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How to Prepare Your Auto Dealership for Social Media Marketing

Posted on Fri, Apr 11 2014 @ 11:53 AM

It's no secret that B2B (business to business) marketing and B2C (business to consumer) marketing has changed significantly in the past five years. One of the primary reasons for this is the growth of social media.  Successful businesses are becoming resources for their customers, regularly creating valuable content of interest and sharing it freely across the social sphere.

If your auto dealership (or any business for that matter) has yet to dive in to social media, it's time to get on the bandwagon. You're already behind, so there's no time to waste! One of the big mistakes made by companies, however, is jumping in without a plan.

auto dealership merchant account

Here are six tips to prepare your auto dealership for social media marketing so you do it right from the start.

  1. Set clear goals for the social media efforts of your auto dealership.
    Like anything else, without goals you cannot measure whether anything has been acheived. Good goals are measurable and have a timeframe associated with them.

  2. Ensure that you have enough personel resources dedicated to the effort.
    If you don't have the personel in house, then consider hiring an agency to assist you. The key to an effective social media presence is great content, consistency, engagement, and monitoring. This does not happen by logging in to Facebook just once per week and making a sales post.

  3. Commit to building great content and giving it away.
    This is the age of the customer. Customers have access to more information, reviews, testimonials, and studies than ever before. If you want to position yourself as the expert in your field and have your auto dealership dominate in your area, you need to make helpful information available to your client-base freely and regularly, across multiple channels.

  4. Identify what social channels your customers are using and how they are using them.
    There are only so many hours in the day. Ideally, you would be publishing across all the major social channels, but if your time is limited then you need to find out where your customers are hanging out and make those channels your priority. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Google+?  Are they using Pinterest?  Find out the answer and make sure your auto dealership has an active presence there.

  5. Clean up your website.
    One of the by-products of effective social media campaigns is increased traffic to your website. What does your website do for your auto dealership today? Does it have effective calls to action and lead capturing capabilities? If not, take the time to fix this. When you are driving new traffic to your site, you want to make sure you have the ability to capture information and get the prospective customer to do what you want them to while they are there!

  6. Measure your results regularly.
    Remember tip number one? If you've set measurable goals, make sure you actually stop after the time period you specified and review what you've done and the results that you've achieved. Review what did and did not work. Tweak your process, set a new goal, and repeat!

Just like anything else in business, if you start with a plan, your chances of success are amplified!  With these simple steps, your auto dealership (and again, ANY business) will be off and running building great social media presence.

Who is Novera Payment Solutions?

Novera Payment Solutions is well known as a leader in the credit card payments industry and is committed to helping auto dealerships and other businesses improve their bottom line by providing significant savings on credit card processing fees through our innovative flat fee pricing model.

Contact Novera to learn more about how we work with small businesses, auto dealers and auto dealer associations to provide the most fair and transparent pricing structure available on the market today for credit card processing.

 

Request a FREE QUOTE

Tags: auto dealer news, auto dealer software, auto dealer credit card processing, auto dealer merchant accounts, auto dealer service rewards program

Auto Dealer News : A Creative Use of Twitter for Your Dealership!

Posted on Mon, Dec 09 2013 @ 10:11 AM

In previous posts, we've discussed the fact that there are few things more frustrating to auto dealerships than losing precious recurring service business to the aftermarket. Fortunately, several strategies are available to help auto dealers to build service retention programs and to profit from them. Our recent post, "Keep Service Business at Your Autodealership", discussed using pre-paid maintenance plans, and well as service rewards and customer loyalty programs. Just as with pre-paid maintenance plans, customer loyalty card programs keep car owners coming back to your dealership through the life of the vehicle, allowing you to cultivate long term relationships with your customers and ultimately create repeat purchasers and referrers.

You can also use social media as a very powerful tool to draw service business back to your dealership!

There are many reasons you should be using Twitter to help market your auto dealership and build your brand, but did you know that Twitter also has a free SMS (text messaging) service? The best part is your customers do not have to have Twitter accounts. They can simply subscribe to receive your Twitter updates via text message, which are then received directly on their smart phones. What a great way to alert customers of service specials, remind them seasonal of service checkups, as well as promote other specials throughout the dealership.

auto dealer merchant accounts

Here's how it works:

  1. Create a Twitter account for your dealership. Once you have setup your account, you will have a Twitter handle.  For example, @NJCarDealer.
  2. Market your text alert service with signage at the dealership, in your ads, and in your other promotional materials.
  3. Your customers use their smart phones and send a text message to shortcode 40404 that reads FOLLOW NJCarDealer (replace NJCarDealer with your actual handle). Notice there is no mention of Twitter here ... your customer does not have to have a Twitter account. This service is called Fast Follow.
  4. Once your customer subscribes by sending this text message, they will receive anything you post to your Twitter account as an actual live text message on their smart phone. 

Why is this so powerful?

