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Data Tracker: Consumer interaction via social media

As social networking sites such as Facebook continue to grow in popularity, it provides dealers an opportunity to reach consumers on a deeper, more personal level. And they are already engaged and waiting to interact with you.

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According to a recent Boat Trader survey, 74 percent of consumers participate in some type of online community. When asked in which online communities they currently participate, 52 percent of consumers said Facebook, followed by 27 percent saying "boating forums." While Twitter comprised just 8 percent of the responses, it is a growing network of consumers that share information (and opinions) rapidly.

The most important result to take from this data is that social media is the most cost-effective method of interacting with your consumers in a non-sales environment. It allows dealers to become a part of the buying cycle before consumers enter the dealership, giving you more control sooner.

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