car marketing online reputation

If your car dealership wants to see more customers hit the lot, you better start by checking out what people are saying about you and proactively pursing positive reviews.

Virtually everybody these days relies on customer experiences and online reviews for nearly any product decision. Whether embarking on a night out to dinner, buying the latest electronics gizmo or even hiring a service company – most consumers now hit the web for online reviews before any purchase.

Buying a new car is not an exception. Bear in mind the fact that nearly all car buyers start the process online – what are they researching? Surely they will check reviews about the vehicle they hope to purchase. But, that’s not all. It’s a safe bet they are also searching for reviews about your car dealership.

Your car marketing online reputation has never been so important to your overall strategy as it is now.

What will potential customers see about your car dealership? Good? Bad? Anything at all? There are many things you can do and many steps that can be taken to rock the online reputation of your car dealership.

Power of Online Reputation for Car Dealerships

According to a 2013 study, 79% of consumers put just as much trust in online reviews as they would a personal recommendation before making a buying decision.

Many car dealership marketing managers are still struggling to keep up with basic practices such as social media inventory syndication and dealership social media management. Reaching out to customers and asking for reviews on popular review websites is not generally practiced by all car dealerships. But, it can pay off. This gives an edge to those dealerships that are paying attention to their reputation online.

According to an automotive social media and online reputation study:

“67 percent of consumers used a review site when selecting a dealer.”

Which Car Dealership Review Sites to Use

If your goal is to stay ahead in the auto dealer online marketing race, you need to know where to start. Online resources are always changing and there are now old review sites that no one is paying attention to and new online review sites worth pursuing. It’s up to you to discern which ones are valuable to your company. Don’t worry – we will help.

We are going to list the top online review websites car buyers reported using to search for dealerships from the Digital Air Strike research.

  • Cars.com – 55 percent of car buyers
  • Edmunds.com – 50 percent of car buyers
  • Google+ Local – 40 percent of car buyers
  • Yelp – 14 percent of car buyers
  • Yahoo Local – 11 percent of car buyers

By taking note of the fact that those percentages add up to more than 100 percent, we know that most consumers are researching more than just one website. What does this mean to you and your car dealership? Your reputation needs to be as consistent as possible on all the platforms posting about your company.

Use Online Reputation Management to Win the Race

You must implement online reputation management in order to pull ahead to the top positions.

Knowing that customers are comparing the results on multiple review sites – it’s imperative your reputation is consistent across the various review platforms. If one of those sites happens to give your dealership a perfect review and a different one of those sites scores your dealership poorly, unfortunately, people will assume you have paid for fake reviews on the site with perfect feedback.

In the event negative feedback has been posted online about your car dealership, it’s imperative to investigate the issue further and correct any shortcomings to prevent future negative feedback.

Fact:

“Car buyers are willing to drive farther to reach dealerships with positive online reviews – 24% said they would drive 30 miles to a dealer with positive reviews, 15% said they would drive as far as 40 miles, while nearly one-third (31%) said they would drive 50 miles or more.”

Think about those statistics for a moment. If 70% of car buyers online are willing to drive an additional 30 miles for a car dealership with positive online reviews – how much business could you stand to gain? Even worse, if you have a negative reputation online, think about all the business you are potentially losing.

Contact the experts at Automotive Inventory Management – ‘AIM’  if you want any further information on how we can help enhance your car marketing online strategy to help attract more visitors to your website.