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Friday, 29 April 2011 21:30

Facebook, Fun – but sells few cars

Automotive News Reporter Dave Barkholz writes that despite the hype, social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube do little to help dealers sell vehicles.

Just 3 percent of 4,005 new and used car buyers polled last summer said social media influenced their purchase decision, according to a survey by market researcher R.L. Polk & Co. and AutoTrader.com, a car shopping Web site.

“It’s amazing that we put so much priority on social media when it’s not making us a lot of money,” said Kevin Frye, eCommerce director for the nine-store Jeff Wyler Automotive Family in Cincinnati.

Frye said he has experimented for four years with social media — with little success turning that engagement into sales. He’s sticking with it, but he’s doubtful that direct vehicle sales will result.

Dealers across the country are racking their brains to understand what social media can do and how much money they should spend on it.

Many dealers say that social media are good for building relationships and awareness. Many add that that social media’s role in auto sales is bound to grow, so dealers need to jump in. On the social sites, dealers can post videos, pictures, blogs, answer questions and converse with customers on various topics.

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