we make the difference



we make the difference
Conversations and customer opinions about car dealerships are
being shared everyday on the Internet through social networks and
customer review websites. The key to building customer loyalty
that drives brand advocacy includes asking for and monitoring
online reviews, as well as a comprehensive, local-focused social
posting strategy to drive influence. Dealers can no longer ignore
the need for a strategic approach that includes both reputation
and social media management.
79% use Internet
to gather vehicle
buying information
J.D. Power and Associates,
2012 New AutoShopper Study
The Digital Landscape
In order to appreciate why managing your online reputation is
critical to your dealership’s success, you must understand the
changes that have taken place and continue to evolve in the
digital landscape.
62% of used car buyers and
47% of new car buyers indicate
Internet is the primary source
that led them to dealership
where they purchased a car.
R.L. Polk, 2013 Automotive Buyer Influence Study
Multiple studies show the Internet plays a growing role in the
vehicle buying process. New car shoppers are increasingly using
the Internet as part of their vehicle research and are using
multiple devices in the process.
96% PC/Laptop
30% Tablet
28% Smartphone
The Digital Automotive
Landscape Q2 2013
Google is still the dominant search engine of choice for 70% of
online shoppers. In order to deliver the most relevant information,
Google gives preference to fresh content, which is driving
consumers to social networking and customer review sites where
they can access experiential information about the purchase
intentions. Google evaluates every user activity including email,
searches and chat to deliver pertinent information customized to
each user’s need and interests.
Due to changes to the search process, shoppers now have even
more opportunities to end up somewhere other than your website.
By generating fresh content, which includes social posts and
customer reviews, and driving interaction on your website, a
dealership can, with a commitment of time and resources,
drive better SEO results, build customer loyalty and grow
brand advocates.
Increased Influence of the Internet
during the Shopping Process
The 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study reveals that while
the amount of time consumers spend shopping for a new car has
decreased dramatically in the last two years, they are spending
roughly the same percentage of their shopping time online.
“Car buyers spend
50% of the shopping
process online.”
2011 AutoTrader.com/
Polk Automotive Influence Study
Throughout the process, consumers are gaining insight from
dealer websites, OEM sites, and third-party sites including review
sites and social networks. Buyers are spending the most time on
third-party sites, so dealers need to make sure their brand is
prominently and accurately displayed where car shoppers are
shopping. Word of mouth has traditionally been one of the
strongest forms of promotion. Social networking and review and
ratings sites significantly broaden the power and reach of this
type of promotion. With the rise in social content, dealers must
change the way they market online.
“There are 6.8 billion
people on the planet;
4 billion use a mobile phone;
3.5 billion use a toothbrush.”
New Vehicle Buyers
Used Vehicle Buyers
Are Your Customers Numophobiacs?
Consumers are always connected. Pew Research reports that
more than two-thirds of U.S. cell phone owners find themselves
checking their phone for messages, alerts or calls even when they
don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. In addition, 44%
have slept with the phone next to their bed because they want to
make sure they don’t miss any calls, text messages or other
updates during the night.
the fear of being
out of mobile
phone contact.
The Automotive Purchase Process has Changed
While for most people, the car buying process starts with an
online search, shoppers have become gradually more interested in
sourcing experiences and preferences from other shoppers who
made similar purchases. They want the opinions of other shoppers
to help them make decisions, spending more time on social
networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and review and rating
sites, like Yelp and DealerRater.
A significant number of people are using social media as a
resource when shopping for a new vehicle. Information is helping
consumers determine which brands and models to consider
and which dealerships to consider purchasing from. The
recommendation of others is often more valuable to consumers
than traditional marketing.
A study conducted by eBay Motors found that the majority of car
buyers now go online to begin the car buying process and more
than half are strongly influenced by what their friends have to say
on Facebook, etc. The Internet has become a thriving interactive
community where consumer reviews and ratings influence the
shopping decision for the majority of online shoppers.
92% of all consumers report word
of mouth recommendation is leading
reason they buy product or services.
