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Social media 101: Testimonials

By Amanda White

Amanda White BlogConsumers are bombarded with advertising on a daily basis. They have the option of strolling into your dealership or the one across town. The opinions of their friends, families and the masses will greatly influence their decision over any print ad, billboard or radio commercial.

So how can dealerships harness the power of positive opinion? These opinions collected and advertised by businesses are called testimonials. According to a study by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX); 78 percent of Americans reported that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. Additionally, the significance of reviews increases with income and education levels. About 83 percent of consumers with higher levels of education and decent jobs rely on reviews compared to the 66 percent of people with less education and smaller incomes. Your potential customers are looking for advice. Allow them to easily find your collection of reviews, rankings and testimonials on your social media platforms and website.

Types of testimonials

  • Industry Interaction – Positive feedback from well-known thought leaders or supporters of the powersports industry i.e. professional racers, entertainers, community figures, business owners
  • Customer Interaction – Positive feedback from the people. These individuals are your current customers — the customers who did business with your dealership and gave you a recommendation because of x, y and z.

Collect & promote testimonials

    Start by adding a reviews tab to your dealership’s Facebook page. Next, create posts that entice a customer to submit a review. Offer incentives for posting a review on Facebook and/or the website. For example, offer a coupon on merchandise online or in-store when customers submit a review about your service department in the post’s comment section. Then collect these testimonials and advertise them on your website, print materials and other social media platforms.
    If a customer gives your dealership a positive review via Twitter be sure to thank that follower, re-tweet and then favorite the tweet to save it forever. You can take a screenshot of your favorite tweets and share on your website or other social media platforms.
    Do you have loyal customers that bought bikes from your dealership for years? If so, ask them if they would participate in a testimonials video. Ask them a few questions on camera about their experiences with your dealership and then upload the video to your dealership’s YouTube Channel. Videos are time-consuming, but attest to your dealership’s credibility substantially more than a tweet, ranking or review could ever convey. Share this clip on your website and other social media platforms.

Other resources for testimonials include local search directories such as Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp and Merchant Circle. First, claim your business and update the listing on these sites. Next, promote your listing via your website and social media so your customers know they have the option to submit their reviews on these third party directories. The benefit created by interacting with these third parties is having multiple web pages referring back to your website. The larger your online presence is via social media, website and third party search directories, the better the chance of being found on Google, Bing, Yahoo and any other search engine around.

When you open up the opportunity for feedback, not all of it will be positive. The best way to combat any negative responses is addressing them immediately. First apologize for the issue(s) experienced at your dealership and then offer to chat via a private message or on the phone. This way other readers will see you are responsive toward resolving situations.

Testimonials influence over 70 percent of people’s buying decisions. This statistic is reason enough to collect and showcase testimonials for your dealership. If you believe in your dealership then people are happy to advocate for it as well.

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