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Using Instagram At The Dealership While Saving Thousands In Advertising Dollars


Is your dealership using Instagram yet? How would you like a zero cost tool to creatively and effectively market your dealership, your inventory and your staff while putting your competition on their heels in the process?

That's what Instagram can and will do for you... assuming that you're willing to use it.

What if I told you that you could triple the effect of Instagram in the process? What if you could blow up your SEO while you're at it?

I'm going to give you 4 tips on leveraging Instagram at your dealership.

Used Car Inventory

Take every opportunity you get to put a pre-owned car on Instagram. Just make it a habit. Snap it, filter it, tag it. Make sure there are some basic details and a description. Be creative and have fun with it. That's the point of Instagram anyway. Now, you're just going to leverage that with inventory to create a strong internet presence for your dealership. Finish the post with a call to action.

EXAMPLE: 09 #BMW 3 Series @ABCMotors in #Anytown, USA - Ready to rock to low to roll - #LOADED! Call 888-555-1212 ask for @JohnDoe to schedule a test drive and for special @Instagram pricing.

Another fun thing to do with used cars is what I like to call a pre-emptive strike. I first heard Grant Cardone suggest this at a workshop he did at NADA. That was almost 2 years ago and I have yet to see anyone do this.

Take a picture of a car your appraising and post it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Say something like this:

"Trading for this right now. 09 Camry, SUPER LOW miles, no accidents, #CLEAN. Call @JohnDoe 800-555-1212 for the @CarFax!"

Why do this? Well, as Grant put it, it shows activity. It shows your doing business. It also shows your competition your doing business and are busy.


Happy Customers

Who doesn't love to have their picture taken with their new (or new to them) car? In fact let me go so far as to say, even if everything up to this point has been a total nightmare for you and the client, get a picture of them with their new car. It very well maybe the thing that takes a bad experience and turns it into a positive one with the possibility of client/sales person bonding and gives everyone a since of accomplishment.

"Hey we did it! We got it done!"

It's like reaching the top of a mountain or arriving at a destination. When you accomplish something, document it.

Putting it on Instagram allows you to make that picture a little nicer, a little more creative, a little more special.

And when you go out of your way to make your client feel special, they will see you as special and consequently send you business.

Who says they need to buy to become a piece of your cyber history on Instagram?

Instagram offers video now, right?

Scroll to Continue

How about this one? (another sweet tip from GC)

Grab a 30 second video from someone NOT buying on their way out. Ask them one simple question: "What would you say about your experience today at ABC Motors?"

If your closing ratio is 20%, that means 80% doesn't buy. If you had 100 people walk in in a week let's say, that means you have the potential to capture 100 video testimonials. 80 of which are from people who didn't even hook up!

All it takes is a smart phone and a little moxie to create a massive footprint on line. Most importantly, these tips will cost you nothing but time.


Put Your Staff On Instagram

Candid shots, people in action, working with customers, presenting product, desking deals, working on cars, handling a call in the Parts Dept, you name it. Show your clients, competition and opportunities what you're up to.

Create transparency. Run in the back and get a shot of your DMV lady on the phone. Show real behind the scenes action. People will see this and realize there is no great and powerful Oz behind the curtain but rather Billy's mom from the soccer club.

Use Instagram to communicate to your community that you're just a bunch of regular folks who happen to earn their living helping people get cars and keep them on the road.

Also, for your employees who are on Instagram, make sure they are tagging your store and leveraging the hashtag (#) in their posts that are relevant to the store!

This isn't just for your internet manager. This is for everyone! All your people are already using social media anyway. Make sure they're promoting themselves and the dealership.

Further Reading and Growing

Triple Play

OK, now here's the best part. Here's how to make an incredible footprint using Instagram. Anytime you upload a picture or video to Instagram you have the option to share your location and also post this photo to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr. So that's 5 social media sites from one picture.

"Don't compete, DOMINATE!" -Grant Cardone

When you read Grant's last two books, The 10X Rule and If You're Not First You're Last, you'll begin to understand the value of omnipresence and the importance of being first in the mind of your clients, opportunities and your competition.

Listen, any dealership can have a nice, clean used 3 Series BMW or a brand new car. What are you doing to separate yourself from the competition and stand out in the market place?

Are you willing to do what your competition is NOT willing to do? If they think Social Media is a waste of time, if their mindset is "no ever sold a car on Twitter" then you need to use that to your advantage and blow that up.

The picture examples I'm using here are from real dealers who get it. They are few and far between on Instagram. You have an opportunity to have a true competitive advantage.

Questions? Leave a comment below or email me at


The Other Competitive Advantage

Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIN, can all be a competitive advantage for you in your market.


The number one competitive advantage in a dealership is the people. As I mentioned earlier, you can get a white Civic at any Honda dealer in any town anywhere.

Customers hit the internet to find out and answer one primary question... what do you think the question is?

Would you be surprised if I told you that it really truly has nothing to do with price anymore (in fact, it probably never did) but rather your buyer goes on line to answer the question and solve the problem of "WHERE am I going to buy my white Civic?" Who is going to get my business?

Are you progressive? Are you cool? Are you good with people? Are you going to remind your buyer of that car deal back in '89 that took 6 hours to get done before getting into F&I?

Can you deliver a Ritz Carlton experience to a Civic buyer and High Roller, Baller, Shot Caller experience to the BMW buyer? Can you literally make it easy for them to do business with you and be memorable in the process too?

Be different. Be professional.

What separates professionals from amateurs?

Training. Pure and simple. A sales person can either become great or they can become a statistic. Make sure you and your staff is trained and prepared to convert the opportunities you get.

There are multiple way to handle this. My company, for example has streamlined training in a dealership to enable management, sales people and any customer facing employee solutions to the daily problems they face. Solutions that are quick, relevant and motivating in short 3-5 minute segments.

Managers reading this, do you struggle with keeping your people motivated? Do you struggle finding good and hungry sales people? Is it challenging to get the new guy started right and not developing bad habits early? How do you take a senior sales person to a new level of excellence? Do you have the tools necessary to push your people to greatness? Are you testing to your people to see what they know and what they don't know? Are you so covered up with admin that training winds up on the back burner?

Would it help to have a resource center full of material for you to run a short daily sales meeting for your people to get their head in the game?

What would happen if your entire staff invested 14 minutes a day getting and keeping their saw sharp?

How would your store grow if everyone was fully prepared to handle the traffic created by your ad campaigns?

While I Got You Here...


David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on December 14, 2013:

@TheBenzExpert - thank you for chiming in, make sure to share with us what happens with the exit video, we'd love to see it in action!

TheBenzExpert on December 14, 2013:

Great info. I've been using Instagram for a little a while and I like the "exit video" idea. Thanks!

David R Bradley (author) from The Active Side of Infinity on July 18, 2013:

Thank you jabelufiroz! Are you in the car business? If not did you see anything you can apply to what you do do?

Firoz from India on July 18, 2013:

Great information on instagram. Voted up.

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