Social Media Marketing for Auto Dealers

Promote your content, connect with customers, and reach new audiences with social media marketing.

social media marketing for auto dealers

Join the Party

Think of social media as one big party.

People are talking, laughing, patting each other on the back. Some are gossiping in the corner. Friends are showing each other pictures of their pets and raving about the movies they saw last month. They’re asking each other for advice about the best businesses in town.

The best part? Everyone’s invited — including you.

If your automotive dealership isn’t on social media, you’re missing out — not just on a fun party, but also on loads of potential customers. Since nearly two-thirds of Americans use social media, it’s safe to say your leads are hanging out there. And even if you’re not there yet, chances are they’re already talking about you on social — nicely or not.

So don your best hat, and go join the social media party. It’s the perfect place to promote your content, connect with customers, and reach new audiences.

Promote Your Content

social media for auto dealersContent marketing is at the core of an effective digital marketing strategy, but your content means nothing if you don’t show it to anyone.

By distributing your content across various social media platforms, you’ll make sure it’s read — and by the right people. Not only will you increase your credibility with current customers, you’ll also attract new audiences that are likely to connect with your content.

At 9 Clouds, we make it a point to promote every single piece of content we create on social media. The second we publish a blog post, landing page, or eBook, we schedule several different posts across all the relevant social channels.

We pride ourselves on tailoring our social media strategy to each client’s specific needs. But after years in the biz of social media marketing for auto dealers, we’ve found a winning approach that we call the two/two/two rule: post each piece twice within the first day of publishing, twice within the first week, and twice within the first month. Each post is hand-crafted to deliver a new message each time.

Typically, we stick to the social media giants: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. But we’re also experienced in LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. We love trying new things too, so if you’ve got a lesser-known social platform you’d like to experiment with, we’ll do our best to incorporate it into your social strategy.

Connect with Customers

Social media strategy for auto dealersA customer isn’t done with your dealership just because they’ve completed the sales cycle. Once someone buys a vehicle from you, your relationship is often just beginning.

It’s important to keep customers happy for a couple of reasons. First, you want them to speak highly of your dealership to others so that you can acquire new customers and establish your reputation as the best dealer around. Second, you want them to keep you in mind as their first choice for the next time they’re looking to upgrade their vehicle.

So how do you maintain a relationship with your customers? By engaging with them on social media.

People like to brag about their purchases — especially big ones like vehicles. 9 Clouds can help you capitalize on that by reaching out to customers and encouraging them to share photos of their new car or leave a review of your dealership on social media.

The reverse is also true: if a customer had a bad experience at your dealership (which we know would never happen), they may want to rant about it on social media. 9 Clouds can help you detect and respond to those negative messages in a timely, tactful fashion.

The key to our social strategy for auto dealers is that everything we do is fully automated. Our marketing automation software, HubSpot, integrates with your CRM, allowing us to monitor all your contacts’ social activity in real time.

That means we can segment and interact with your contacts based on where they are in the sales cycle. We can set up lists that notify us whenever someone has mentioned your dealership on social media, and we can either respond to them immediately or schedule a message for later. We can even provide detailed reports that prove the ROI of your social media efforts.

All this results in a social media marketing strategy that is completely comprehensive. No more shooting in the dark. Now you can pinpoint exactly who you want to talk to — when, where, why, and how.

Reach New Audiences

Denny Menholt Ford - 9 CloudsParties are a place for meeting new people — not crowding in a corner with your core group of friends.

The same is true with social media. If all you’re doing is sharing your content with the same people every time, you’re not putting yourself out there. Increase your exposure and generate new leads by reaching out to people who have never interacted with your brand before.

9 Clouds can help you network with new contacts by creating posts that encourage likes and shares. In addition to organic posts, which are shown only to the people who like your page, 9 Clouds can create paid ads, which are distributed to a wider audience to generate even more exposure.

The best part of social media advertising for auto dealers is that we can actually hand-pick the people who see your ads. For instance, if you’d like to feature your new selection of 2016 Silverados, we can craft a Facebook ad targeted toward people in your area who are in the market for a 2016 Silverado. We can even run re-tarketing ads to anyone who has visited one of your 2016 Silverado VDPs to encourage them to come back and buy.

9 Clouds can use other tools to build your social media following. We can run email campaigns encouraging contacts to like your page or create blog posts with special offers for people who follow you on Twitter.

When it comes to social media marketing for auto dealers, the opportunities are endless. With our sophisticated marketing automation software, 9 Clouds can provide a thorough social strategy that integrates with all your other digital marketing efforts.

