Social media is a great way to keep in contact with friends, family and share baby photos with one another, but it can also be used for finding a favorable car dealership. Thats according to a new study released just on the eve of Facebook’s IPO.
According to a study by Digital Air Strike, 69 percent of those surveyed said that social media sites helped their vehicle purchase decision.
The study, completed in April, is the first of its kind to determine the impact of social media on the automotive industry. Not only were new car buyers using social media to help find their cars, but 68 percent of car shoppers said that dealership reviews affected which dealership they visited. Additionally, half of consumers said reading reviews supported their dealer choice, and 18 percent of those surveyed said they either selected a dealership based on reviews or changed their choice after reading reviews of multiple dealerships.
The study also found that despite new car owners taking to social media sites, car dealerships aren’t reacting very well to social media interactions. Ninety percent of dealerships with social media management are not responding to to negative online reviews, and 95 percent of dealerships aren’t responding to positive reviews.
Other details from the study found that 79 percent of dealers that used a social media partner had a Google+ page, yet only 2% of dealers that managed their social media in-house had a Google+ presence.
The most important element for dealerships Dealers managing Facebook pages in-house averaged 350 “likes” as compared to 770“likes” for dealers that worked with a social media partner. Likewise dealers managing Twitter accounts in-house averaged 121 “followers” as compared to 214“followers” for dealers that worked with a social media partner.
Its interesting to see how these trends continue in the next few years, but for now dealers need to step up their social media activity in order to effectively impact car buyers.