Automotive Dealers Internet Reputation

What is Automotive Internet Reputation Management? It is all about managing the information about your dealership that comes up when someone searches for your brand or your specific dealership. Every car dealer needs to monitor how their dealership is represented on the Internet. Do you know the information that is out there tied to your car dealership?

Where do you start?

The first thing you want to do is find out how your dealership looks on various dealer review sites. The best way to do this is to act like a regular car buyer searching the Internet for information.

Go to Google.com and put in your dealership’s name in the search box. What do you find? Most people will see their dealership listed in the Google.maps area.

Under your auto dealerships’ information you should see a list of reviews. These reviews come from a number of sources around the Internet where consumers can tell the world about their car buying or car repair experience in your dealership. Read them. Are these the types of reviews that make people want do business with you?

On most dealer review sites you have the ability to add your own information and either dispute what is written about your auto dealership, or comment on the review you received. Have you been doing this?

While you are still on the Google search page, put in your make and city, ( i.e Chicago Ford) and see what the search results are. You should see your dealership, along with others in your area. Check your competitor’s reviews, and see how they are being perceived by the public. You can use the feedback from people who have shopped other dealers to your advantage.

You may think that these Automotive dealer ratings sites hold little value, especially when you notice that some dealers have no customer comments at all, and that many dealers have very few, or old reviews. Do not let that fool you. You can see for yourself that Google is putting those reviews prominently on the search pages. What this means for you is that you have a great opportunity to manage this form of advertising before too many other dealers catch on.

I have been researching the different dealer rating sites, and have found that they are all lacking in both the number of dealerships they follow and the depth of reviews for any given dealer. For example, in the Chicago area there were 32,800 new Toyotas sold in 2009. Of the 24 Toyota dealers that DealerRater.com (one of the rating sites) tracked in the area, there were only a total of 119 reviews for 2009. Thirty-three percent (33%) of those reviews were for one dealer. This dealer clearly made a concerted effort to have customers send reviews to the site (or did it themselves). Even taking this heavily weighted dealership into account, less than on tenth of one percent (.01) of people who bought Toyotas wrote a review.