Chicago—August 10, 2009—Cars.com announced today a webinar to discuss how dealers can capitalize on popular social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. The free event, "Cashing In on Web 2.0: Using Social Media Sites to Drive Sales," begins at noon EDT on Aug. 14.
"Social media equips dealers with low-cost tools to connect with customers and prospects outside the showroom and the traditional sales process," said Kathy Kimmel, director of training at Cars.com. "Opening these lines of communication allows dealers to brand their stores and build long-term relationships that can translate into repeat and referral business."
Kimmel will moderate the DealerADvantage Live session, which will include a panel of industry experts. She will be joined by: Rob Fontano, internet sales director for John Marazzi Nissan in Naples, Fla.; and Alex Snyder, ecommerce director for Checkered Flag Automotive Group in Virginia Beach, Va. Attendees will get advice on how to:
- Identify which social media sites connect your store with in-market shoppers.
- Incorporate social media sites into your sales process.
- Develop site-specific tactics that help you engage car buyers and encourage open communication.
- Determine who should manage your social media presence.
To understand dealers' comfort level with social media and the role it plays their sales process, Cars.com recently conducted an in-depth survey. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they use social media to connect with customers and prospects, with 26 percent daily visiting Facebook. Fifty-two percent want to know more about how to use social media to drive sales.
"Successful dealers begin their social media initiatives by laying out the strategy for what they want to accomplish - whether it's more new- or used-car sales or service and parts revenue," Kimmel said. "From there, they identify the sites that will help them reach their goals and assign team members with the passion and the knowledge to credibly and favorably represent their stores."
Dealers interested in attending or learning more about this month's DealerADvantage Live webinar may visit Cars.com's DealerCenter at http://dealers.cars.com/live, where they can register to attend the event and view archived recordings of past events. Thousands of franchise and independent dealers have attended DealerADvantage Live since Cars.com launched the webinar series in September 2006.
Dealers do not have to be Cars.com customers to attend the webinar, but they must download free WebEx software (http://www.webex.com) to participate. In addition to DealerADvantage Live, Cars.com offers a comprehensive dealer training program that includes in-market and web-based training workshops. Information on upcoming events can be found at http://www.dealers.cars.com/dealer_resources.php.
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).