It didn’t take a pandemic for dealers to realize that they have to be where their customers are – online.
Most dealers already maximize their online presence beyond their website by utilizing social media networks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
With 73% of Canadians accessing these networks in 2021 on various platforms,1 if dealers want to connect with their customers, that’s where they need to be.
In the U.S. alone, it is projected that automotive digital ad spend will reach $13.29 billion in 2021, marking a 21.4% increase from 2020. Brands know it’s the best way to reach automotive shoppers, who now spend 33% of their research time on a mobile device.
Many dealers are focusing on organic posts for social media – and that’s a great way to augment their online reach. When you post organically to your feeds, you lay the groundwork for a relationship with your audience. And of course, it’s free.
Nail your sales targets
While organic may be free, it may not be as budget-friendly it seems. Alone, it requires a significant investment in time and experimentation to potentially reach your business goals and objectives.
With so much competition and frequent algorithm changes, keeping up already puts you behind.
That’s why many dealers are considering paid social media advertising. You’ll not only expand your reach, but you can also target your specific audience. That’s the way to nail your sales targets.
It may take more expertise and social media savvy, but some agencies can help. You’ll want to look for an agency with a wealth of expertise in automotive retail, which is a special market. Ask about their experience in working with dealers.
Do they understand the difference between what happens in the showroom, fixed ops, service, and accessories? And how those departments work together? The terminology, legalities, and other technicalities? While there are many competent social media vendors out there, the dealer sector has specific challenges and rewards.
You want your customers to be able to find you easily. Remember, 66% of consumers are now saying that a digital experience and interaction is a good alternative to dealer visits!
Historic growth in social media ad spending
You’ve probably already set your sales goals for 2021. How can social media advertising help you reach – or even exceed – those goals? There’s a wealth of potential in social media channels.
Last year saw historic growth in social media ad spending, largely due to the pandemic. eMarketer reported a significant social media usage boost with over a million more users in Canada by the end of 2020.
Updated forecasts even show a sharper exponential rise in usage for the next couple of years.2 With more users, there are more opportunities to find your perfect audience and potential customer.
How can you take advantage of these opportunities? Look around for a partner, a social media advertising agency that can work with you and help you make the most of your channels. Just make sure they know the auto dealer industry and understand how this sector works.
Melanie Gedeon is a digital media marketer with over three years of experience specializing in social media advertising, auditing, and analytics.