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I just came across a very interesting article in Dealer Marketing Magazine regarding a recent study exploring the impact of social media as it relates to the car buying process and I want to share with you some of the findings and discuss how it can help your dealership's social media strategy.

Shopping for a Car

Basically, the study found that Facebook is playing a fundamental role in the entire car buying process. For example, 84% of new car buyers use Facebook. If your dealership doesn't have a Facebook Fan Page, you're missing out on a boatload of customers. Additionally, the study also found that 38% of car buyers will use social media to research their next vehicle purchase. However, that's not even what stuck out to me. Get ready: 1 out of every 4 car buyers are using social media to discuss their recent car purchase. That's not all.

After Leaving the Lot

A staggering 58% of car buyers are either posting a comment or status update on their Facebook page about their new vehicle. It's not just Facebook either. Many car buyers are utilizing twitter to discuss their new vehicle and the dealership they bought it from (33% and 28% respectively). If your dealership hasn't got involved in social media, then you're missing what your customers are saying about you. Essentially, you're being left out of the conversation.

I could go on and on giving you stat after stat, but it'll just sound redundant.

What to make of all of this?

This study tell us that instead of going straight to the dealership, many shoppers, more specifically new vehicle buyers, are researching online. It's not just the dealership's website the consumer is visiting. No, rather, they are checking out the dealership's Facebook page to research and see what current offers they have (i.e. Honda Civic for special lease offer this weekend).

If you don't have a Facebook page or Twitter account? Well, it's simple. You're losing out on a potential customer. Not to mention, you're missing out on engaging with your customers and managing your online reputation, regardless if they're saying something good or something bad about your dealership.

What do you think of these statistics?

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