In the last few years I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of local car dealerships ending their television commercials with “Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.”
I became curious about what the local social media scene among the automotive brands really looks like and decided to conduct a small independent study.
- Price Kia is the first dealership that appears in a Google search that has an evident social media presence on its home page. The Kia dealership’s Facebook Page has 248 “likes,” 30 photos and four videos but not a lot of engagement or customer interaction.
- Brown Automotive is the second leader in the Google search, and has a Facebook Page with only 141 “likes;” surprising because this dealership is so engaged in the local community. Twitter is where this dealership really stands out and that is largely due to www.twitter.com/brownautogal What really makes Brown’s social media engagement successful is that Brown Automotive’s Twitter presence has a face and a voice — and these belong to Jamie Schwartz, aka Brown Auto Gal.
- Flow Volkswagen Charlottesville only offers a Facebook page for customer engagement. The page has only 50 “likes,” but offers good content, helpful tips and reminders. With such great content, it’s too bad that Flow Volkswagen isn’t living up to its social media potential.
- BMW of Charlottesville earns points for having Facebook and Twitter badges on its website home page, making it clear to their community where to engage. BMW’s Facebook page is active so it’s surprising that it has only 30 “likes.” The dealership also has a Twitter account, but they seem to be a bit confused about it — the account is http://twitter.com/bmwcharlville but the bio lists it as BMWCharville:
The Twitter account needs some help. A keyword-rich bio should be added and it should be evident who the person is behind the account. There are thousands of engaged Twitter users in our community – and yet BMW of Charlottesville is only following 12.
There is definitely some untapped potential for social media engagement in the car sales arena in Charlottesville. I see plenty of people in our community tweeting and posting on Facebook about a need for a new car, recommendations for where to get a car fixed or the next car they should purchase. With such a competitive marketplace, these dealerships should take a hard look at how they can pull ahead of the others with some simple social media strategy.