9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Stars Sell Cars: How to Manage your Online Reputation

Do stars sell cars?

No, I’m not talking about Matthew McConaughey and his popular Lincoln MKC commercials.

If you're a dealer, you should be more worried about the stars on your online reviews than the rom-com actor. Because yes, stars do sell cars, but your customers aren’t going to just hand them over.

‘No one reads reviews anyway’

Sure, you can tell yourself that no one cares about your online reputation, but know this: Customers read reviews. More now than ever.

Before we hit the movies or try a new restaurant, we’re checking out the online reaction.

If people are reading reviews about small decisions in life (a $5 cup of coffee or a $10 movie), you know they’re doing online research before investing thousands in a new car.

Your dealership's online reputation could be the factor that drives a customer to — or away — from your lot.

‘I don’t want to draw attention to a bad review’

Sure, we all like to ignore problems. Every Saturday I convince myself there’s no dirty laundry.

Same goes for a bad review. Why not just pretend its not there … your customers will do the same, right?

Ah, if only that’s how it worked.

A bad review unacknowledged is a dirty stain on your online reputation. Some people actually scour the internet looking for bad reviews, and those are often curated into a gallery of tear downs. (See here, here, here and here if you don't believe me.)

Before your bad review gets shared, respond. Do it politely and move the conversation offline. Any potential customer will appreciate seeing a human response to a bad review.

‘I'll ctrl-v my way to a good reputation'

A key takeaway in that last line: A human response.

No one wants to see a cut-and-paste answer to every review on a dealership's website.

Your sales team spends a lot of time building a relationship with each buyer. Don’t waste their hard work with a canned response to an online review.

Not every dealership has a Hollywood star on their side, but you can get something even better: A collection of stars online. Your local customers are going to take those a lot more seriously.

Are you looking for more ways to build your dealership’s online persona? Download our step-by-step guide to better using Facebook ads to learn how to build your audience and save money.

Download Facebook Ads for Auto eBook

Photo credit: Christine Nestel