“The simple fact is companies no longer control their brand. People control their brand.”
There’s no better way to start this second part of the interview than with a statement like that. It’s true. Very few people trust advertising anymore, while a huge percentage do trust consumer reviews and opinions. With sites like RipOffReport and DealerRater offering venues for people to vent about their bad experience, it makes sense that car dealers should start taking social media seriously.
“The customers control their brand,” Valenta said. “And the faster they can get themselves into the social media sphere or social networking sphere, the better it’s going to be for them long-term.”
Having the ability to let people discuss their experiences, both good and bad, openly in public areas such as Facebook, Twitter, and dealership blogs allows dealers the opportunity to respond and potentially remedy bad situations. Otherwise, people will find places to “vent” where the dealer has no control or method of response.