Besides the fact that Twitter makes this available to you free of charge, consider some of these stats from Anchor Mobile and LogMyCalls:

  1. 98% of text messages are read vs. 29% of Tweets vs. 12% of Facebook posts vs. 20% of emails.
  2. 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of receipt.
  3. SMS coupons are 10x more likely to be redeemed than mail or newspaper coupons
  4. 70% of all people in the U.S. said they would like to receive offers on their mobile phones.
  5. The average person looks at their phone 150 times each day.

You already know that ngoing interaction with satisfied customers through the life of the vehicle builds relationships and customer loyalty. Considering giving Twitter a try!

About Novera Payment Solutions

Novera Payment Solutions is an industry leader in auto dealer service rewards programs, as well as flat fee credit card processing for automotive dealerships. With proven successful partnerships serving the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), the New York State Automobile Dealers Association (NYSADA), the Mississippi Independent Auto Dealers Assoc. (MIADA), and the Massachusettes Independent Auto Dealer Association, Novera Payment Solutions helps auto dealerships sell more cars and get additional service business from existing customers.

Learn more about Loyalty Cards and Service Rewards Programs for your dealership:

  • Get started with Novera's Loyalty & Service Rewards Program for Auto Dealers and increase your customer service visits

  • Use the Loyalty & Service Rewards Program to bring customers back to repurchase

  • See dramatic savings on your credit card processing fees with Novera's flat fee, transparent processing rates for auto dealers

Request a FREE Loyalty Program Information

Tags: accept credit cards, flat fee merchant account, auto dealer news, auto dealer software, accept mobile credit card payments, accept online credit cards, auto dealer credit card processing, auto dealer merchant accounts, auto dealer association, auto dealer service rewards program, loyalty card program

4 Tips to Get Your Customers to Write Great Reviews

Posted on Mon, Jul 29 2013 @ 04:14 PM

According to a Bazaarvoice survery, 76% of consumers regularly or occasionally use online reviews to determine which local business to use. The same study found that a desire to help others was the reason 90 percent of consumers write reviews. This is great news for your auto dealership (as well as other business owners).

positive reviews for auto dealerships

The question is, how can you capitalize on this and generate more positive reviews for your business?

  1. Build your social presence.
    In order to get positive online reviews, your auto dealership needs to have a presence in the social landscape. Setup your Google+ page, create a Yelp account, make sure you have business Facebook page, as well as a business LinkedIn page. These accounts are essential, at a minimum. Other platforms are also important in different industries (FourSquare, Trip Advisor, etc).
     
  2. Promote your social presence.
    Make your customers aware of your social presence and encourage regular engagement with your brand. Interact with your customers online. The more enagement you have, the more likely you are to receive unsolicited positive reviews and feedback.

    To promote your social presence consider using:
     
  • Email signature block
  • Signage in your auto dealership and service area
  • Social icons in any marketing collateral
  • Social icons in any print ads and billboard ads
  • Social icons and widgets on your website
  • Social media addresses on the back of your business cards
     
  • Build a dedicated feedback area on your website.
    In addition to ensuring you have all your social channels linked on your website, consider adding a dedicated feedback page to your website and promoting the call to action through your site. Making it easy for customers to provide feedback and reviews is essential! When you receive a great review, make sure it appears on your website.
     
  • Ask for reviews.
    Note, we did not say ask for "positive" reviews. Soliciting "positive" reviews in not a great tactic, however asking your customers for feedback is perfectly acceptable. A follow up email after a sale or service asking your customer to share their experience with your atuo dealership will help generate a lot of reviews. Mix it up when you send each request ... provide a link to your Google+ review page for one customer, then a link to your LinkinIn company page for the next customer to submit the review. This will help distribute your reviews across the various channels.
  • According to Socialnomics, 25% of search results return user-generated content from review sites, blogs, and social media updates for the worlds largest brands. The key to making this work your auto dealership is to be proactive about building your online review presence. By working to build customer interaction and feedback across your social channels and your website, you can minimize the impact of the occasional negative review.

    About Novera Payment Solutions

    Novera Payment Solutions is well known as a leader in the credit card payments industry and is committed to helping auto dealerships and other businesses improve their bottom line by providing significant savings on credit card processing fees through our innovative flat fee pricing model.

    Novera Payment Solutions Advantange

    • Novera Payment Solutions's consultative approach allows us to thoroughly educate our clients, equipping them to better understand this complicated industry.

    • We take the mystery out of the credit card processing business.

    • We work with all types of businesses across the country, and one our specialties is auto dealership credit card processing.

    Contact Novera to learn more about how we work with small businesses, auto dealers and auto dealer associations to provide the most fair and transparent pricing structure available on the market today for credit card processing.

    Request a FREE QUOTE

    Tags: accept credit cards, auto dealer news, auto dealer software, auto dealer credit card processing, auto dealer merchant accounts, auto dealer association, auto dealer service rewards program

    Auto Dealer News : Keep Service Business at the Dealership

    Posted on Wed, Jun 12 2013 @ 11:05 AM

    There are few things more frustrating to auto dealerships than losing precious recurring service business to the aftermarket. Fortunately, several strategies are available to help auto dealers to build service retention programs and to profit from them. Let's review two popular approaches.

    shutterstock 98093099 resized 600

    1. Pre-Paid Maintenance (PPM) Plans

    The obvious reason for implementing a PPM is to keep customers coming back to your auto dealership for their recurring maintenance needs. With properly trained service advisors and proper pricing, PPMs can be profit providers rather than loss leaders for auto dealers.

