Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fun and Cheap Ways to Advertise w/ Social Networking

Traditional advertising is expensive, and not very engaging compared to all the neat things you could do with your dealerships (or companies) social network. Obviously the more established your social network the more effective the marketing will be, but even if you only have 3 or 4 local people on your friends list with the right offer (and a ingenuity) you could still sell a car or a few snow tires. Here are some ideas on specials and promotions.

1. Network Specific Specials:

This works pretty well if you openly advertise on you home page that you will be running specials for your Facebook, Myspace friends. This will often catch more people who are looking to buy in 3 to 6 months from now range then any other type of promotion.

Sample Special idea:

Offer something simple like 2 free oil changes with the purchase of any new car and occasionally let them extend the offer to their friends. Be very clear on your specials post what rules they have to follow to take advantage of the special (do they have to print off the special? do they have to share their screen name?)

Sample 2 :

Don't forget to share some parts and service love! This isn't costing you anything other then the 30 minutes or so its going to take you to work out the details so ask your parts manager if he or she would like to run a special...after all the guy buying a new set of tires this week will have to buy a new car someday. If you are consistently offering good deals people are more likely to think of you when it comes time to get a good deal on a vehicle purchase.

2. 24 Hour Sales Or Huge Weekend Events

Do you have to get rid of 3 cars by Sunday night so you have room for Monday's delivery? Or maybe sales are just down for the week and you want to kick your sales peoples moral up a notch? Send out the Social Networking alert that you are offering that fantastic deal on any car bought within the next 24 hours!


Offer 500.00 off certain stock numbers that have been around forever. Post the link to the car on Myspace and let your friends tell the whole world. Pick 4 or 5 stock numbers that you really want to get rid of and let the games begin :)

Sample 2:
Is your dealership going to hold a RockBand Concert? Or maybe this is the weekend of your huge tent sale? Spread the word, it will take you less than 10 minutes to augment your existing advertising and spread the buzz.

3. Big Ticket Item Giveaways

Maybe you bought one of the Macbook Air's or you have a car to giveaway but you don't want to do the usual raffle or customer number 333,333 gets the prize just for walking in the door thing. Why not try something revolutionary?


Play a game. You could do something ultra cool like play Twitter Bingo where you send out the number of the day by Tweet, the winner is the first person to bring a completed Bingo card to you.

Sample 2:

Hold a talent contest. Have people create a cool new ad for your dealership, the winner gets the new car and you get the rights to the ad. You can display the top 10 winners submissions on your website and let the 'fans' vote or you can pick the winner yourself. Either way this is a ton of advertising dollars saved.

Honestly, the only limitation on the cool new ways you can advertise with your social network is your imagination. If you find something that works or you have another idea let us know so we can go try it :) Happy Advertising!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Open Ended Questions and Your Dealership

Some people who read this blog regularly have noted that I often ask a question in the title but I don't really answer the questions asked. The reason I do this is because I want you to answer the question for yourselves because ultimately only you can decide what the best answer is for your dealership. Let's be honest, even though I spend countless hours every week testing, researching and screwing things up I don't know anything, and quite frankly I never will (now you have to pinky swear you will *never* tell my husband I admitted to being wrong).

The reality is that in the world of SEO and PPC marketing there are no constants, and no definite right answers. The best service a good SEM firm offers is that they are willing to try new angles to improve your online presence, they have to be willing to test, to try and boldly go where no social network has ever gone before. Conversely you have to be willing to accept that they are going to try things that simply don't work, or maybe they don't work the way you had expected. The scary thing about the SEM landscape is that the idea of absolute ROI has to be abandoned (but we will save that for another day).

~Image from the site

Monday, January 14, 2008

Honda Creates Best Auto Commercial In Years

My guess is by now everyone has seen the Honda Rube Goldberg Commercial on YouTube. This commercial was so well done that Honda executives thought it was done with CGI when they first viewed it.

Reportedly this commercial was done in 606 takes and cost nearly 6 million dollars to get right (that's approximately 3 million bucks a minute) and that's before you factor in the cost of ripping apart two cars.