The concept of auto dealership social media marketing is currently trending all across the US automotive industry. Seeing the downfall in sales of automobiles during the Covid-19 pandemic, car dealerships are stressing over how to improve their sales in the current scenario besides the increased demand. Fortunately, a new way out of automotive social selling has emerged that is helping the car dealerships expeditiously sell out their products. Let us further comprehend how this concept works and can be profitable for your business.
The USA Auto Dealerships: Industry Snapshot
The sales of all the auto dealerships were affected immensely because of the lockdowns and other restrictions applied due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This adversely affected the employment market of the automotive industry which was highly stable for the past several years. Many employees had to lose their jobs.
Eventually, auto dealers figured out a better way of selling their cars by providing a vehicle purchase experience online to the customers. This new trend is slowly pacing up and encouraging more customers to get acquainted with this efficient system. However, to successfully pull off this system, employees must be fully prepared to give their best presentation to the customers. Before exploring the details, let us first look at some of the trends ruling in the auto industry:
On Average, Dealerships Pay $4 Million Annually to 64 Employees
It might sound surprising but calculating the total costs of what auto dealerships pay to their employees comes out to be $62500/annum per employee. This is an extremely huge amount for which the car dealership expects the employee to generate a decent amount of business. However, not all employees pay off similarly, and the company loses a substantial amount of money on various employee salaries.
Dealerships Spend Over $176k on Print, TV, Radio, and Other Mediums
A large number of auto dealers are still using the traditional ways of marketing their cars through print media, TV, radio, etc. Though the results acquired through these mediums are praise-worthy, the costs dealers spend on these marketing parameters make the deal a lot less lovable.
It is estimated that over $176k is regularly spent on these advertisements by the dealerships. If only a little of these amounts were spent on social selling for car dealerships, better results could be obtained at a much cost-efficient price.
Repairs & Services is a Big Revenue Source
Service and repairs are some of the biggest revenue sources for auto dealerships. Dealers typically make the biggest profit margins in the repair and sales of the cars. It is estimated that a total of $6.7 million is earned by the auto dealers in revenue with 29% net margins by servicing and repairing the cars in 2020.
Largest Players: GM, Toyota, Ford, and FCA
Amongst all other car brands, the highest sales in the year 2020 were achieved by GM, and Toyota while companies like Ford, and FCA took a hard hit on their sales. Toyota sold a total of 2,112,941 units with 14.6% of the market share. Ford was only able to sell 1,968,418 cars with a total market share of 13.6%, which is comparatively much lower than their previous records.
FCA also went into losses by selling only 1,804,841 cars per annum with a market share of 12.5%. Finally, GM is leading the charts with a new vehicle sale of 2,535,781 units and a market share of 17.5%.
Profits Per Unit Have Gone Up
The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the systems of various industries and has resulted in increasing prices of various products. The price of automobiles, too, has gone up by almost 3.5%-6% between 2019 and 2020.
Due to the increased prices of the vehicles, the average dealership now sells 15% fewer units than they used to sell before. This means converting every prospect lead into a sale customer has become even more crucial for the car dealer employees.
Revenue Benchmarking: New Vehicle Dealerships
The total revenue of the average U.S. dealership in 2020 made about $59 million, which is down by 4.2% compared to the previous year. However, due to the implementation of new policies and lowered expenses, the new vehicle dealerships made a groundbreaking profit margin of up to 48%.
As per the sources, over 90% of owners of car brands only have one dealership under control. In case they are able to get more dealerships under their name, the profits flown will be massive.
Tactical Changes: Small Changes for Big Benefits
This section will focus on the small changes dealerships can make to get bigger results. Here are some of the changes that can be made:
1. Better Service & After Sales Experience Equals Higher Profits
Those days are long gone when dealers used to think that luring a customer to buy a product is all they need to do to earn money. Today, most earning in the automobile industry is done through after-sale service and repair costs of the vehicle.
Therefore, every dealer should be willing to provide the best service and after-sales experience to their customers. Only when the customer will get the taste of excellent service will they turn in next time to your dealership to get their car serviced, and you’ll get the opportunity to make more money.
2. Go Beyond Radio, Print, TV, and Direct
Radio, TV, and Print media may be viable solutions for the marketing of products. However, the largest audience anyone can witness in today’s world is on social media platforms. That is why the role of auto dealership social media marketing is of immense value for increasing the sales of car dealers. Social media platforms offer higher customer engagement and brand awareness, leading to direct sales with the least expenses.
