CRYSTAL LAKE, IL – Social media strategists Stone Meta Media advises auto dealers to consider if their digital presence puts them at the consumer’s moment-of-truth or MOT, the critical decision point when their desire for a new vehicle emerges.
The MOT is the convergence of online marketing variables making it much more likely it’s your dealership and your inventory the consumer finds quickly and first when looking for vehicle product and dealer information.
“If you’re not there, at the MOT, the consumer’s likely going connect with a competitive dealer who is,” stresses social media marketing strategist Rob McClurg, CEO of automotive social media company Stone Meta.
“Digital marketing has moved on now, to where simply being on line isn’t enough – a dealer must engage consumers in a triage manner, where website, social media and online reviews all connect with the customer at the MOT,” McClurg adds.
It used to be before consumers made purchase decisions that they relied on input from their physical social circles – friends and coworkers. They once consulted print publications for their reviews of various products and services. Today, this third-party review process is now through social media, where consumers seek others’ perspectives on everything from kitchen products to restaurants and auto dealerships to auto repair services.
Here’s how to be there at the MOT when a consumer’s looking:
- Engage consumers via Facebook: Stone Meta encourages dealers to embrace a swarm and herd social media strategy that makes the site buzz with activity and interest — managed social conversations, monthly promotions, special coupons and local links which, coincidently, create business opportunities for the dealership.
- Integrated dealer website: Create the most effective and consumer-friendly and consumer-engaging website you can and then make it easy, easy, easy for consumers to find it, whether looking for it by make and model or simply searching online using broader keywords. Your website must link to your Facebook site and vise versa.
- Online reviews and sites: Have a plan and program for monitoring online review sites where your business and/or products are likely to be reviewed. Manage any negative reviews using sound reputation management practices. Use Facebook to post reviews and let fans post reviews on it as well asking others opinions about your dealership and the products and services you sell. Consider ways you might link from review sites to your dealership inventory pages; make a review forum available on your website to gather favorable commentary and glean process improvement insight from those that are not.
- Engage consumers live: Consumer engagement isn’t just for online interaction, but must carry over to the moment the consumer walks onto the dealership property. It is on thing to be helpful and cheery online – and that attitude does make a huge impression – but that impression and judgment continues when the online shopper steps into the store as well. Unfortunately, this step is one dealers can and do often neglect or forget.
About Stone Meta
Stone Meta Media is a professional marketing firm offering a strategic suite of social media management services. The company is headquartered in Crystal Lake, IL. For more information, visit www.stonemeta.com or contact Rob McClurg at 815-333-3332.