21 Feb Reputation Management & Your Dealership

stars-1128772_960_720Sometimes, dealerships consider responding to guest reviews as a low priority. However, it’s an important facet of your overall customer satisfaction strategy and ought to be taken seriously.

By responding to customer reviews, it provides the customer a voice, which makes them feel heard. In turn, this gives dealerships an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction levels and increase customer loyalty. Also, by seeing management responses, it can improve the perception of a dealership, which can ultimately increase sales. Dealerships that respond to reviews are more likely to increase their revenue as well as be more visible on reviews.

A customer’s online perception of your auto dealership is important, since they will likely research you online before visiting you in person. Star ratings and reviews on sites such as Facebook, Yelp, and Google+ are often critical for your dealership’s digital reputation.

According to Business2Community, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Unfortunately, not every customer will have a rewarding experience at your dealership. Negative reviews are sometimes inevitable; the way you respond to those reviews will determine how future customers feel about you.

Here are a few tips to help get started with responding to customer reviews:

  • Respond promptly. By responding quickly, it shows your customers and potential customers that you pay attention and value feedback. Showing that you care about their experience and are on top of the reviews will leave a positive impression on them.
  • Say thank you. Whether the feedback is negative or positive, always state your appreciation for the time invested to write a review and share their experience online. For example, “Thank you for taking the time to share your experience online; we appreciate your time”
  • Don’t sidestep complaints. If you tackle negative feedback head on, it reassures the reviewer their feedback is taken seriously and shows you are willing to improve. Thank the reviewer for giving their feedback and then tell them how you’re going to resolve the issue. Be sure to avoid defensiveness and remember that a simple “I’m very sorry you had a negative experience” goes a long way.
  • Encourage positive reviews from happy customers. Positive reviews will help to balance out the negative ones, so seek them out. Recent customers are most likely to remember just how happy they were upon purchase, so grab them now. Try calling them or sending an email saying you would like to congratulate him or her on their recent purchase. If they’re happy, ask them if they would be willing to share a review or comment on our Facebook, Yelp, or Google+ page. 
  • Be courteous and gracious: When responding to online feedback, be impeccably professional and polite.  Remember that your response is visible to the public, and keep in mind that you are representing your brand.

Make sure responding to reviews is a top priority, or your competition will benefit.

If someone takes the time to review you or leave a comment on any of your posts, continue the conversation. Respond quickly and consider sharing any other helpful information. Remember: online reviews can often be a potential customer’s first impression of your business. So be everything you want them to see.

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28 Nov YouTube for Car Dealerships

taaa_youtube_twIn this decade, by the time a potential buyer walks in the doors of your dealership, he or she has probably searched online for feature information, reviews, and deals. The buyer has compared models and knows what paint options exist for the vehicle he wants. And, most likely, the shopper has visited YouTube more than once to check out the automobiles in the running. Yes, she wants to come in and test drive a model or two and kick the tires, so to speak, but she has a head start.

Per a DMEAutomotive study, the average car purchaser today makes less than two visits to physical dealerships. Before he arrives, the shopper has made numerous digital and mobile visits to check out both you and the cars. And among these virtual experiences, YouTube holds an important key.

YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and third most visited site after Google and Facebook. The channel gets over 30 million visitors per day, which translates to about 1 billion active users per month. That’s a giant chunk of internet users consuming video.

David Mogensen, Google’s Head of YouTube Ads Product Marketing, issued a report in which it was reported that 70% of people who used YouTube as part of their car buying process were influenced by what they watched. Further, views on YouTube of test drives, features, options, and walk-throughs have doubled in the past year; mobile searches from dealership lots increased 46% in the last year.

What this means is this: before buyers grace your showroom, they’re making decisions and forming opinions via online research. And here’s the question: where do you want your buyers to get their information: from your dealership or from someone else’s?

Per Google, car review videos on YouTube were watched for more than 3 million hours in the first 9 months of 2015, of which more than 1.2 million were on mobile, more than twice as many as the previous year. In general, research shows that people generally tend to search for 3 types of car video:

  • Test drives
  • Comparison videos showing features of different makes and models
  • Interior and exterior car walk-throughs

This is a great opportunity for your dealership to use video marketing on YouTube to reach potential buyers. How can you maximize your time and money investment in this channel?

