When you get that dreaded weekly notification about how much time you spent on your phone the previous week, is it up or down? Think about that.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic restricted close contact with one another, there was still an easy way to communicate: social media. During the first wave of the pandemic, social media engagement increased by 61%.
We are living in the digital era, and things certainly aren’t going back to the old way any time soon. This shift also includes changes to how we buy cars.
Social Media During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, we turned to the internet for everything. When we couldn’t flock to physical stores or car dealerships to get our shopping done, we flocked somewhere else: digital storefronts. And we were often led there via social media. The pandemic turned social media into the local mall. Except, you didn’t have to get off the couch. Whether it’s TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, people are shopping more and more on social media platforms.
The pandemic also largely increased online shopping for vehicles. After all, most people don’t like shopping at a dealership, often due to pushy sales tactics. The shift to digital retail had already begun before the pandemic, but COVID certainly sped up the shift. Many dealerships upgraded their websites to provide seamless buying experiences. If you haven’t started utilizing social media to sell cars yet, you’re significantly behind the curve.
The New Car-Buying Experience
The shift to digital retail via social media also applies to car-buying. Today, it’s possible for consumers to purchase a car without setting foot in a dealership, thanks to modernizations in the car-buying world like live video conferencing.
Car dealerships need to heed these new trends on social media. The key to social media as we navigate the COVID recovery period is to keep a few of these things in mind:
• Buyers go to social media to discuss cars.
More and more car consumers are discussing car purchases on social media platforms. Many buyers write a post with information about a car, automaker or dealership they liked. In addition, nearly 25% of potential car buyers use Facebook to conduct research before making a purchase.
• Buyers rely on social media to inform their purchase decisions.
According to Think with Google, 92% of car buyers do their research online before they make a purchase. Social media advertisements for your dealership can help those buyers find you, instead of another dealership down the road.
How Social Media Changes Can Affect the Car-Buying Process
Nearly 4.5 billion people use social media worldwide. Whether you are an Instagram influencer or more of a Facebook deleter, either way, social media has some sway over how we live our lives — and how we do business.
Even if you are running TV ads for your dealership, most of your potential clients are staring at their phones during commercial breaks anyway. So meet them where they already are — on social media. After all, most car buyers are doing research online before they buy. And you know as soon as they Google “new Ford-150 near me,” they’re going to be bombarded with targeted ads showing them all the vehicles for sale in their area.
Before the advent of social media marketing for the auto industry, car buyers visited multiple dealerships, looking at vehicles and doing their research to see where they could get the best price. They probably learned about dealerships in their area from the newspaper or TV ads. This sales process stayed the same for decades.
These days, however, things are very different. It’s not enough to rely on traditional forms of marketing your dealership. To stay in the game and compete with the rest, you need to be on social media.