Within every industry, there are always some avant-garde movers and shakers. The businesses willing to take big risks and reap big rewards. When it comes to the auto industry, Nissan, Ford and Dodge have all run out-of-the-box social media campaigns that won awards and showed that social can be a powerful branding and lead generation tool.

But they are the exception to the rule. Interviews with executive and marketers at top auto manufacturers, dealer networks and aftermarket service providers show that, while they see the potential for social media to help grow their business, most are still in the very early – and often reluctant stages of adoption.

So why aren’t they tweeting?

One common reason cited is brand reputation issues. By using social media, car manufacturers and dealerships have to give up control of a portion of their brand. But they’re not just ceding control to anyone: they’re giving this control to their customers, the very people who their brand is built for.

The underlying issue here is that many auto brands, dealerships and other businesses don’t know their customer enough to trust them with their brand. And that’s exactly the issue that social media can address.

Let’s use a local dealership as an example.

Bob’s Dealership is using a CRM system to track its customers. They have stored all of the pertinent customer information: name, address, made and model of car, and the date of the next servicing appointment.

But that’s not enough.

Bob’s Dealership has an outstanding opportunity to not only know more about their customers, but to work with their customers to co-build their brand into something that will dwarf the competition. All accomplished using social media.

By combining powerful social insights from LeadSift with their CRM system, Bob’s Dealership can add dozens of new pieces of information about each of their customers: their favorite websites, brands they love, life milestones and much more. Bob and his sales team can use this information to develop richer, deeper relationships with each customer beyond their next required servicing date.


Plus, the team now knows that the majority of their customers eagerly tweet their support for the local basketball team. Based on this information, Bob can create a sponsorship deal with the team, or run a campaign offering tickets to the next game. He can build his brand beyond “local dealership” into a brand that is positively associated with important elements in his customers’ lives, and one that beats out the competition.

The auto industry isn’t the only one that can benefit from understanding their customers better. Every major, traditional industry – from finance to retail – can apply social data about their customers to their brand building, lead generation and sales activities. Find out how you can incorporate social data into your CRM by contacting us today.