Savvy automotive marketers know it’s no longer enough to merely monitor and measure social channels by chasing likes and engagement numbers. In order to win over today’s customers, dealership management should really understand who their target customers are, and the things that are important to them.
In order to win over today’s customers, dealership management should really understand who their target customers are, and the things that are important to them.
What is it?
Social listening is a way for businesses to go one step past social monitoring and use these channels in order to “listen in” to what is being said and shared by prospects and customers about their company. Detailed reports about what is being said across social channels can then be used to better target prospective buyers and service companies.
Why is it Important?
Companies who use social listening techniques can gain valuable feedback through the analysis of direct mentions of their brand, discussions surrounding keywords, topics, and sentiments around their brand, and even competitive analysis of companies similar to their own.
In order to show you the level of detail auto marketers can derive from this new listening technique, I’m going to break down the results from a dealership’s social listening report that was recently conducted. I’ll show you how the dealership used the valuable information gained from their report to drive strategic changes within their organization through targeting, marketing tactics, and customer service.
After we conducted social listening across this dealership’s channels, we learned that the majority of the people talking about this particular dealership are male, 25 to 40 years old, and are parents and college educated. The top interest of this group is movies and TV, with society, education, and music coming in the second, third and fourth spots. The personality profile of this consumer shows that they tend toward revelry and like having fun with life, but also care about helping others and making their community a better place.
Strategy: Using this information, our dealership should center their messaging and promotions around the themes of having fun, while also being socially conscious. Knowing movies and music are largely important to this target group of individuals, giveaways could include music festival tickets and movie passes. This dealership should promote their community involvement and find ways to not only give back, but to promote their dealership’s efforts in supporting the community.
Using information from this dealership’s social listening report, we saw that more than half of its social mentions surrounded one particular model, while two other models took up the other 50% of social media mentions across channels.
Strategy: This dealership should push the marketing of these three models to the forefront of their websites, email blasts, and promotions, knowing the audience for these three models is what drives almost 100% of mentions.
The top positive comments from customers across social media centered on employee friendliness and great customer service. In turn, the top negative mentions were about missed appointments, rude behavior, and most tellingly, ads for services that did not pan out in the service drive.
Strategy: By understanding that customer service is seen by its target customers as its greatest strength, the dealership could reward its employees with gift cards and other swag based on their customer ratings.
For the negative perceptions around the service department, it is important for this dealership to correct the rude behavior with disciplinary action, create a better process around appointment setting, and offer extras like lifetime warranties with clearly displayed benefits and pricing to build value into these interactions.
By taking this information and using it to better improve the value of the customer experience in every area, from their vehicle models they promote on their homepage, to the customer service in their service bay, to the community projects they support, they are showing customers they are not only interested in selling them one car, they’re interested in selling them a lifetime’s worth.
Troy Scheer is the chief marketing officer for Binary Automotive Solutions. He can be reached at [email protected].