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There are many mistakes made by dealers on Facebook. We detail the most egregious ones here from time to time in an attempt to help others not make the same mistakes. There's one mistake in particular that is almost unforgivable for the simple reason that it's so darn easy while being pretty darn effective. Dealerships are so focused on their own pages that they often neglect to take their pages out into the rest of the Facebook world and interact there.

Here's the short version of what you should be doing with your page: log in as the page (top right arrow next, "Use Facebook as:") and go like other pages and posts. Done right, it should take no more than 5-10 minutes a day. Like your local newspaper. Like local charities. Like other local businesses. Like the posts that are on those pages that you truly enjoy (more on that later). It takes a certain creative and professional personality to comment appropriately as a dealership on other Facebook pages. It takes the ability to read and click buttons to like things that others post.

Here's the longer version...


Interacting with the Community by Pushing the Like Button

Facebook Liking as a Business

Facebook gives you the ability to humanize your dealership. That's one of the most important attributes of Facebook as a marketing and public relations tool. It's great for communicating and most dealerships are starting to be more active on their Facebook pages when people seek them out and talk to them there, but so few are going out into Facebook as their pages and doing the interacting there.

This is way too easy of a task. It's so easy and so potentially effective that it's shocking so few do it.

Here it is, step by step:

  1. Using Facebook as your page, find relevant local businesses, charities, organizations, and publications to like.
  2. Be open but vet your selections. Make sure the pages are active, posting content that your business would agree with and that your fans would also enjoy, and have a real following. Avoid pages that are too big - your likes will not be seen if their page has hundreds of thousands of fans and each posts gets hundreds of likes. Think Goldilocks - not too big, not too small. If they're getting 1-10 likes per post, that's perfect.
  3. Like content on their pages that you enjoy. This is important - don't go through "blind liking" things on others' pages. Only push the like button if it's something that you would want to be associated with online and in real life.
  4. Check your news feed daily while using Facebook as your page. Again, be selective. The urge to save time and start hitting the like button a lot is strong for many, but be certain that you really like what you're liking.
  5. Set a schedule to vet the pages that you have already liked as well as finding new pages to like. I do it once or twice a month.
  6. Rinse. Repeat.


Why this Helps

This may seem like a frivolous activity. It's not. It works.

Every time you like something on another page, your business name appears on the post. The branding implications here are clear - repetition and reinforcement are keys in this uber-competitive auto sales environment.

More importantly, it's not just how often people see your name. It's where they see it. There's a certain level of goodwill associated with a like. This can register on a conscious or unconscious level. Either way, your brand is associated itself with worthy causes, other local businesses, and stories posted on publications that other people agree with or enjoy as well. When they see that you liked a recent post by the local March of Dimes chapter, for example, it shows that your dealership is potentially involved with good things happening in the community.

There's also the return-reaction factor. Let's say a car dealership likes a post by a local restaurant. The restaurant's Facebook page manager will likely see this. They might "return the favor" and go to your page to like something there as well. That's the minor benefit. The major benefit comes into play during those rare but real moments when an actual sale is made as a result. There's a dealership that recently liked and commented on a post by a local college promoting their book sale drive that was going to benefit the math department. A math professor at the university bought a car from the dealership a week later, noting that they were "in the market anyway and was pleased that the dealership was supporting his department."

A $35,000 vehicle sold as a direct result of clicking a button and writing a nice comment - it doesn't get any better than that.

Cases like that are ideal but obviously very rare. People are normally not so easily swayed. While the direct benefits are often never seen, the indirect benefits of branding, exposure, and goodwill are easy to understand. Remember, it takes 5-10 minutes a day at most. Some may do it less often and still find success. The key is to do it. If you don't have the time to be engaging with your local community by clicking the mouse a few times a day... who am I kidding. You do have the time. You just have to make it a priority.

Read more… Agrees to Purchase Auto Inventory Solutions Leader HomeNet Automotive

ATLANTA and WEST CHESTER, Pa., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --, the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website, has agreed to purchase HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions.

The purchase is expected to close by the end of the year.

The addition of HomeNet to the family of companies and brands provides with a best-in-class inventory management solution for the thousands of auto dealers who use to present their inventory of new, used and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles to online vehicle shoppers.

Founded in 1996, HomeNet's proprietary "Get. Edit. Deliver" technology has helped thousands of automotive dealers nationwide generate a high volume of leads and increase online vehicle sales. HomeNet's signature solution, the Inventory Online (IOL) vehicle marketing suite, is an industry-leading vehicle inventory management and marketing system.'s purchase of HomeNet will bring a variety of benefits to dealers who post vehicles for sale on and to car shoppers who use to research and compare vehicles, find dealer specials, review inventory of cars for sale and select dealerships to visit.

For dealers, incorporating HomeNet's proprietary inventory management system into's dealer tools will allow for easier and faster inventory management and merchandising online. Dealers will be able to upload their listings faster, make updates and adjustments to their listings more easily and overall enjoy more flexibility and control in presenting their inventory for sale on

Consumers shopping for vehicles on will have access to better vehicle information, enhanced listings that include more photos and dealer comments, advanced search capabilities and more frequent updates and information about the cars they are shopping for and researching.

The agreement to purchase HomeNet is the third in a series of acquisitions has announced in recent months. In September, announced the purchase of vAuto, the automotive retail industry's leading provider of advanced software tools for used vehicle management, pricing and inventory optimization. Then, in October, announced its planned acquisition of Kelley Blue Book (, one of the most recognized and influential brands in the automotive industry.

"We are always looking for opportunities to grow our company, organically or through acquisitions, in ways that will make even more valuable to the auto manufacturers and dealers who advertise on our site and to the 15-million-plus consumers who shop for vehicles on our site every month," said President and CEO Chip Perry. "We were fortunate to be in a position to purchase vAuto and to agree to purchase Kelley Blue Book and HomeNet when these companies came available and we are excited about the value our combined companies can bring to the very competitive automotive shopping and marketing industries." plans to operate HomeNet as an independent subsidiary.

Bob Landers, a 10-year veteran sales executive who was formerly vice president for's Southeast division, has been appointed general manager and vice president of HomeNet. He will be the top executive at the company, replacing founder and former president and CEO Jesse Biter. Landers will work directly with other leaders at HomeNet and be responsible for day-to-day operations and long-term growth at HomeNet.

About HomeNet Automotive, LLC: HomeNet Automotive helps the automobile industry save time and sell more vehicles. It is the leading provider of inventory merchandising, management, and marketing solutions, led by its flagship product, Inventory Online (IOL) Internet Marketing Suite. IOL is a web-based vehicle marketing solution that helps tens of thousands of automotive dealers to engage buyers online and bring them into the showroom by streamlining the process of converting raw vehicle data into consumer-friendly and emotional online ads. For more information, please email, visit, or call (877) 738-3313


Atlanta-based, created in 1997, is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. operates two other auto marketing brands, and also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto. is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit


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