How 9 Clouds Uses Social Media

Okay, enough talk. We know what you really want to see: real-world examples of our social media work.

Below are three specific ways 9 Clouds has helped auto dealers increase sales using social media marketing.

1. Use Facebook Ads to Drive Website Traffic

9 Clouds frequently uses Facebook ads to drive large amounts of traffic to dealers’ websites.

Denny Menholt Chevrolet - 9 Clouds

One of the primary ways we do this is through carousel ads, which showcase three to five images (all with different landing page links) within a single ad. We have successfully used carousel ads to:

  • Feature used vehicles for sale
  • Feature new vehicles for sale
  • Promote an upcoming event
  • Promote service or sales specials
  • Highlight a specific model

See real examples of carousel ads we’ve run for auto dealers here.

Rushmore Honda - 9 Clouds

9 Clouds also uses Facebook ads to promote content we’ve created for our clients. For example, one Honda dealer wanted to run a buy-back event to increase sales and acquire more trade-ins. After creating a landing page, blog post, and email encouraging contacts to fill out a form to get a free trade evaluation, we set up three Facebook ads that linked to the blog post. Using a budget of $50 over a two-week time frame, the three ads were targeted to three different groups of potential customers who lived within 50 miles of the store.

At the end of the two weeks, the blog post received 161 views, 89% of which came directly from the Facebook ads. Each visit from Facebook cost a mere $0.33 per click. When all was said and done, the buy-back campaign resulted in 22 high-value trades for the dealership — all within a period of just two weeks.

To learn more about how 9 Clouds helped this client sell vehicles through digital marketing, read the full case study here.

2. Monitor, Schedule, and Report on Twitter Activity

9 Clouds & Social Media9 Clouds is able to monitor, publish, and report on tweets for auto dealers — all in one sitting, all from one platform.

Our marketing automation software, HubSpot, includes one of the most sophisticated social monitoring tools in the industry. It’s an all-in-one service that saves a ton of time and energy.

9 Clouds & Social MediaHubSpot integrates well with most major social networks, but the one it works with best is Twitter. In the social monitoring tab, you can create countless different streams that automatically pull tweets based on your chosen criteria. For instance, we’ve set up streams that show tweets from our competitors, tweets from our leads, retweets of our own Twitter content, and more. These segmented lists allow us to focus our outreach efforts on different audiences based on their needs.

The social publishing tab is where we schedule those outreach efforts. From this one page, we can craft a tweet; attach a blog post, landing page, or image to it; connect it to a marketing campaign; and schedule it for a future date and time. If we want, we can use the same content for Facebook, Google+, or another social platform. HubSpot can even tell us what times are best to post for your location, so you’ll get better engagement with your audience.

9 Clouds & Social MediaHubSpot also offers a robust social reporting tab to help you calculate your social media ROI. Here, you can compare time frames, platforms, and channels to discover which ones are the most successful. You can also see the results of your marketing campaigns and social reach. 9 Clouds offers these social reports for all our clients.

To learn more about our Twitter strategy, read our Twitter goals for auto dealers in 2016.

3. Increase Engagement with Instagram

9 Clouds & Social MediaInstagram is an up-and-coming social media platform for auto dealers. Just take a look at our eBook, Instagram for Auto Dealers, to learn why.

9 Clouds has experimented with Instagram to help clients increase engagement with potential customers. We’ve used Instagram to:

  • Post engaging photos from both the lot and the OEM website
  • Highlight vehicle features using Instagram videos
  • Show real-life pictures of staff, service, events, and more

Check out our top three Instagram tips for auto dealers to learn more about how we leverage this burgeoning social platform for our clients.

9 Clouds & Social MediaOne of our favorite ways to encourage engagement on social media is by asking questions in our posts. For example, for one Mercedes-Benz dealership, we posted a photo on Instagram that showed an old model next to a new one with the caption, “Old vs. new: Which do you choose?” The post generated 73 likes and four comments — proof that if you ask, people will answer.

To learn more about how to increase your engagement on Instagram, read our post “Double-Tap: The Anatomy of a Likeable Instagram Post.”

Learn More about Social Media

Want to learn more about social media marketing for auto dealers?

We’ve written endless content about just that. Here are a few of our favorite pieces:

For even more awesome content, check out all our social media articles here.

Request Your Free Digital Audit

Want to find out how well your store is doing at this whole social media marketing thing?

We offer a free marketing analysis for your dealership. Just sign up below, and we will schedule a 30-minute consultation to go over your social media and other digital marketing efforts.


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