Patrick Workman

Patrick Workman

ORLANDO — As car dealers try to navigate through the unexpected twists and turns within social media, Facebook’s Autos Client Partner Patrick Workman assures dealers the largest social network is strategizing for solutions aimed at the automotive retail market. And the buzz around the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo in Orlando was that Facebook’s new Graph Search feature could prove that to dealers more than anything yet.

“We’re working with multiple agencies, as well as individual dealerships, automotive manufacturers, regional ad associations, as well as regional personnel in order to make sure their social strategies are sound,” Workman told F&I and Showroom magazine during NADA’s annual convention last week.

“Overall, dealers are really excited about leveraging these new social platforms to meet their business objectives. Facebook is one way they can communicate and connect with their customers in order to deepen their relationships, and in order to generate additional business in the future.”

And Facebook’s Graph Search, currently in beta testing for a limited number of members, should eventually direct users straight onto dealers’ lots. The new feature’s enhanced searchability responds to Facebook members’ curiosities such as: “music my friends like,” “people who live in my city,” or, hopefully for salespeople, “where my friends are buying cars.”

“Graph Search is a really exciting opportunity in order to connect people with the things they care about,” says Workman. “Graph Search is an extension of the ability for them to discover what’s happening in their social circles or within their local communities. It also presents an opportunity in the automotive space for people who would be looking to buy or service a car.”

Dealers will have to hang tight to hear what other new beneficial solutions are in the works; Workman couldn’t divulge too many specifics on what Facebook has planned for auto at this time. “We’re always fine-tuning our solutions for the automotive vertical,” he says. “We’ll continue to do that.”