HOUSTON — Dealer consulting services provider Next Generation Dealer Services (NGDS) has announced a series of training seminars to show dealers how to build business by utilizing social media.

The agenda for the seminars will include interactive presentations of how to properly use the most common social media marketing tools. The latest trends and technology will also be discussed, as well as social media etiquette, search engine marketing, popular Web design tools and the viral power of video.

“Social media is growing at a staggering pace,” said David Johnson, director of e-commerce at NGDS. “The underlying principles are similar to what car dealers have tried to do for years but on an exponential scale. Social media is all about making friends and building relationships. The dealership that embraces the use of social media and uses it correctly will take market share from their competitors at an unprecedented rate."

As a bonus, dealers in attendance will receive a copy of Johnson’s book, Joining the Conversation: A Dealership’s Guide to Building Business Through Social Media.

“We are extremely excited about the program that David Johnson and his team have put together,” said NGDS CEO Rob Hagen. “David, like everyone we recruit to our company, has spent the majority of his career working inside a dealership. David has spent the past 10 years selling cars, running a BDC and Internet department plus consulting with other car dealers. He has catered his presentation around the specific needs of every profit source inside a dealership including finance departments and service departments.”

Johnson cautioned dealers not to jump into social media unprepared or risk souring customer relations. “The key is to build relationships first before you pitch your product,” he said. “People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Once you have gained their trust, then you can offer your products. Otherwise, people will not be interested in what you have to say and label you as a spammer.”

NGDS has seminars planned for Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando (immediately prior to NADA 2010), Albuquerque, Atlanta, Memphis and Las Vegas. For more information, visit http://www.nextgendealer.com/index/seminar.