Those of us above a certain age can still recall the days when Facebook was a new platform whose use was largely restricted to the young and people who at the time were called “computer Nerds”. Those days are long gone!
Today it’s a major social and commercial network, the potential benefits of which some car dealerships may already be taking advantage of.
The early days of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg are now the stuff of legend. They have even been immortalised in a Hollywood film showing at least one (controversial) interpretation of the history of one of the world’s youngest ever billionaires.
Originally, Facebook was largely a social contact forum, aimed at younger people looking for fun and inter-personal information exchange. However, like much of the early idealistic views of the internet, it and other forums like it, very rapidly became seen as a commercial, not just social channel.
Facebook today may be used for :
- market communications and;
- customer engagement.
To put it succinctly, many customers and potential customers of motor trade professionals expect to see them maintaining a Facebook presence. It will be where they might first look to see company announcements and deals or special offers etc.
This isn’t just a presumption because it’s supported by survey statistics.
These suggest some quite startling numbers:
- 37.6% of people in the 18-54 age range said Facebook was their preferred social media for following a car dealer’s activities;
- Facebook is some five times more significant, in this respect, than other social media channels.
What this means
As many people in industry sectors as diverse as farming and motor trade insurance may have discovered, the social media revolution means that you may need to factor these into your online business activities.
The days when such could be dismissed at “gimmickry” are now quite literally many years in the past. True, demographics can play a part with the above-mentioned survey indicating that some parts of the UK are more receptive to channels such as Facebook than others and it’s also true that age can also be a factor.
While that continues, a multi-channel customer engagement strategy will likely be important, bordering essential. Not everyone is on Facebook!
However, it seems to be clear that for many car dealerships and indeed providers of car dealers’ insurance, a Facebook and wider social media presence may appear to be de rigueur and a pre-requisite for success.
There is, of course, more to making an impact in these environments other than simply opening an account.
Social media can be unforgiving for those who “get it wrong”. If it’s an entirely new concept for a business, then specialist consultancy in advance might be sensible. The investment in such might prove to be modest in the overall scheme of things.
Even so, it’s clear that social media should now form part of any organisation’s communications strategy, though without it being seen as a total replacement for existing approaches. It is a case of another string to the bow – not an entirely new revolutionary weapon.
If you’d like to know more about any insurance implications arising from the above, then as a specialist motor trade insurance broker, we at Aston Scott can help you. Please contact us today on 03300 085045 to see how.