Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F38

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

PROFIT BUILDER

Fort Bend Kia's Facebook
page targets service customers
with promotions and
reminders.

BY THE BOOK

 Texas dealership turns its Facebook

page into formidable service marketing tool
STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ McGAVIN

F

foj@autonews.com

ort Bend Kia has made Facebook an
essential tool for advertising service
promotions - so much so that the suburban Houston dealership has slashed its
spending on traditional advertising.
Dealer Principal Virgil Skinner, 63, initially
used his personal page on the social network
as a public profile for the Rosenberg, Texas,
store. He added customers as Facebook
friends and posted often about the dealership
and special offers.
Yet when Skinner created a dedicated Facebook page for Fort Bend Kia, he had little luck
getting his message out. So in 2014, he adopted
Social Roots 1:1, a program developed by Chicago marketing technology company Affinitiv.
Since then, he has turned
his Facebook guesswork into tangible service revenue.
The dealership has garnered more than 4,000
"likes" and "follows" on its
Facebook page.
Skinner notes that Facebook lets him target particular customers. By conSkinner: No
trast, he says, TV ads were
more "hits and
"almost impossible to track
misses"
the results of" and "intrusive" direct mail yielded "hits and misses."
"The beauty of Facebook ads is it's not like a
junk email that I've got to delete," Skinner told
Fixed Ops Journal. "It's on the feed one day
and gone the next. The other thing I like about
using Facebook is that Social Roots can serve
these ads directly to targeted individuals, reminding them about service due.
"I quit doing direct mail for service and, for
the most part, quit doing email blasts," he
adds. "We've done a couple of targeted direct
mail pieces specific to recall campaigns, but
that's about all the marketing I do outside of
Social Roots."
The Social Roots program combines its own
targeting algorithms with Fort Bend Kia's
dealership management system customer database to create timely advertisements for

PAGE 38

APRIL 2018

Bottom line

How Facebook affected the economics
of Fort Bend Kia in 2017
 The dealership generated $146,950
in service revenue from customers
who responded to promotions on its
Facebook page.
 That figure represented about 8%
of the dealership's $1.94 million
in service and parts revenue.
 As a result of the success with
Facebook, dealer Virgil Skinner
reduced his $60,000 in annual
spending on direct mail ads.
 He also eliminated his $128,000-a-year
budget for TV commercials.
Source: Fort Bend Kia

Facebook users, such as service reminders.
A spokeswoman for Affinitiv says the vendor
uses a proprietary method to track how many
Facebook leads turn into customers. Although
other suppliers work with dealerships to advertise on social media, the spokeswoman
says Social Roots' automated process for
dropping reminders onto service customers'
Facebook timelines is unique.
Affintiv works with about 5,500 franchised
dealerships across the United States, says Affintiv CEO Scot Eisenfelder. The cost of the Social Roots program to dealerships varies by
market, goals and budget, he says. Skinner's
dealership pays about $20,000 to $30,000 a

year for Social Roots.
Eisenfelder says Fort Bend Kia goes the extra
mile to customize advertising to its community.
"Dealership engagement and input is a huge
benefit for them and for Affinitiv," he says.
"We can work together to provide not only
OEM-based content, but also more localized
content that really speaks to not only who they
are as a dealership, but who they are as people," Eisenfelder adds.
Skinner's dealership was in the path of Hurricane Harvey, which slammed into the Houston area late last August. Fort Bend Kia leveraged its Facebook reach after the storm to offer free flood inspections to owners of all
makes and models of cars and trucks.
The dealership lost 11 days of business, as
many employees dealt with Harvey's aftermath. Facebook was instrumental in getting
customers to return to the store, Skinner says.
"The easiest thing we could do for all these
people was to do these free flood inspections,"
he says. "If you're not sure if your car has flood
damage, we can tell you. Many people have
cars with water in them and don't realize it because you don't see it."
Skinner says the weeks immediately after
the hurricane were so hectic, he never counted how many people came in for the flood inspection. But he adds that many customers
whose flood-damaged vehicles were declared
total losses by their insurers bought new cars
and trucks from Fort Bend Kia.
As a result, Skinner says, the dealership sold 90
new vehicles last September - a monthly record
and 18 percent of its new-vehicle sales in 2017. 



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F16
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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F20
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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F38
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