Google released an interesting infographic yesterday. If you can get past the rather obvious sales pitch for us all to use Google+ more so they can catch up with Facebook, there are some interesting figures.
Selling cars with Social Media – the numbers.
- 21% of purchase automotive decisions are influenced by social media – more than any other industry.
- 33% of social media users follow automotive brands to get purchase advice
- 91% lift on conversion rate when social annotations are present on Google ads
- Only 20% of new car buyers buy the first vehicle they research.
Scroll down to see the full infographic provided by Google.
So – what does this tell us?
1. Dealers should be using social media more. Don’t just rely on the manufacturers to do it – it’s hard for them to engage with potential customers on the same personal level that local retailers are able to.
2. Social reviews are becoming an increasingly important part of the car buying process. Consumers want to buy from businesses that care about customer service and offering a good experience.
3. Buyers are using the internet intensively to inform and shape their buying decisions – certainly more than many retailers realise.
4. People are looking to automotive brands for car buying advice. There’s a big difference between that and looking for information……
Now what should you do?
Firstly – do the Google Maths. According to YouGov, 65% of the UK population have used Facebook alone in the last month. 33% of those users follow automotive brands – and that’s a lot of people. So you can be assured that you have a decent audience.
Second – consider your customer. They’re in the driving seat in terms of information, so why not give them what they want through your online channels, rather than someone else’s? 80% of buyers will not buy the car they started out looking at in the first place, so the opportunity to “sell” to them online is very real.They may not buy the first car that they look at on your site, but why lose them to a competitor?
Thirdly – people buy people. This is where good social media and a great online presence can make all the difference. Consider why online shoppers would want to buy from you. Would you buy from you if you were a consumer? What does your website and Facebook page say about you? It’s not all about price – it’s about adding value and inspiring people.
Four – don’t run away from reviews. They are going to become a big part of car retail, so you might as well get involved now. If you don’t feel you’re ready (afraid of bad reviews) , then it’s time to make the necessary changes within your business to address this.
And as for Google+? Many manufacturers have had great success using it. The interface is very good and it allows for fabulous large images and video, which is why Facebook will shortly be changing its layout to ape that of Google+. The sad reality is that not nearly enough people use it, but as Google continues to integrate it into search through reviews, maps and local results its going to become more and more important.