- Nate Wade Subaru has a simple Internet marketing strategy: Give away inexpensive, fun items on Facebook and Twitter, asking only for shares, likes and comments in return.
- Internet Manager Brock Kassing says it's amazing what response the Subaru dealer gets when giving away free movie tickets every Friday or handing out an item of Subaru gear such as a hoodie.
- A large percentage of people now say they've come to dealership events because they learned about them on Facebook or Twitter.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Nate Wade Subaru is downtown, only two miles from the famous Mormon Tabernacle, and it claims the distinction of being the nation's oldest exclusive Subaru dealership, but it's doing something very modern — using social media to build closer relationships with customers.
The dealership's Facebook page and Twitter feed offer regular giveaways, including movie tickets each Friday, plus Subaru gear, such as hooded sweatshirts with the Subaru logo. Customers are asked to like, share, and comment on the posts to get a chance to be selected to get the prize, and they're doing so in large numbers.
"Although the majority of our Facebook fans aren't racing down to buy a new Subaru, they appreciate the fact that we are trying to be more than a car dealership," Internet Manager Brock Kassing told Edmunds. "And that, truly, is what we're trying to do. We're just trying to add a little fun to their day."
It all started when he attended a digital dealer meeting where the attendees were told they shouldn't try to sell cars on Facebook. So someone asked, "Then what should we do?" Several suggestions were given, one of which was holding weekly drawings. Kassing got permission to do just that, and the dealer's social media has really taken off, he said.
Kassing said that these days, the dealership's Facebook and Twitter activities actually do lead more customers in to their events, such as barbecues or new-product introductions, than any other source of publicity.
When they started the giveaways two years ago, he said, it was a slow beginning, but from 25 to 50 entries in the first contests, the dealer now sees "literally hundreds and hundreds." Recently, a Subaru hoodie giveaway produced more than 380 likes, 120 comments, and 37 shares.
The word of mouth produced by giving away an inexpensive prize has been valuable, Kassing told Edmunds.
My favorite," he said, "is when someone posts a picture as their comment."
Edmunds says: Here's a really easy way this dealer brings customers into its space on a regular basis.