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If you look at a car dealer's social media presence, chances are you'll see a ton of messages meant to be seen by potential customers. That's great, but there's more to social media than that in the automotive industry.

Tons more.

One of the most important components of social media is the interaction element. Through sites like Facebook and Twitter, dealers don't just get to broadcast their messages to potential customers. They get to engage with them as well. This is extremely important in a world that seems to revolve around the growing number of ways that people communicate. Social media is one of the few mediums that is strong on all devices from smartphones up to desktops.

Dealers that want to be the most successful won't just be broadcasting on social media. They'll be inquiring. They'll be asking for feedback. They'll be replying to comments, talking to customers about their reviews (good AND bad ones), and encouraging those in the local community to participate in the ways that car dealers often participate.

It's not all about the cars. It's not all about the sales. Dealers have the ability to be business leaders in the community and so many of them are doing so by getting involved with local charities and community organizations. It's no longer just about getting some of the employees to participate in the March of Dimes walk. Through social media, dealers can encourage others to participate, ask for donations, and promote the events themselves.

There is more to social media than marketing and advertising. That's not to say that we recommend that dealers should try to "fit in" like so many other businesses do by posting funny cat pictures or trying to be fun and exciting. Keep it relevant. Keep it local. People in the area won't mind interacting with a dealership that is active in the community, but they don't want to see quotes from Plato hitting their news feed from a car dealership's post. There are plenty of philosophers online already.

Don't just talk to your customers. Talk with them.

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