Straight-talking: social media is a cost effective and credible route to raving fans

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Car dealerships can no longer treat social media as a luxury or a mystery – search engine optimisation (SEO) to increase brand awareness is not an option, it’s a must.

People spend more time than ever online using social media sites, and use it to not only interact with friends and family, but brands and local businesses as well. If you can take the time to craft a social media strategy to go along with your SEO strategy, you’ll find that there’s no limit to potential growth.

An Introduction to social signals

Social signals is a term used to describe the effect a page’s social media exposure has on its search engine rankings. When you share a link to your website on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus, you’re creating a social signal that tells Google and Bing “Hey, this content I just posted is interesting and/or informative. You should give it a little more authority in search results to make sure others get to see it too.”

Think of social signals the same way you think about SEO: the more high-quality links, the better. Because each time someone shares a link to your site on Facebook or Twitter, search engines are picking up on the fact that your content is interesting and your overall search engine authority will increase.

How dealerships can take advantage of social signals

In order to properly incorporate social signals into your existing SEO strategy, you need to understand the mind of a social media user.

So ask yourself: How do I use social media?

If you’re checking up on the latest from friends and family or looking for interesting content, such as news and pictures, you’re right up there with the average Facebook user. If you’re interested in sharing links and information, you’re fitting in well with most Twitter users.

Now, in order for you to get the average Facebook or Twitter user to interact with your business and create a social signal, you have to post interesting content that’s relevant to your product or services.

Car dealerships can generate incredible return through social media, as they have the ability to quickly build engagement by posting pictures and links relevant to their particular dealership.   It’s about posting meaningful content relevant to local car buyers that they would love to share.

Benefits of applying social signals

Apart from the natural clicks you’ll receive, and the rankings that come with increased social media exposure, social signals provide a number of other benefits to not only grow your site’s authority, but drive business as well:

  • Lower bounce rates — One of the metrics search engines use to rank an individual page is its bounce rate. A page’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on a page and leave without viewing another page on the site. The reason this is important is because search engines want to send users to a page that’s useful. If one of your landing pages is causing users to run for the hills the second they land on it, Google is going to catch on and that page won’t rank well.
  • Increased brand visibility — When it comes to business, especially local business, visibility is everything. If your business can’t be found online, people will question its legitimacy. Social signals give your business another way to be discovered, and allows for customers to publically recommend you. And that leads to…
  • Higher conversion rates — While search with intent is still the best way to ensure high conversion rates, social signals allow customers and followers to do the hard work for you. Because as your followers share your content and review your business, their followers can see that activity and are more likely to convert thanks to the recommendation.

In a way, social signals can be thought of as word of mouth. If one person is talking about something cool, it can spread quickly through word of mouth. It may not necessarily go “viral,” but it will reach the people who are interested in what’s being shared, and that’s what is important.

Content Dealerships Can Utilize to Increase Social Signals

  • Blogs — An active blog will help boost search rankings.  Produce content that car buyers will find interesting and which supports the car buying process by providing information clearly about choosing the right car, finances, etc. If your content gets people talking about the car buying process, you have the opportunity to make a sale.
  • Stock — Your existing used car stock can make for good content if you’re taking the time to write unique stories for the cars you’re looking to sell. By being informative and having fun with your social media strategy, users will interact with you on a more personal basis, allowing you to connect and pave the way for future business.

Reference: Mark Frost – June 2014

Don’t be left behind – get on board and race ahead!

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Provide interesting information which supports the car buying process online

Engage with potential customers online about choosing the right car, finance options, etc. If your content gets people talking about the car buying process they are more likely to share this, and ultimately visit you when they are considering a car purchase or service.

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