Monday, July 30, 2012

Florida Ford Dealer Drives Sales with Facebook Social Media (A Case Study)

Ford Dealer Drives Sales with Social Media

A Case Study: Elder Ford of Tampa, FL
July 30, 2012

Lead-generating Facebook Content?
More and more Dealers find themselves struggling to produce compelling Facebook content.  Even more are struggling to generate a Return on Investment.  Some have even given up trying. (Social is about community, not sales, right?) Elder Ford of Tampa isn’t one of those Dealers.  This is their story.

An Innovative Dealership, An Innovative Marketer
Meet Terald Hopkins, General Manager of Elder Ford of Tampa.  He’s an avid and aggressive marketer.  Innovating such ideas as “Home of the $5,000 Test Drive”, Mr. Hopkins is always on the look-out for marketing ideas that can give his store a unique edge in the marketplace—offline and online.  So, it was no surprise that he found what he was looking for in “2012 The Swap Your Ride Social Media Opportunity”, presented to him by Ford only a few short weeks before the Sales Event began.

“Swap Your Ride” Sales Event Enhancement Opportunity:
The opportunity was relatively straight-forward.  Leverage a 100% Co-eligible Ford-funded “Swap Your Ride” Social Media promotion, designed to generate a minimum of 100 Facebook fans and 50 leads.  The Sales Event enhancement offer from Ford was made available to 50 Dealers nationwide, on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Several webinars were made available for Dealers to learn more and/or enroll.

No Assembly Required:
The Ford-funded Social Media Promotion had three parts: 1) A Vehicle Giveaway (always a draw for Facebook fans), 2) A Website and Facebook application installed on the participating Dealer’s Facebook page and 3) all the online creative elements required to market the promotion (email templates, Facebook ads, Facebook Sweeps application, website banners, messaging and more).  To make it even more attractive and easier to execute, Ford tapped a proven, 12-year Ford Vendor, Flash Point Communications to handle the execution.  It was completely “turnkey” for the Dealer.

Ford, Social Media, Terald Hopkins
“I am extremely happy with the results of the Facebook program. We doubled the amount of people on our page and it gave us great name recognition. Amberly with Flash Point was fantastic to deal with and help us make sure it ran smoothly. We have already gained over 360 Facebook Fans and 85 Leads!”
-- Elder Ford of Tampa

Surge in Fans, Interactions & Leads Impresses Dealers
Results on Facebook were almost immediate.  An early surge in Fans, interactions and leads encouraged Mr. Hopkins to issue a Press Release to local radio stations and brief his Sales Staff to talk it up on the showroom floor.  Fans and leads continued to come in.  Final results? 464 new Facebook fans (more than double from where he started), 207 sweeps registrations, 97 “opt-ins” (requesting more information) and 4 new vehicle sales (within the first 30 days of program conclusion).  Leads are still being worked and a final “sales match” will be performed on 8/31/12.  Other participating Dealers were equally pleased.

 "Gained over 300 Facebook fans and 79 leads and the program isn't even done yet! Flash Point made the program turn-key and painless. Can't wait for future programs! Thank you Ford and FP!“

“Doubled our Facebook fans in just one month! What’s not to like?”

Our participation in the Swap Your Ride Promotion with Flash Point Communications was a great choice for us. To date we have gained 299 Face Book Fans and generated 108 leads. The entire team at Flashpoint has been attentive to our needs and everyone has followed through on all of their commitments. Great program and great results.

Flash Point has done an incredible job with organizing and facilitating this promotion.  We have gained nearly 200 Facebook followers and 60 leads in just 7 weeks!

A Lucky Strike Extra
Out of the 64,000+ “Swap Your Ride Sweepstakes” registrations generated nationwide, as fate would have it, a winner was chosen in Elder Ford’s back-yard.  The winner, taking delivery of his new F150 at Elder, offered yet another marketing opportunity that Mr. Hopkins capitalized on with local media, PR, photos, video and an in-store event.  In the end, Elder Ford had accomplished what they set out to do: grow their Facebook fan base, create extra excitement in their online and offline community and give their Facebook fans something extra to come back for.

Will Elder Ford and other Dealers Do it Again?
Elder Ford of Tampa is currently participating in a follow-up, 100% co-op eligible, Ford promotion for Summer Sales Event (executed on his behalf once again by Flash Point Communications).  Elder Ford is one of 64 Pilot Dealers, participating  in the Summer Sales Event Social Media Promotion going on right now.

Can it work for the upcoming Built Ford Tough Program?
In a pilot performed during last year’s Built Ford Tough Sales Events, two dealers that participated generated above-average returns on their promotions: Thoroughbred Ford (393 New Fans, 926 Sweeps Registrations, 14 New/1 Used Vehicle Sales) and Mel Hambelton (1908 New Fans, 231 Sweeps Registrations and 16 New Vehicle Sales).  Be on the look-out for more Truck Opportunities. 

How to Get Information or Enroll in Future Sponsored Promotions:
To learn more about upcoming opportunities that may be available for your Dealership, call or write Scott Empringham at Flash Point Communications.
Phone: 949-315-5585
Facebook Page: