Adult Use of Social Media at Record High

The most definitive study of Internet usage by Americans – the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project – reports that social media usage by U.S. adults is at a record high: 72% of online adults report using at least one social networking site, up from 67% in December 2012:

Pew-SocNet-Site-Use-by-Age-Aug2013

And while growth occurred in every age group, the biggest increases were found among older adults:

43% of Internet users over the age of 65 reported using social networking sites as of May 2013, a big jump from 32% at the end of 2012

60% of Internet users aged 50-64 used social networks as of May 2013, up from 52% in December 2012

Other findings from the Pew Research study:

  • 78% of Internet users aged 30-49 use social networking sites
  • 89% of Internet users aged 18-29 use social networking sites
  • Social media adoption is highest among Hispanics (80%), followed by African-Americans (75%) and white non-Hispanics (70%)
  • More women (74%) than men (70%) use social media
  • 71% of adults with a household income above $75,000 use social media

When Pew Research started this survey in 2005, only 8% of online adults used social media – just 8 years later, that number is now 72%.

Time Spent On Social Media Marketing Translates Into Sales

SocialMediaThe 5th annual 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner looks at how marketers are using social media to grow their businesses today and how they plan to use it in the future.

Not surprisingly, the data reveals companies that invest more time in social media marketing reap better results, including:

More than half of marketers who have been participating in social media for more than three years report increased sales.

92% that invest 6+ hours per week in social media increased exposure for their businesses.

64% that spend 6+ hours per week on social media saw increases in lead generation.

Almost half of those that spend 6+ hours per week on social media saw a reduction in their marketing expenses.

62% of those who have spent at least two years using social media realized improved search engine rankings.

78% that spend 6+ hours per week on social media saw increased traffic to their websites.

B2C marketers (71%) were much more likely to develop a loyal fan base through social media than B2B marketers (58%).

Time invested makes a difference. Of those spending at least 6 hours a week, 69% found benefit—compared to 49% of those spending 5 hours or fewer per week.

uNotifi’s automotive marketing CRM system identifies and scores customers who are most influential on social web sites and the Internet. An Influencer Score is a score from 0 to 100 (100 being most influential) that seeks to measure influence based on an individual’s audience reach, ability to spread ideas, propensity to create ideas, and independence.

Because we segment and score your customers based on our exclusive Internet Influencer Score, you will know who your Internet Influencers are. We can target those customers with exclusive information and offers like coupons. We also know those customers are more likely to go the extra mile to rate their service, blog about their treatment and pass along good coupons and deals. Using uNotifi, you can now communicate with them in the most effective and best way.

Nielsen Social Media Report: It’s All About Mobile

According to Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report, when it comes to accessing social content today, it’s all about mobile, especially apps.

Compared to 2011, consumers increased their mobile web usage 82% over last year. The report found that people continue to spend more time on social networks than any other category of website – 20% of their time on PCs and 30% of their mobile time is spent on social networks.

Here are the most visited social networks and year-over-year change:

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As the Nielsen report notes, social media has fundamentally changed the consumer decision journey. Consumer decisions and behaviors are increasingly driven by the opinions, tastes and preferences of an exponentially larger pool of friends, peers and influencers.

uNotifi’s automotive marketing CRM software is structured as a complete marketing support and communications program, with integrated online and interactive components that help dealers understand customer buying behavior so you can offer relevant marketing messages that resonate with consumers. It is marketing on the customer’s terms, and the dealer who engages in this form of new marketing will reap the rewards.

5 Ways Dealers Can Appeal to Mobile Users

mobile technologyAutomotive dealers who want to sell and service more vehicles need to rely on technology to assist with marketing activities, and one of the fastest growing technologies is mobile.  Here are 5 ways dealers can appeal to mobile users:

  • Website Adaptability: Optimize your website for mobile users and ensure it works across multiple platforms, from tablets to smartphones.
  • Lead Generation: Have a CRM system that allows your customer database to incorporate mobile marketing. Direct email marketing with targeted SMS can be powerful for a dealership (including customer service, such as alerting customers when a serviced car is ready).
  • Social Media: Allow customers to “check in” to the business, paving the way for social media word-of-mouth and advertising possibilities.
  • Analytics: Utilize social media and website analytics to see who is coming to the site, the use of mobile devices, etc.
  • Valuable Content: Use email and SMS messages to provide valuable content to customers and prospects, including online coupons and deals as well as service reminders.

