There is no doubt the digital age has forever changed consumer behavior. The decision to make a purchase is preceded by time spent online reading product and company reviews, or asking friends and family about products via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
In the world of automotive sales, understanding this type of behavior can help dealers if they take the more proactive approach. The key is to integrate the dealer’s website with display ads and social media engagement in order to maintain the same cohesive quality of content across all channels. In doing so, dealers can create a stronger customer loyalty base that can grow into a voice for brand advocacy.
Results from a recent study conducted by Twitter and Datalogix, were paired with comprehensive automotive data provided by Polk. Some of the intriguing findings include:
- Households with Twitter users were 2x as likely to purchase a new car as the average U.S. Household.1
- Households with Twitter users who engaged with promoted tweets from auto advertisers were 32% more likely to purchase a new vehicle than the average Twitter user.2
- Auto brand Twitter followers were nearly 3x as likely to purchase a new car.3
But exactly how does using Twitter contribute to an increase in auto sales? This is where the website/social media/display ad integration comes into play. A separate survey revealed that 80 percent of Twitter users will mention a brand in their tweet.4 Another 54 percent said they pursued an action when a brand was mentioned, whether that meant visiting a brand’s website, searching for their Twitter profile, or even trying the brand for the first time.5
Traditional and digital media have their place in automotive advertising however, social media engagement extends beyond ads. A recent Google survey found that, on average, car buyers research 24 factors during the buying process, including search engines, OEM sites, and third party sites. The survey also concluded that more than half of auto shoppers watch 30 minutes or more of online videos, while 47% of auto shoppers heard about a car or truck from watching online videos. Finally, 65% were able to narrow down their search after watching a video.6
Think of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as virtual showrooms and car lots. When customers search for your dealership online, they want to get a feel for the kind of dealership they’re working with, including the people, the purchasing process, and the quality of available inventory. And above all, they want the process, from start to finish, to be seamless and easy.
If done correctly, creating continuity between an auto dealership’s website, social media sites, and digital ads builds a cohesive branding message for the consumer every step of their journey to the purchase decision.
1, 2, 3, Source: Twitter Blog, New Offline Sales Impact Offering: Measure Vehicle Sales From Promoted Tweets (2014)
4, 5 Source: CBT News, Why Everyone at Your Dealership Should Be Engaged with Social Media (2015)
6 Source: Google, Digital Drives Auto Shopping (2013)