NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new report on the influence of social-media sites on auto shopping behavior showed that many dealerships are successfully utilizing Facebook to generate new visitors to their Websites, but it also showed that traditional methods are still required to turn visitors into leads.

Issued by Dataium, an aggregator of online automotive shopper behavior, the report looked at online shopping events from a database of more than 100 million active auto shoppers, and detailed the impact of social media on visits, vehicle searches, inventory views and lead on dealership websites.

The report showed that while only 0.45 percent of shoppers have been referred directly from Facebook to a dealership website, 94 percent of those referrals visited the dealership website for the first time. In addition, 27 percent of those first time visitors return to the dealership website after their initial visit, compared to a 22 percent return for the average shopper.

In terms of vehicle views, 36 percent of shoppers referred by Facebook viewed at least one vehicle, compared to 32 percent of shoppers who were referred by other websites. Interestingly, however, Facebook shoppers view an average of only two vehicles compared to other shoppers who, on average, view five vehicles.

"The data shows that Facebook is a good approach to getting new visitors to dealership sites,” Dylan Snyder, senior manager of business intelligence at Dataium. “The lead-to-visitor ratio, which is less than half of our network average, is disappointingly low, however. This highlights that dealerships cannot rely on Facebook alone; traditional methods are still needed to turn these new visitors into leads."

To view the complete report, click here.