Use Mobile to Market to Moms

Women buy more than half the vehicles sold in the U.S. and influence more than 85% of new car purchases.  And according to a new study, car dealerships that want to reach this critical audience should look to mobile and social media marketing to do so.

A new study from digital analytics company comScore finds that Moms are 49% more likely than the general population to own a smartphone and 30% more likely to own a tablet PC:

moms-early-adopters-babycenter-2013

The study also found that Moms are 20% more likely than the general population to use social media, and that 91% now use social media regularly.

In a year-over-year comparison, smartphone ownership by Moms is up 25% and tablet ownership is up 79%.  In addition, the study found that 89% of Moms with smartphones access Facebook on those phones, and Moms are four times more likely to prefer to check social media on their smartphones.  In fact, 45% of Moms say they are emailing less and communicating more through social media.

Using an automotive marketing CRM system that can facilitate the relationship between dealer and auto purchase influencer is key to remaining relevant in today’s digital marketing landscape.

Tips for Out-Marketing the Competition

Marketing and strategyKnow your target audiences—This translates to know your customer. You need to know what appeals to them in words, images and even in the results a customer desires.

Know what each customer group REALLY wants to buy—People don’t really buy a product or service; they buy to satisfy a specific set of personal motivations.  To predict customer product preferences and purchasing habits and create the most relevant marketing messages around this information requires a well-planned mix of instinctive knowledge acquired from a dealer’s customer data and an analytical framework that supports fact-based decision-making.

Remember to sell to all who influence the buying decision—From a marketing perspective, you need to consider who will be involved in the decision to buy from you.

Don’t assume you know what your customers want—If you don’t know what each specific target group of your buyers really wants, research. It’s easier to sell them what they want than to convince them to buy what you think they want. From a marketing perspective, you find out what your customers want by keeping track of what is important to them and mining your customer database for important intelligence – a complex process made easy with the use of a CRM system designed specifically for the automotive industry.  Predictive analytics use customer data to provide a forward-looking perspective about the customers and help identify customer segments so the business can better understand customer behavior, thereby gaining the ability to leverage opportunities and build loyalty.

Provide outstanding customer service—This is often the differentiating factor among competitors. Today good customer service isn’t enough. Great customer service is required in every facet of your operation. For example, uNotifi’s automatic two-way texting system saves dealership staff hours and hours of unproductive phone time. As soon as the customer’s service is complete, the system automatically notifies them, saving both dealer and customer valuable time.

Be flexible and watch for new opportunities – Don’t let your marketing approach be stagnant.  The same old strategies will likely yield the same old results. Be alert for new opportunities by employing a CRM system that scours your customer database and identifies those opportunities for you – service past due, service contract expiration, etc. — so you can send relevant messages to customers on a daily basis and increase service sales.

3 Ways To Help Customers Buy More From You

mapA recent study from Forrester showed that 72% of customers prefer to solve their issues quickly and easily online, and that 88% of those who are able to do so will increase their spending from companies that allow them to do this.

Investing in a system that helps customers help themselves can boost profits and increase customer satisfaction.  Here are 3 ways you can accomplish by utilizing a system that:

1. Helps you understand a customer’s individual needs.  A CRM system that offers detailed data cleansing and segmentation process which scores customer dealership purchase and behavioral patterns will keep you on top of your top (and bottom) customers, which is invaluable in determining the best way to communicate with them.

2.  Allows customers to collaborate and communicate directly with you.  A CRM system that allows for two-way texting not only empowers your customers to manage their own automotive needs, it also cuts down dramatically on lost productivity and profits due to missed calls and inefficient communication.

3.  Allows you to adapt to changing customer needs and behaviors. A CRM system that allows you to customize a rewards program for your customers as well as providing the ability to offer online coupons and other deals on the basis of analytics built into the system is invaluable for anticipating and meeting customer expectations.

A good system should also provide you with an outbound communications method that will help you anticipate customer needs, alerting them to service needs, product offers and relevant events in their communication channel of choice, including mobile.  A recent BearingPoint survey showed that optimizing content for mobile devices results in a 60% increase in customer satisfaction.

Dealers that invest in a CRM system that transforms customer knowledge into actionable marketing tools can achieve higher customer retention and save time and money in the long run.