3. It’s No Longer a Volume Game
Quantity vs Quality has always remained a debatable topic in every field. However, studying the current trends of how the automobile market is shaping and generating its revenue, it can be said that quality is surpassing quantity in all aspects. Quantity targets a customer only with a single point vision, but the quality is more about gathering customer information so that more business can be retrieved from them.
When you provide great quality of service, product, accessories, repairs, etc., to the customer, the chances of retaining your dealership for that customer hugely enhances. Moreover, by providing better quality to the customer, the efficiency of the business multi-folds.
4. Convert Your Expense Line into an Asset Base
Running a car dealership isn’t an easy feat, and it includes several costs and expenditures from employee salaries to marketing needs and much more. But a smart business owner can seamlessly convert their expense line into an asset base using various innovative methods.
Employee advocacy is one of such ways where the employee uses his personal skills to go beyond normal ways of marketing to attain a high level of credibility with the customer. Using the various methods involved in the process, the employee connects with the customer in a way that they end up making the purchasing decision in favor of the car dealers.
Strategic Changes: Long-Term Automotive Social Selling
A few strategic changes made in the policies by the car dealerships can be of significant value in the long run. Let us check out some of the transitions that can level up auto dealership social media marketing channels:
1. Engage Your Employees and Create a Stronger Employer Brand
The concept of employee advocacy is widely accepted across various fields because of the enormous benefits it is offering to its owners. Employees who practice advocacy are more productive, better engaged, and more likely to promote their business for suitable products for the customer.
Having a good advocacy culture hugely impacts sales of the brand, customer retention, and brand exposure. By leveraging the right advocacy platform, a streamlined approach can be set up for the talented employees to experience a greater sense of ownership and find innovative ways to grow the business of your car dealership.
2. Integrate the Online Discovery and Offline Buying Experience
We now have sufficient technologies leveraging which online discovery of the product and its offline buying experiences can be integrated together. Some of the ways are:
Maintain Uniform Brand Voice on All Social Media Channels
One of the fundamental ways of creating a wonderful product experience for your customer is to maintain uniformity across different social platform channels. Many brands make the common mistake of updating the best content on one social media platform and completely ignoring the other.
Though there may be different viewership on different platforms, maintaining a uniform brand voice surely adds to the credibility of the system, and customers tend to reach out for your product.
Deliver Content Using Employee Advocacy
For a successful automotive social selling campaign, ensure you use a good employee advocacy platform to deliver the content to customers. Employees who use advocacy have a better understanding of customer mindset and can figure out how to make the product more engaging for the customer so that the lead can be converted into a sale.
Social Media Monitoring: Generate and Qualify Leads
Accessing social media leads becomes easy when you are constantly monitoring your social media channels. Marketing now has reached much beyond customer engagement and brand awareness. These are the tools you can further use after collecting leads from the people interested in your product through different social media platforms.
However, it is imperative to understand how a lead gets generated on social media and what parameters make it a qualified lead for your business.
Make Your Employees Your Brand Ambassadors
The role of the brand ambassador is to promote a brand and its products to its network. The promotion is done to spread brand awareness which can further drive sales for the brand. However, where most businesses reach out to celebrities for becoming their brand ambassador, you can select one of your own employees to be the brand ambassador as he/she can be a much reliable source for broadening the influence of your brand.
3. Optimize Your Marketing Budget
Marketing the product is crucial for making your audience aware of the product. However, with the social media marketing automotive industry, the budget allocated for the marketing purposes can be optimized and used to gain various benefits. This is how it can be done:
Every car dealership has several unnecessary costs linked with them, which look small at first but on calculating turns out to be really big. Hence, identifying sustainable savings and other efficient methods should be the priority to reduce agency costs.
Brand Awareness at Scale
Brand awareness is a crucial factor that can tremendously affect the sales of your car store. So optimizing the budget to scale your brand awareness across different targeted sections of society should be a goal to be kept in mind.
Safeguarding Against Influencer Fraud
Influencer frauds have become extremely prevalent these days. Various frauds falsely claim to be influencers and ask for high budgets to promote your content or product. Make sure to stay safe from such frauds and only opt for people that you know. Making your own employee a brand ambassador or influencer for your store is the best choice.
Allocating Resources to the Right Mediums
Lots of unessential expenses can be saved by allocating resources to the right mediums. Wastage of resources can cost a lot of money. Hence, be certain when allocating a resource to someone so that every penny can be utilized efficiently.
Automotive industry social media marketing is a great concept that helps drive brand awareness, attract talent, generate leads, and deepen customer relationships. This emerging trend significantly raises the value of your product and helps your car dealership achieve the best sales results. You may get in touch with one of our members to get the right guidance tips for your business here.