(Originally published in Fall of 2010 while writing for Xspond.)
Facebook applications are getting very popular among car dealerships with the ever present Inventory Application leading the way. While this is a very cool application and a fabulous feature to add to your Facebook page, what does your dealership get out of it?
Is it simply mimicking your Web Inventory listing on to your Facebook page? Does your Facebook Inventory make it easier and quicker for them to show their interest in you? Does it inspire them to increase the frequency at which they interact with you? Do your customers even know it’s there?
Is a Facebook Inventory Application nice to have? Yes, of course. But it’s only going to do something for you if you are vigilant about engaging with your customers in a valuable social way – and if you get your customers to leave their Facebook Home Page and visit your Dealership Fan Page.
Here are some simple ideas on how to get the most out of your Facebook Inventory Application:
- Advise current customers that your inventory is viewable from Facebook. You can do this when they are in your service department, when they are in the showroom, you can include the message in Emails, Direct-Mailers, and even share this information on your Facebook Wall every now and again.
- Change your settings so that non-fans who come to your Facebook page land right on your Inventory Tab. This may seem a bit “un-social” but everyone knows how to get to your Wall, not everyone pays attention to your other tabs once they are on your Wall.
- Make sure the Share button on your Inventory is prominent and the share box that pops up has an eye catching thumb-nail and a great headline.
- Start a very geographically focused Facebook Ad campaign, inviting users to shop inventory on Facebook so that they can share their choices with friends — getting help in the decision making process.
- Give a special incentive to Facebook shoppers; a small referral fee or cash back can go a long way to drive new people to your dealership, so that they can find out how awesome you are.
- Keep a good stream of conversational content on your Facebook page so that when you do talk about Inventory in your feed (on occasion) you have an audience. Once someone stops following you, you lose them indefinitely, so try not to scare them off with sales pitches.
With 500 million users on Facebook every day, how are you making the most of your Inventory Application? What other services do you think you could offer right on Facebook to add quality to your Facebook Fans’ experience?