Social media firm launches tool to link dealers' systems with Facebook

Social media firm launches tool to link dealers’ systems with Facebook

Social media agency SocialDealer wants to help dealerships answer one of the auto marketing industry’s biggest questions: Is my Facebook campaign selling cars?

The company does this with its new Procision Insights tool that it’s launching at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, which links Facebook ads with a store’s customer relationship management and dealer management systems.

Procision Insights is also useful on the service side with its ability to track how many repair appointments a particular campaign generated through the popular social network.

“We’re able to tie back advertising campaigns to a dealer’s DMS and CRM tool so we can finally give that answer: Did I sell a car? Did I sell a service appointment? What was the journey that the customer took when they were clicking on those Facebook ads?” said Sean Seltzer, CEO of SocialDealer.

He added, “We bring that data to Insights and we report back to a dealer in clean dashboards that they can see. The huge part is tying together the money spent in the advertising dollars with real results.”

SocialDealer isn’t led by upstarts with no auto backgrounds.

Its founder, Joe Castle, is CEO of Castle Automotive Group in suburban Chicago. Seltzer once oversaw marketing for Volkswagen of America in the Northeast region and managed a division of Kelley Blue Book.

This experience makes it easy to see why the agency is such an advocate for pitching the service side of the business in social media. Seltzer says dealerships should always have service campaigns running with their sales promotions.

“Being dealers and OEM personnel — and having gone through so many dealer financial statements over time — you know how financially viable a healthy service department is,” Seltzer said. “You have to have it in your social media advertising. You can’t neglect the front or back end of the business.”

SocialDealer is announcing another tool at the convention that quickly lets dealerships know when they have a Facebook lead so they can follow up in real time.

The company’s Procision platform has been integrated with the Facebook Lead Ads solution, which expedites the lead submission process for newsfeed ads. When a user clicks on an ad, Lead Ads automatically fills in their information to speed things up.

To ensure that dealerships don’t miss out on a potential client, SocialDealer’s system delivers leads to a store’s CRM system and alerts it via email with a Facebook Lead Alert.

“We designed a piece to get it into dealer’s system and into their notifications so they know we are generating these leads and we’re not having to wait on an employee at X agency to send it to the dealer. Leads are all about the timeliness of delivery, not that you got 10 of them.”

More tools

SocialDealer isn’t the only company with new Facebook-centered offerings.

With Facebook and its photo and video app Instagram driving more than 20 percent of mobile traffic, retailers want to be in the middle of the action.

Companies such as PureCars, Dealers United, OneCommand and LotLinx are among the exhibitors on the NADA show floor that are making use of the social platforms.

You can reach Vince Bond Jr. at vbond@crain.com. — Follow Vince on Twitter