Foolproof Guidelines To Help Your Dealership Respond To Comments and Engagement On Facebook

Sep 2, 2016 | Social Media

Having a few guidelines in place when dealing with user engagement on your dealership’s social pages is crucial, especially on Facebook, the #1 most widely used social media platform in the U.S. Does your dealership know why it’s so important to respond to your customers in a timely manner? And if so, do you know where to start?

According to Sprout Social, the number of social messages needing a response from a brand has increased by 18% over the past year—yet brands reply to only 11% of them. Even worse, for every 1 response given to an engaged consumer, a brand sends a whopping 23 of its own promotional messages.

Specifically in automotive, it takes 12 hours on average for a dealership to reply to engagement that requires a response, and nearly 50% of all messages written to a dealer fall into this category.

Image Source: Sprout Social

When It Comes To Any Type Of Social Engagement, Keep These Things In Mind:

  1. It’s All Public Every time you write a response, imagine your comment running on the front page of the newspaper. Would you still write it?
  2. Don’t Overlook Marketing Opportunities 5% of your response is for the individual. The other 95% will impact the countless number of people who may read the conversation.
  3. Always Be Positive Whoever is responding to your social media engagement should be positive and eager to engage with other users (this includes both people who love AND hate your business). Their tone will rub off on other readers who join in the conversation!
  4. Keep The Ego Offline Always take ownership of and responsibility for the issue (even if you believe you’re in the clear or not responsible).
  5. Make It Personal Sign your post with your name and title. You may also want to include your contact information (email/phone) if there is a need for that person to contact you or if you want to showcase full transparency.
When responding to engagement on social media, be positive and eager to engage with people who love AND hate your business.
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Your Facebook Page: The 3 Types Of Engagement You Can Expect And How You Should Respond

Your Page hosts reviews, your Wall, and tons of organic content that prospects and customers alike have complete access to. This content is accessible to all Facebook users, so it is important to avoid censoring (deleting) any negative or unwanted feedback on your Page.

Here’s how to tackle each type:


  • Start by thanking the individual for the question and then answer appropriately: “John, thank you for that great question.”
  • Sign off with your name and a nice / positive wish: “Have a great rest of your Monday!”

Positive Review Or Comment

  • Thank the individual for their business, giving your team the opportunity to be a part of their buying process and for the positive review.
  • Encourage them to contact you directly if they ever need anything and sign off with your name.
  • If the review mentions a specific employee (salesperson), have them respond, too.

Negative Review Or Comment

  • We recommend doing everything in your power to avoid deleting negative reviews or comments, or you risk provoking the unhappy user further.
  • Always start by apologizing and taking ownership; never be defensive or try to prove them wrong online
  • Get the conversation offline by publicly encouraging them to call you directly. You don’t want to get into a public spat back and forth!
  • Always sign off with your (or your manager’s) full name, title, direct phone, and email (or both).
TIP: Remember, engagement on your Wall is PUBLIC. An unhappy individual can easily find their past comment—or get even more upset if you’ve decided to censor them. Take advantage of your Wall’s transparency and turn negative reviews into positive experiences publicly – other prospects will be able to witness your customer support!

No matter what feedback you receive on social media, responding back to your community isn’t a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. Unfortunately, too many dealerships are leaving money on the table or, worse, scorning people who then become vocal adversaries.

Image Source: Sprout Social

Your Ads: Dealing With Negative Comments

Not only should your dealership be monitoring and responding to all posts on your Facebook Business Page, it is also imperative to watch engagement on paid ads.

Compared to comments on your Page, you have more flexibility when it comes to negativity on your ads.

Remember, your paid content is run behind-the-scenes as “Dark Posts”—not posted publicly on your Facebook Page Wall. Because they are practically hidden and start and stop often, users who leave negative comments often won’t see the ad again to realize you’ve deleted anything.

Deleting Negative Comments

  • We recommend deleting ALL negative comments on your Paid Ads. You’re paying for these ads to reach In-Market Shoppers: you don’t want your ad spend pumping negative reviews to these new prospects!
  • If possible, screenshot what you deleted and save it for future reference. This will help you be able to easily pull up the record if an issue ever comes up again.

Banning Or Blocking Users

  • If an individual transitions from simply an unhappy/angry customer to an individual who is relentlessly harassing your store or staff despite your best efforts, you may consider “blocking” the individual from your page. This will prevent them from being able to view your content or engage with your dealership on Facebook going forward.

Reach More Shoppers By Being More Proactive With Your Engagement On Facebook

Being reactive isn’t the only way to take advantage of engagement on Facebook. According to Forbes, 84 percent of all automotive shoppers are on Facebook, and 24 percent have used the networking site as a resource to purchase their last vehicle.

By simply being proactive and initiating the conversation, you can create long-lasting connections with both customers who are already following you as well as mere prospects who have never heard of you.

EXPERT TIP: Post on 3 of your followers’ Walls and send 3 personal messages every week. Since Facebook changed its algorithm, users only see content from people who they engage with or find interesting. By making the first move and enthusiastically engaging with them, you will facilitate and grow your relationships exponentially.

What is your dealership doing to engage with customers and prospects on social media? Share your best practices with us!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

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Automotive Social Engagement VS. Industry Standard

Image Source: Sprout Social

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