Conduct an online audit.  Pretend you are buying a new car yourself, or hire a consultant to audit your online presence. Are you covering the channels that could be most advantageous to you? Is your brand consistent and professional?  Are you using all the right key words to attract the most hits?

Build your video library: Remember that customers are impatient and they want concise and informative video content. Respect their time and yours and create video that reflects your personality in a way that will bring customers to your door.

Be responsive: Modern society is impatient and expects to find answers very quickly. If you aren’t there with the right answer, the moment shoppers are looking, chances are someone else will be.

Dive in! If you’re not already creating content for YouTube and tying that to your other marketing and sales channels, you could be missing a critical outreach opportunity.

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23 Sep The Wide Reach of Twitter For Auto Sales

taaa_twitteractivelogins_facebook-1With over 500 million active users, Twitter is an important channel of influence in US culture, and that includes the people you’re most interested in finding: potential car buyers. Car dealers all over the country are using Twitter to direct traffic back to their site, to reach out to the community, and to advertise.

According to an article in Advertising Age, in 2013 marketing analytics company MarketShare concluded that Twitter drove $716 million in auto sales among 20 specific nameplates through Twitter Ads, positive brand mentions, amplification of TV advertising, and the Twitter activity of the automakers themselves. Twitter may be a bigger influencer than you thought.

If you’re not currently using Twitter, it’s not difficult to set up an account and get started. Choose a handle that reflects who and where you are, and start engaging in conversation, 140 characters at a time. If you can add it to your budget, it’s a great idea to hire a consultant or agency to help you set your strategy and put you on course to use this channel to your best advantage.

In conjunction with your other social media channels, it’s important to make sure that the content your dealership shares on Twitter is engaging. While you want to drive traffic to your site with Twitter, you want to be sure you’re posting things people want to read.

For instance, if you post a how-to post about car purchasing to your dealership site, it’s excellent content fit to share. But in addition to sharing your own content, you should share other relevant content that fits your audience. Did you see a great post somewhere? Share it and cite the source.

Four key tips:

  1. Are you wondering how Twitter can help your automotive dealership when all of your customers are local?  Go to: and search for terms like “car shopping”, “need a new car”, “looking at cars”, and so on. Then hone in on your area with city and/or zip code, as well.
  2. Watch out for too many self-mentions: think about what your customers love about you and your dealership and provide them with information that helps them, as opposed to a constant barrage of selling. As Jay Baer – the most retweeted person in the world by digital marketers and author of five New York Times best-selling books – says, “Smart marketing should be able help, not hype.”
  3. It’s important to respond to your customer base on Twitter. If someone complains about your dealership via Twitter, you must respond in a professional manner. If someone praises you, know how to share that accolade. If you have someone on your staff who is social-media savvy, he or she can help you handle the praises and complaints and drive the message. If you don’t, hire someone to help…at least until you get your feet wet.
  4. Twitter can also strengthen the impact of TV ads by coordinating corresponding tweets that give the messaging more reach. If a user is engaged enough with a TV show to tweet about it, he or she is very likely to have seen the commercials. Use those hashtags!

Do a little reconnaissance and find out if your local and regional competitors are using Twitter, and take a look to see what they’re sharing. Are they generating engagement? Are they responding? If not, this is your chance to get ahead.

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20 Apr Photoblog of the Digiday DBS in Palm Springs

We truly enjoyed our visit to Palm Springs for the Digiday Brand Summit.  As VIP guests at DBS, we’re able to visit with incredibly innovative companies within the digital world.  We made new friends, caught some great NBA playoff games and added to our arsenal of digital media opportunities.  Here are some photos from the event.

Vinoo Vijay, CMO of TD Bank.

Vinoo Vijay, CMO of TD Bank.

Marco Camacho and Jayson Keener.

Marco Camacho and Jayson Keener.

Marco explains our agency philosophy.

Marco explains our agency philosophy.

Beautiful golf courses in the area.

Beautiful golf courses in the area.

Curating our biggest challenges.

Curating our biggest challenges.



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