surveys complete, and has customers who have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding their car buying experience.

  • Winner: General Motors

Best Service Survey Rating
This award goes to the auto manufacturer that has at least 8,000 customer service surveys complete, and has customers who have provided overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding their car buying experience.

  • Winner: Hyundai

Biggest Increase in Engaged Likers
This award showcases the auto manufacturer with the best performance using Facebook as an effective marketing tool. To qualify for this award, OEM must have at least 50 stores available to review, and Likers must be engaged – at least 500 “people talking about this” per dealer.

  • Winner: Ford

Most Popular Automotive Viral Ad
This award goes to the auto manufacturer that created an ad that generated the greatest traffic on YouTube in 2013.

  • Winner: Volvo

Most Popular Automotive Viral Ad Series
This award goes to the auto manufacturer that created an ad series that generated the greatest traffic on YouTube in 2013.

  • Winner: Dodge

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Joint Workshop By B.J. Mendelson and Ross Digital Direct at NADA 2014 to Focus on Social Media


New Orleans – “I don’t know what to do.” It’s a refrain echoed by small businesses, large corporations and everyone striving to generate sales and fame using social media. But did you know 80% of YouTube views come from outside the United States? Or that over 260 million Americans don’t use Twitter? And how about that 51% of traffic on the Internet isn’t created by humans? You haven’t heard this because, every day, the news is filled with stories about social media. All of them featuring alleged experts and gurus discussing why you must use the latest platform, and how you’re going to “leave money on the table” if you don’t.

The only story being told doesn’t involve the truth, it’s one that only benefits the gurus, and for them, the truth is bad for business.

But for car dealerships across America, the question remains: Is social media the be all and end all for their marketing efforts the way the gurus claim? Or is the answer more complex? Do they even need social media at all?

B.J. Mendelson, author of the top-selling and controversial book, “Social Media is Bullshit”, has the answer. “It’s not a question of whether or not the platforms are useful or useless. It’s a question of why you’re using them in the first place and whether or not you can achieve your objects quicker, easier and less expensively by using something else. In most cases, it may be that the best solution is looking you right in the face. It’s the unsexy stuff like direct mail, search and television that offers a better return on your marketing investments. Not to mention, a higher rate of recall among your customers.”

Todd Neidorf, President of Ross Digital Direct, concurred. “There’s a rush going on where young marketing professionals, and those who should know better, are asking dealerships to shelve their traditional marketing plans and measurable metrics for success, and replacing them with fuzzy metrics. Ones that might be nice to have, but don’t do much to sell cars and keep the lights on.”

As thousands of auto dealers converge on the New Orleans Ernest M. Morial Convention Center, many of them will be in search of that one key takeaway that will bolster sales and other key performance indicators for 2014. In a joint workshop offered by B.J. Mendelson and Ross Digital Direct, that item and others will be discussed. Including:

  • How dealerships can translate Internet traffic to showroom traffic.
  • How they should hire a marketing professional who will do what they claim they can do.
  • And most important of all: What social media platforms should they be using, if any?

B.J. Mendelson will give the play-by-play and Todd Neidorf will add real-world dealership applications to put NADA attendees on the path of understanding and provide information that can be acted upon immediately. One thing is certain for conference attendees who visit Mendelson and Ross Digital Direct’s workshop at NADA: They’ll leave the conference knowing where to invest their marketing budgets. And they will be able to perform activities that will produce sales, not likes.

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