Can Social Media Help Sell My Car?
||By Anna Finger
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The introduction of social media websites is helping a good number of retailers move products to their targeted demographic. The auto industry is one where there is not a great deal of benefit to be had from social media websites. Dealers find a great difficulty in turning social media exposure to conversions and sales. Social media really functions more like billboard advertising in that it is seen by many but not necessarily noticed.
That is the difficulty being experienced by dealers. People simply do not want to see inventory updates or be spammed when they are not looking for a car. A private seller, on the other hand, can and should use a social media platform to help promote the sale of their vehicle in an unobtrusive way. Exposure is gained by a common presence but not an overwhelming one. Overwhelming other users with updates about the automobile you are trying to sell will just make them de-friend you.
Option 1: Friends and Family
Most internet users have an account on websites like Facebook or MySpace that they use to stay in touch with friends, relatives, co-workers, and others. One could easily add a photo album to their account and upload some pictures of their used automobile with some captioning to describe them. Now, simply author a status update to alert your friends, family, and acquaintances to the fact that you are selling the automobile.
Example: Hey everyone! I need to sell my 2002 Chevy Malibu. Body is in decent shape, good gas mileage, needs some engine work. Pictures in my photo album. If you or someone you know is looking for a used car, let them know! Contact me for pricing information.
Operating from the perspective of marketing to acquaintances and family members, you would not want to post updates about the vehicle more than once every 36-48 hours. The above example gives a lot of relevant information but does not provide a price. If you choose to include a price have a realistic goal in mind, but oftentimes it is better to ask interested parties to get in touch to discuss the pricing.
Option 2: An Outside Audience
One should always be wary of how much information they provide over the internet. If you are using online classified ads then it is not a good idea to simply refer them to your personal profiles on social media websites to look at pictures. This is no more a good idea than it is to hand your wallet to a random stranger on the street.
Instead, you can create a page solely for the purpose of marketing that vehicle. It does not have to be tied directly to your personal profile. Limited contact information, pictures, descriptions, and other things can be included. This helps save you time by providing a centralized location for information and a contact point. Limited information can be provided on the advertisement with a call for the person to "Visit our page on NameofSocialWebsiteHere to learn more!" Do not just say "click here" or "visit here". Most people will not respond to such vague language and view it with a skeptical eye.