OEC Blog

The Parts Manager's Guide to Facebook

The Parts Manager's Guide to Facebook

As the world’s most popular and most-used social network, Facebook is personal, casual and perfectly suited to an auto dealership’s local marketing efforts.  Today’s consumers view a company’s Facebook presence as more important than ever, with a new study suggesting that 50% consider a dealer’s Facebook page is more useful than its website.

Social media strategists at most auto dealerships tend to ignore their Parts (and Service) Departments, focusing primarily on new car customers. However, when you consider that Parts & Service sales account for nearly 50%  of a dealer’s total gross profits*, not to mention the relationship-building that goes into wooing customers away from your competition, you can see the value that your voice can – and should −  bring to your dealership’s online community.

If your goal is to set your dealership apart from the competition and become first in people’s minds when it comes to your OEM brand’s replacement parts − whether wholesale or retail –  there are some basic steps you can take to help enhance your dealership’s online presence, not to mention build credibility and trust among customers.  Intimidating as this unfamiliar terrain may be, the key is to get started and join the discussion … or be left out entirely.

What’s in it for them?

Facebook users consider themselves to be loyal customers (with 75% of followers saying they feel more connected to a company on Facebook), but self-interest is really their primary motivation for liking a page.  So whether they came to like your page because of an offer or because of interesting content, it’s probably a good idea to return their loyalty with perks such as promotions, discounts, free advice, timely customer service or other bargains.  And why not give it to them?  Positive experiences with your dealership’s parts department are bound to result in “likes” and “shares” and “comments,” which are far more valuable than any form of paid advertising.

The parts department can easily take advantage of two cool marketing tactics on Facebook: Offers & Events.  Try usingthese features to attract customers to your online community and build more long-lasting relationships.

Offers

  • If you are going to hold a parts promotion, advertise an “early-bird” or extra 5% discount for Facebook fans only
  • Consider limited-time coupons for overstocked, seasonal items, or fast-moving items, such as:
    •  Tires
    • Batteries
    • Wiper blades

Events

  • Hold an event for body shops / auto repair customers
    • Demonstrate your parts e-commerce solutions
    • Educate repairers on OEM parts programs
    • Take & share photos and videos!
    • Offer  free safety clinics for consumers
      • Child car seat check
      • Tire, battery, wiper inspections
      • Check engine light inspection
      • Educate on OEM quality vs. aftermarket
        • Imitation wheels, counterfeit airbags, etc.
        • Consumer rights in collision repair

You get the idea.  The possibilities for engaging with customers on Facebook are virtually limitless.  In fact, we would love to hear some of your ideas!

*NADA DATA 2011, 2012