Nielsen & Roper Reports
It is clear that the opinion of others plays an important role in the
purchase process. As consumers spend more time on portals,
search engines and social networks and less time on individual
websites, dealerships must make themselves more visible and
accessible on these sites
Social media posts, likes, fans, followers and +1’s all influence
organic results. A large number of likes on a dealer’s Facebook
page have been known to carry more SEO weight than other
highly-linked and well-established sites. It’s more important than
ever before for dealers to engage in the social web, interact with
customers online, and develop a solid social and reputation
Combine social
advertising with
great posting
Employ innovative
apps to enable better
content sourcing
Include all employees
in content creation
Centralize content
curation to build value
over time
Categorize posts to
keep a good balance
(product, brand, lifestyle, local)
5 Ways to
Enable Great
Social Media
78% always research a car before purchasing
66% compare prices online
58% read online reviews
38% get recommendations from family & friends
4 Key Steps to Creating a Solid Reputation and
Social Management Strategy
Step 1: Take Control of Your Online Profiles
The first step in a solid reputation management program is to
optimize all your online profiles on social networks, review and
rating sites and other online communities. This is a prime
opportunity to provide shoppers with a local value proposition.
Every site online that contains your dealership’s name, including
directory listings represents an opportunity to spread the message
you want to tell about your business.
85% of online
shoppers seach local
businesses online.
Local Consumer
Review Study 2012,
Step 2: Track Customer-Generated Content
With the explosion of online social content, dealers need the
ability to collect and analyze reviews and social mentions from
across the entire Internet. You can’t fix a problem if you are not
aware of it. Without the proper tools to aggregate and track these
reviews, capturing this information can be burdensome.
Dealers will want to keep eyes on the top 15 review and networking sites, where 90% of all reviews are posted, as well as any
relevant local review sites where their shoppers are likely to visit.
Comprehensive tracking also allows dealers to keep track of what
the competition is doing.
3 out of 5 online
users search for a
local business on a
Localeze Search Study
Midway Chevrolet Cadillac Drives Quantity and Quality of Online Reviews with
Dominion Prime Response
Brent Cacaro, Internet Manager at
Midway Chevrolet Cadillac, knew he
needed to monitor his dealership’s
online reputation, but had no plan to
implement a process to generate and
track online reviews. That is, until he
discovered Prime Response Reputation
Management, Dominion’s comprehensive reputation and social management
platform that lets dealers understand,
respond and influence what is being
said about their dealership online.
With Prime Response, Midway Chevrolet is now intentional
about securing reviews to set their dealership apart from the
competition online, using a proven process to drive both the
quantity and quality of reviews. The automated process is
easy and provides quick results. “We simply inform each sales
and service customer that they will soon receive a survey from
us. Prime Response executes the surveys and leads all happy
customers to post their sentiment online and flags dissatisfied customers so we can quickly reach out and rectify their
situation,” Cacaro states. “This builds our star ratings on key
sites in big ways.”
142% increase in online reviews
4.7 star rating
“With so many customers looking
dealerships up online before they
come in, this tool has proven to be
very beneficial and a true asset.”
– Brent Cacaro, Internet Manager
Prime Response has become a true competitive advantage for
Midway Chevrolet Cadillac. Since implementing Prime
Response, Midway Chevrolet Cadillac has witnessed a 142%
increase in online reviews and has secured a 4.7 star rating.
“With so many customers looking dealerships up online before
they come in, this tool has proven to be very beneficial and a
true asset,” Cacaro adds.
For More Information
Step 3: Develop Brand Advocates and Influence the Discussion
How do you motivate happy customers to share their experience? It
starts with good customer service and a strong customer loyalty
• Reach out to customers at the right time, after they have
purchased or been in for service.
• Ask them to share their experience by posting feedback on
specific review sites where their positive comments can influence
other consumers and their fresh content can positively improve
your dealership’s SEO ranking.
• Make it easy for customers to leave feedback by making a
custom URL readily accessible, like: www.RateABCDealer.com.
Consumer reviews
are trusted nearly
12 times more than
descriptions that
come from
manufacturers or
eMarketer, 2010
Turn your loyal customers into brand advocates and they will get
the good news out about your dealership. A good reputation
management program will help to influence buying decisions by
directing happy customers to the specific review sites where their
fresh feedback is needed most.
62% of online
shoppers claim that
as few as 1 to 3 bad
reviews are enough
to deter them from
a purchase.
