FACEBOOK is the most important social media channel for dealers to engage with customers, according to new research out today.
A poll of 1,000 people for electronic customer relationship management and social media agency Marketing Delivery found that more than a third (37.6 per cent) of 18-to-54-year-olds cited Facebook as their preferred social network on which to follow or ‘like’ a car dealer – almost five times more than for any other social platform.
The UK-wide consumer research was commissioned to assess the significance of different social platforms for the motor retail industry.
The survey also found that engagement levels on Facebook – as well as social media more widely – differed significantly depending on the age of the user, their gender and even their location.
Younger audiences were far more likely to follow or ‘like’ a car dealer on Facebook. Among those aged 25 to 34, 41.6 per cent cited the platform as their preferred social channel for engaging with dealers. That proportion dropped significantly among those aged 45 to 54, and plummeted among those older. Just 13.2 per cent of those aged 55 and over said they would use Facebook to interact with a dealer.
Another key finding of the survey was that women were more open to engaging with car dealers on Facebook than men were. Thirty-two per cent of female respondents said it was their social platform of choice in this regard, compared with 23.8 per cent of males.
The preference for using Facebook as a social platform to follow or ‘like’ dealers peaked in the north-east of England, where 45.1 per cent cited it as their number one choice, followed by Northern Ireland at 42.1 per cent. The region with the lowest interest in engaging with car dealers via Facebook was the south-east, at 20.4 per cent of respondents.
Sitting some way behind Facebook in the popularity stakes was Twitter – only 5.8 per cent of respondents cited it as their preferred choice of social platform on which to engage with a dealer. Just 3.6 per cent of people would choose Instagram, although this rose substantially – to 18 per cent – for those aged between 18 and 24.
Jeremy Evans, managing director of Marketing Delivery, said: ‘Dealership marketing managers must target their approach to maximise their return on investment, and our research highlights some important pointers.
‘The overwhelming preference for Facebook in some UK regions makes it clear that many dealers are missing a trick when it comes to targeting local prospects. It should also be borne in mind that as Facebook owns Instagram, marketing initiatives can more easily be run in parallel – particularly valuable when targeting younger prospective customers.’
Main picture: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images
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