Navigating the Social Media Highway

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Navigating the Social Media Highway

Linda Kleinman, Deputy General Counsel, Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, USA

Social media conversations about your dealership, your cars, your accessories, and your services are taking place constantly online. By leveraging social media, manufacturers and dealers can gain customer insight and understanding how their brand is perceived, extend communication with customers and prospective customers throughout the sales life-cycle, coordinate messages across automotive industry tiers to create more and deeper customer connections and improve the dealer’s appearance in search engines by creating and manage their presence in more digital channels. The automotive industry is clearly in the throes of embracing the curves of the social media highway. Many have learned how, or hired third party companies to, navigate Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and the proliferation of other social media sites to get their message to the public, reduce their advertising spending, and increase sales. According to the L2 Digital IQ Index, which studies the effectives of social media campaigns, 73% of light vehicle brands maintain at least one Facebook page, 70% have a YouTube channel and 60% use a Twitter account. Car companies are even using social media to launch new vehicles. Social media has been shown to produce a return on investment that entices those in the automotive industry to utilize its marketing power.

Linda Kleinman has been a lawyer in the automotive industry since 1997. She holds a BS degree in Political Science from Northeastern University, an MBA/Marketing from University of Miami, an MBA/Real Estate Development from Nova Southeastern University, and graduated cum laude from Nova Southeastern Shepard Broad Law School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Linda is presently Deputy General Counsel for Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC a subsidiary of JM Family Enterprises, Inc. She specializes in Motor Vehicle Franchise Law, Advertising/Marketing Law, and Commercial Contracts.

JM Family Enterprises, Inc. is a diversified automotive corporation whose principal businesses focus on vehicle distribution and processing; finance and warranty services; insurance activities; retail sales; marketing and consulting; and dealer technology products and services. Ranked No. 1 in the National Automobile Dealers Association's dealer attitude study, Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is the world's largest independent distributor of Toyotas and Scions. The company's vehicle processing facilities distribute cars, trucks and vans, parts and accessories to 173 independent Toyota dealers in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and North and South Carolina. SET dealers sell approximately 20 percent of all Toyotas sold in the United States.

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