Lightspeed Research
Motor Werks Cadillac Masters Online Review Process with Dominion Prime Response
C.J. Romig, General Sales
Manager at Motor Werks Cadillac had
a reputation management process in
place and spent hours each week pouring
over review sites and responding to customers, in
order to stay on top of what was being said online
about his dealership. Looking for a more efficient and
solution, Romig discovered Prime Response Reputation
Management, Dominion’s integrated platform for social and
reputation management.
Prime Response provides Motor Werks Cadillac with a fresh
approach to online reputation management with do-it-yourself
and fully managed options to build protect and promote a
dealership’s brand. Since implementing Prime Response, Motor
Werks Cadillac routinely sends email to both sales and service
customers following every transaction in order to generate
reviews. Romig found that the increasing numbers of positive
reviews also began to have a positive effect on his dealership’s
SEO. Motor Werks Cadillac’s Google + page consistently
appears alongside the other top review sites. “Now not a week
goes by when someone tells me that the only reason they came
into my dealership is because of a review they saw online,”
states Romig.
“Now not a week goes by when
someone tells me that the only
reason they came into my dealership
is because of a review they saw
– C.J. Romig, General Sales Manager
Prime Response lets Romig
check up on his dealership from
anywhere, allowing him to immediately
connect with his customers. He also works
closely with his dedicated Reputation Specialist, who serves as an extension of his dealership,
providing critical information and support.
60% increase in online reviews
4.9 average rating out of 5 stars
Since implementing Prime Response, Motor Werks Cadillac has
increased online review by 60% and now has an average rating
of 4.9 out of 5 stars.” In addition, any negative review that is
placed online can be addressed immediately without affecting
the overall score.
Prime Response provides a serious competitive advantage for
Motor Werks Cadillac. “My customers talk about how our reviews
are so much better than other dealers in the area, and that we
have so many more reviews as well. Prime Response keeps our
current customers happy and brings in new customers, knowing
this is the level of service we provide,” Romig claims.
For More Information
Step 4: Build and Maintain an Interactive Social Presence
A comprehensive reputation management program can’t be
fully realized without a social media presence. Dealers should
develop a strategy and schedule to create, curate and post
content in the form of messaging, photos and videos on social
networking sites. And consider adding Facebook advertising
to your digital marketing mix to reach and influence the
broadest audience. Dealers who don’t have the resources to
tackle this in-house, should seek to partner with a provider
who acts transparently on behalf of the dealership to develop
and post locally-relevant content.
Entertain &
Educate &
Identify and Engage Influencers
to Build Sustainable Relationships
Dealers who want to remain competitive and build a strong, loyal
customer base will need to implement a customer loyalty strategy
that incorporates a comprehensive approach to managing their
online reputation and social interactions. A well-planned and
implemented strategy for reputation and social media management
can help dealers get car shoppers talking. The Internet is more
competitive than ever and the number of dealerships that shoppers
visit once they have made a decision to purchase has fallen to 1.3
(down from 4.3 in 2005). Dealers must strive to generate buzz about
their dealership online and make their dealership the most recommended, driving increased traffic to their website and ultimately to
the showroom.
Best practices
to drive
reviews and
Optimize your website
to drive car shoppers
to your site.
Take control of your
profiles and Google
Places pages.
Implement a strategy
to drive influence.
Build out your FB and
Twitter pages
Develop a schedule to
add fresh content to
your social pages.
Increase social
engagement by crating
posts and interacting
with loyal customer online.
About Dominion Dealer Solutions
Dominion Dealer Solutions helps car dealers attract, retain and
service customers for life. With web-based customer relationship
and lead management tools, inventory management analytics,
dealer management solutions (DMS), and reputation and social
media management solutions, Dominion provides a full-circle
dealership solution. Additionally, Dominion provides custom lead
generation and digital marketing tools including: responsive
websites, SEO, SEM, digital advertising, fully-managed
multi-channel marketing, specialized data aggregation, mobile apps
and market reports. Every OEM and more than 60 percent of auto
dealers nationwide utilize Dominion Dealer Solutions technologies
and services to solve their marketing challenges.
For more information, visit us at DriveDominion.com, like us on
Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube or follow us on Twitter.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Dominion Prime Response®
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