Edmunds.com, the Internet’s car-shopping adviser, is aggressively watching for car shopping-related conversations in social whether they are initiated by fans, or not.
The auto-information publisher was a quick adopter of social media, having created Facebook and Twitter pages in 2007. At first, its strategy was sharing helpful information and resources (links) from its own site and third parties. Today, the company’s customer service wing takes a proactive approach as it listens in on social media to find car-related conversations from fans and others talking about cars. It then joins these conversations by linking people to helpful tips on its website.
A customer service team monitors the car buying-related questions and comments on social media. Once team members locate a person, they actually chat with the individual. Below is an example of a Facebook user’s status update, with Edmunds’ response.
Aside from the customer service team, there are individuals in editorial, marketing and PR at Edmunds dedicated to social media. Marketing handles all paid social media efforts. The editorial team for Edmunds’ website distributes the brand’s content via social, and PR uses social media as an announcement board. Editorial content includes tips on car buying and real-life stories (good and bad) from people who’ve just purchased a new car.
Edmunds gives Facebook followers carte blanche to post on its wall. According to Michelle Denogean, vp of marketing at Edmunds, the company has always been about transparency, so giving people the option to comment on its wall was a no-brainer. The open wall allows for a two-way dialogue and lets Edmunds get a better understanding of the car shopper’s mindset.
“We did not even give it a second thought. Our strategy is about extending the car-shopping experience and giving followers a place in social media to build a community,” Denogean said. “That means letting them talk openly to us and to one another.”
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