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Auto Dealers should abandon social??? What the....?

Facebook Fail in automotive
Facebook Fail in automotive

The Quote from Chicago Sun Tribune: "Auto Trader found that only one percent of car buyers used social media sites to shop for a vehicle." This statement while alarming at first, has no real connection with a customer's decision to actually do business there.

If you'd like to read the rest, click here: (don't worry, it's less than 300 words)

"Only five percent [Millennials] used social media to shop for vehicles."

Only 1,900 people were surveyed by Auto Trader and only 300 were Millennials. There's 237 million people over 18 in the US. Is 1900 an acceptable survey pool to represent the entire country?

"While a strong social presence doesn’t affect 78 percent of the millennials surveyed, it may contribute to brand awareness." Since there were only 300 in the survey, that means that 234 believe it may contribute to brand awareness.

So if you're a reactionary and want to be that guy, here's your script, "I knew it! I told that kid he was waisting his time from day one. Now shut that crap off and get back on the point and wait for a customer to show up!"

However, if you prefer to respond, take note that this survey was, again, 1900 people in a country with 237 million adults. Not sure if that's enough to prove that social doesn't sell cars... but there in lies the rub, because the statement in 100% correct. Social Media doesn't sell cars. Neither does advertising and neither does having the lights on. "I bought a car because the lights were on" was said by no one ever. So if Auto Trader was to do that survey, would that call for the auto industry to abandon lights?

You know what does sell cars? People. People sell cars. Human beings that live and breath and in 2014 use the internet (including social media) as a means of deciding who, what, when, where and how they will buy something. So while a tweet has never sold a car, I can guarantee that a tweet certainly helped someone in or out of their process. Search "dealership sucks" in Twitter and enjoy... Have you ever searched your dealership on the Twitter?

So, how a dealer uses Social is another story all together.

Moving on the Automotive News article:

Auto Trader VP of R&D Isabell Helms says, "social media is used to network with friends, not to shop for cars." Exactly, 100% correct.

Social media is about relationships. What else can you think of that is about relationships? Selling perhaps? How many sales gurus have said this in one way or another?

"Selling is a conversation and power comes from the words that you use." -Grant Cardone

Speaking about Grant Cardone, if you're a dealer or any business for that matter, take note of this excellent description from Sell Or Be Sold, "Social media is a way for you to connect, prospect, and make yourself known to those who may have an interest in what you represent."

Social media for the dealer is not about just selling a car. It's about building lasting relationships with clients. It's about telling your story in this noisy world. Thanks Gary V!

There's more to Facebook than posting inventory, specials and new customers. Those are all right hooks as Gary Vaynerchuk puts it in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Dealers need to work on their jabs. And what are Jabs?

Here's a few examples / ideas.

1. Would it make since for the GM or Dealer Principle to take the ice bucket challenge right now? If you're tracking this, not only is it a noble cause, who wouldn't want to see a car dealer get ice water dumped all over them and what car dealer can't think of three competitors to nominate in 15 seconds?

2. Promote automotive events in the community. Car show? Race? Who cares if it's not your product. It's the community, your community. Be involved.

3. Movies and pop culture that's car related. Post, "Favorite car movie is..."

4. Throwback Thursday is a total gimme at a car dealership.

Grant Cardone has stated that the top 3 business problems are obscurity, uncertainty and persistence. How you plug these three in to your social media strategy will be the difference between success and failure.

David Bradley is a Sales & Marketing Manager with Cardone Training Technologies. David's been with Grant for over 3 years and has been studying the art and science of sales and selling for over 10 years. If you're looking for real solutions for your dealership in Social Media, Advertisement response, Follow Up, Internet and Phone processes, call 310-777-0352 for a complementary production and profitability analysis or visit

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