When you get that dreaded weekly notification about how much time you spent on your phone in the past week, is it up or down? For most of us, the answer is up. Way up. Though the COVID-19 pandemic restricted our close physical contact with one another for a period of time, there was still one prevalent and easy way we could communicate with each other: on social media. During the first wave of the pandemic, social media engagement increased by 61 percent. So if you’re a tad bit embarrassed by how much time you’ve spent on your phone over the last year and half, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. We are living in the digital era now, and things certainly aren’t going back to the old way any time soon. And 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: to digital stores and car dealerships. And we were often led to those stores via social media. The COVID-19 pandemic turned social media into your new 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 has also forever changed the way we sell cars, and the way consumers buy cars. Many people during the pandemic couldn’t conceive of the idea of riding crowded commuter trains and buses to work. Others are moving out of busy cities and into the suburbs and even farther out into the country.
The pandemic also largely increased online shopping for vehicles. After all, most people don’t like shopping at a dealership due to pushy sales tactics and for other reasons. The shift to digital retail had already begun before the pandemic, but the pandemic certainly sped up the shift. Many dealerships stepped up their websites to provide seamless buying experiences. If you haven’t started utilizing social media to sell cars yet, you’re already significantly behind the curve.
Social Media During COVID-19
The shift to digital retail via social media also applies to car buying. Though buying a new vehicle is a slightly different process than purchasing a new t-shirt online, it is largely the same. These days, it’s even possible for some consumers to purchase a car without even 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 car buyers write a post with information about a car, automaker, or dealership they liked. In addition, nearly 25 percent of potential car buyers use Facebook to conduct research before making an auto purchase.
Buyers Rely on Social Media to Inform Their Purchase Decisions
According to Think with Google, 92 percent of car buyers do their research online before they make a purchase. Social media ads for your dealership by TECOBI can help those buyers find you, instead of another dealership down the road. (Or even worse, Carvana.)
How Social Media Changes Can Affect the Car Buying Process
Nearly 4.5 billion people use social media worldwide. It’s the most popular activity online. 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. Yes, even how we sell cars.
Let’s be real: even if you are running TV ads for your dealership, most of your potential clients are staring at their phones during the commercial break during the NFL game 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 dealership after dealership, 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 prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
These days, however, things are very different. It’s not enough to rely on those old-school traditional forms of marketing your dealership. And forget those pushy sales tactics. To stay in the game and compete with the likes of Carvana, you need to be on social media.
Social Media Advertising at TECOBI
At TECOBI, we have more than $30 million in ad spend on Facebook and Instagram under our belts. You can say that we know what we’re doing with social media ads for auto dealerships. We can tell you firsthand that Facebook leads are still extremely effective in auto sales.
Our social media ads for auto dealers cast a wide net and we get you a huge amount of leads. Then, we have the necessary tools and technology to actually follow up with those leads via personalized and automated text messages. That’s how you win. We deliver the leads from social media straight into your dealership. All you have to do is complete the sale.
Test Drive TECOBI Today
No one has a crystal ball to know the exact future of the auto industry, but at TECOBI we do our best to prepare auto dealerships for the future so you can sell more cars, faster. Check out our enterprise pricing plans and options, and contact us today to schedule your test-drive of our proprietary software.
How do we do it? We show the best inventory and your latest specials to the people near your dealership. We drive them from Facebook and Instagram, straight into your dealership and into their new vehicle. We are the dealership marketing proof that you don’t need to lie to sell cars on Facebook. So don’t do it! Instead, trust the automotive marketing experts at TECOBI. We’ll help you sell cars and retain the trust of your market and your customers.