    In recent auto dealer news, a consumer survey conducted by DMEAutomotive (as reported in the  January 2013 Issue of Auto Dealer Monthly), indicates there are some other interesting reasons to consider a PPM.

    • 56% of consumers with PPMs (or complimentarty maintenance plans) are likely to continue serving their vehicle at the dealership after expiration.
    • Approximately 1 in 4 automobile owners have some type of PPM and 62% of those who use the plan for all their maintenance needs are likely to stick with their dealer.
    • Next generation servicers (under 35) are more likely to have a plan (31%) than those over 35 (18%) and are more likely to have all service done at their dealer under their plan (72%) than those over 35 (62%).

    Ongoing interaction with satisfied customers through the life of the vehicle builds relationships and customer loyalty. Pre-Paid Maintenance Plans are clearly a good option to consider for your auto dealership.

    2. Auto Dealer Customer Loyalty Programs

    Auto dealer customer loyalty programs are another great way to keep service business at your dealership. MediaTrac's recent study of 72 auto dealerships and over 6 million repair order transactions showed:

    • Auto dealership customers who were enrolled in rewards and loyalty programs visited their dealership every 4.26 months versus every 6.82 months for non-members.
    • The average annual member spend paralleled the increase in service visits with a 97% increase.
    • Retention of loyalty/reward members was nearly 60%.

    According to John Fogg, President of Fogg's Automotive and Suzuki, “The Stored Value Cash
    Card has been terrific for our dealership. We use it for bird dogs and also as a tool to help close the sale”.

    The idea of the auto dealer customer loyalty program is to use it  as a marketing tool to help your dealership sell more cars and get additional service business from your existing customers.

    Just as with pre-paid maintenance plans, customer loyalty card programs keep car owners coming back to your dealership through the life of the vehicle, allowing you to cultivate long term relationships with your customers and ultimately create repeat purchasers and referrers.

    Novera Payment Solutions is an industry leader in auto dealer service rewards programs, as well as flat fee credit card processing for automotive dealerships. With proven successful partnerships serving the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR), the New York State Automobile Dealers Association (NYSADA), the Mississippi Independent Auto Dealers Assoc. (MIADA), and the Massachusettes Independent Auto Dealer Association, Novera Payment Solutions helps auto dealerships sell more cars and get additional service business from existing customers.

    Learn more about Loyalty Cards and Service Rewards Programs for your dealership:

    • Get started with Novera's Loyalty & Service Rewards Program for Auto Dealers and increase your customer service visits

    • Use the Loyalty & Service Rewards Program to bring customers back to repurchase

    • See dramatic savings on your credit card processing fees with Novera's flat fee, transparent processing rates for auto dealers

     Request a FREE Loyalty Program Information

     

    Tags: auto dealer news, auto dealer software, flat fee credit card processing, auto dealer credit card processing, auto dealer service rewards program

    Auto Dealer News - Loyalty Program Members Visit Service Department Twice as Often & Spend Twice as Much

    Posted on Thu, Jun 06 2013 @ 01:37 PM

    In recent auto dealer news, according to a comprehensive MediaTrac study of 72 auto dealerships and over 6 million repair order transactions from January 1, 2010 through February 29, 2012, "customers chose to stay longer, spend more, and repurchase more often at dealerships that reward their patronage."

    Not surprisingly, MediaTrac's study showed that auto dealership customers who were enrolled in rewards and loyalty programs visited their dealership every 4.26 months versus every 6.82 months for non-members. The average annual member spend paralleled the increase in service visits with a 97% increase. Additionally, retention of loyalty/reward members was nearly 60%.

    Given these statistics, an auto dealer loyalty program with service rewards can be the difference between growing your business or losing to the competition.

    auto dealer newsAccording to Jeff Harden, President of Mohawk Honda and a client of Novera Payment Solutions, “The Mohawk Honda Service Rewards card has been very well received by our customers. Every new customer gets a card preloaded with points at delivery, a sure way to get them coming back to our dealership for service, instead of the national chains.”

    Sean Grace, President of Novera Payment Solutions, and a leader in the auto dealer payment processing industry encourages auto dealers to take what is in essence a “tax” on the auto dealership (credit card processing) and turn that commodity into a powerful marketing tool through the use of loyalty card programs. This helps auto dealerships sell more cars and get additional service business from existing customers.

    Learn more about Loyalty Cards and Service Rewards Programs for your dealership:

    • How to get started with Novera's Loyalty & Service Rewards Program for Auto Dealers and increase your customer service visits

    • How to use the Loyalty & Service Rewards Program to bring customers back to repurchase

    • How (combined with the Loyalty Program) you will see dramatic savings on your credit card processing fees with Novera's flat fee, transparent processing rates for auto dealers

    Request a FREE Loyalty Program Information

    Tags: auto dealer news, auto dealer software, auto dealer association, auto dealer service rewards program