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Friday, November 27, 2009

Automotive News - Social media: Say 'hi' before 'buy' - Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community (ADM)

Ralph Paglia, director of digital marketing for ADP Dealer Services, compares a networking site to a bunch of friends hanging out and having a conversation. Says Paglia: "If you were having a party at your house, imagine if I showed up and started asking people: 'So I sell cars, here's my card. Are you in the market by chance?' I probably wouldn't' get invited back, right?" Paglia even suggests dealers keep their social-media activities separate from the Web sites they use for car sales and service. ADP, one of the dominant dealer management system providers, has a pilot program in which it builds online communities for dealerships and pushes the content out to as many as 100 social-media sites. The company plans to formally launch the service in February at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention. One of ADP's pilot dealerships is Ancira Nissan in San Antonio. To showcase its inventory and service, Ancira maintains a traditional Web site. But it also hosts an online community built by ADP for customers, employees and suppliers. The site, AnciraCommunity.com is filled with personal discussion threads, photos, videos, blog entries and community news. Such communities can lead to sales. In October, Ancira employees blogged about a stray dog they had adopted as the store's mascot. They decided to keep the animal rather than hand it over to animal control because it was driving away raccoons that were damaging cars on the lot. Paglia says a blog reader was so impressed with the dog saga that he decided to buy a car there.

From: http://ping.fm/5jo6a