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How can I keep my business profile high during crisis?

Time 2:49 pm, March 25, 2020

Anybody who was around in the 80s will remember the Simple Minds anthem ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’.

Fast forward about 35 years and it’s a sentiment that could be applied to car dealerships in the current Covid-19 crisis.

With all showrooms having had to close their doors, there is indeed a danger that they might have faded away from people’s memories by the time the current panic has subsided.

What can I do to keep my business in people’s minds?

The first and most obvious way to do this is by beefing up your online activity. Opinion has long been divided about whether social media should be used as a tool to shift metal, or as a way of keeping your profile high and people engaged with your wider brand.

It’s an easy one to answer at the moment – because many dealerships simply won’t be selling cars right now.

So use the various platforms out there to share content that might be of use to your customers. And feel free to use content from this very website!

The Car Dealer team have been thinking outside the box lately and have turned their hand to answering lots of questions consumers might be asking.

Our new-look site has a whole new ‘help and advice’ section where you’ll find information on car finance during the crisis; MOTs and servicing and lots more besides.

Of course, Car Dealer Magazine is primarily a trade publication but articles of that nature will undoubtedly prove useful to a wider audience.

Which social media platforms should I concentrate on?

Well, with so much time on your hands, you might be able to think about all of them! In our humble opinion, the most effective platform for the car sales industry would seem to be Facebook. True, teenagers might have shunned it in favour of other sites such as Instagram these days but the chances are that the majority of your customers will have a Facebook profile, even if they don’t use it that often.

That said, Instagram is coming up on the rails so well worth considering. And there are others, too, such as Twitter (of course), Tumblr and LinkedIn.

That all sounds great but I’m new to all this. How do I get started?

Just taking Facebook as an example, it’s fairly intuitive. Once you’re in, hit the ‘create’ tab in the blue header bar and follow the process as it’s suggested to you. Once you’ve put together something you’re happy with, you can use the email addresses from your customer database to reach out to people and get them involved. If they’ve had a good experience with you, they may well be happy to join the party, but a word of warning: you might get the odd disgruntled punter, too.

Anything else I can do?

Well, as others have pointed out, your website is effectively your showroom at the moment, so why not give it a virtual lick of paint? Freshen it up, make it more attractive – and focus on live chat. Many people are clearly stuck at home at the moment and the internet will be the number-one source of entertainment for many.

Once you have freshened up your site, you can tell your customers about your shiny new online presence via Facebook, or your preferred social media platform. It’s all about maintaining that presence in the back of people’s minds so that when things do get back to normal, they’ll return to you.

MORE: How do I furlough my staff during the coronavirus crisis?

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MORE: Can I cancel my car finance or insurance during the crisis?

Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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