Automotive Advertising Agencies Don't Know What They Don't Know About Social Media But They Need To

Updated: October 08, 2010

Attempts by automotive advertising agencies to provide a presence for automobile dealers on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter fall short for the same reasons that these online communities of friends are so successful with consumers. People hate car dealers and they often turn to advice from likeminded consumers on social networking sites to get away from them. Automotive advertising agencies that impose on these personal conversations with self serving sales messages are often ostracized and even virally attacked as an intruder. The potential damage to the online reputation of their auto dealer clients represents a risk to reward formula that has forced many automotive advertising agencies to abandon social media as a viable channel to deliver a retail sales or service message.

Fortunately, the same social media that teaches consumers how to buy a vehicle can provide automobile dealers with the information and the tools that they need to sell them one. Social networking portals developed by likeminded automotive advertising agencies, automotive advertising vendors and auto dealers allow their members to share best practices with the common philosophy that a rising tide floats all boats. Each online community boasts its own personality and rules of the road to keep members in their lane. The temptation to sell to each other is controlled by the same social pressures that exist on consumer facing social networks for those that forget why they are there -- to listen and learn so they can presume to teach their auto dealers how they can sell cars and service to their online friends. My access to these automotive advertising solutions was only possible as a result of the time I invested on social media looking for them so that I could stay one step ahead of the competition.

Online blog talk radio stations hosted on automotive advertising networking portals provide a another social media forum for finding and reviewing new automotive advertising solutions. Regularly scheduled blog talk radio shows with live interviews of the developers of bleeding edge automotive advertising applications allow their online audience to ask vendors questions in an open forum. These open exchanges of ideas in a problem solution format help the vendors as much as the automotive advertising decision makers that follow the shows. A new mobile sales presentation platform with an integrated training component was recently discussed on a blog talk radio show to solicit feedback from the audience. Their insights were used to modify the platform before the vendor began their beta test it in the real world saving thousands of wasted dollars and man hours that would normally be required to mature their application.

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