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CIMA Systems and Social Marketing

Posted on July 29th, 2013 by Pam  |  No Comments »

What can CIMA Systems do to help make Social Marketing work for You?

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blog, Pinterest, and Instagram to name a few.  So many choices and so little time.  Spending at least 6 hours per week on Social Marketing can develop a loyal fan base and increase your marketplace presence.

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Here is how CIMA Systems can help:


Facebook is BIG, in October 2012 it exceeded 2 billion members. A new survey shows that when it comes to generating leads and sales, Facebook gets top marks among business-to-consumer marketers. (1)

CIMA can assist by posting your Event coupons through THRUPONS.  Coupons will appear on your Facebook page under Special Deals and also show on your timeline.

coupon icon



Twitter comes in as a strong second place winner for Customer leads.(1)

Tweet your Sales, Service and Parts specials and include a link to your Event on your website. Followers who are interested in your specials will have easy access to schedule service or research your vehicle inventories.

CIMA will provide a jpg or pdf of your Event template for you to post on your website. When you tweet it, add a link (tiny url) to your website page where the Event is posted.



Marketing over YouTube is much more indirect than buying keywords on search sites or putting banner ads on pages.

Post videos of your Vehicles, Sales Specials, Service Center, Parts Boutique and customers responses when purchasing a new vehicle or on the great Service they received. Make them fun and short.

CIMA can add video links to your email templates. Including video links will increase your YouTube audience/marketing reach by allowing your customers to forward to friends and family. 



70% of Pinterest users say they use the site to get inspiration on what to buy.  There are many ways to use Pinterest for positive-ROI benefits.

CIMA can provide images of your Sales, Service and Parts Events.  You can pin these along with additional photos of your Vehicles and Accessories (promote your parts boutique), and Service department. If you place Accessories / Vehicles on Pinterest, CIMA can send targeted emails with links to your Pinterest account.



In the last few years, the use of Instagram by companies has skyrocketed.  With millions of users, Instagram has become the perfect opportunity to get quick messages and photos to your target audiences.

Post new/used inventory in Instagram and encourage fans to share their own purchases by uploading photos and using the dealer’s hashtags. CIMA can promote your Instagram site in emails and include hashtags for contests. Through CIMA email you can encourage your followers to tag your pictures and then reward your customers with discounts and special offers for looking at your pictures.

In the U.S. alone audiences spend at least one half to three hours daily on social media.  It is one of the largest time buckets on mobile devices. Social Media now generates more business exposure and lead generation than ever before.  CIMA is here to help you make the most of your Social Marketing Opportunities!

(1) 2012 State Of Digital Marketing report from WebMarketin123

Social Media – Working When You’re Not!

Posted on September 21st, 2012 by Lisa  |  No Comments »

In today’s social media market there are many options for getting your dealership noticed, but what you do once you create your new Social accounts will determine your success. Two of the fastest growing online social sites, Facebook and Pinterest are the best ways to get your products out into the Social eye, and to attract a larger audience without a lot of leg work.

Looking for a new way to engage your customers on Facebook? Grow your audience with customer interaction and give them a reason to share your posts with their friends.

A great way to begin is to have a Facebook Photo Contest! Combining everyone’s love for visuals with the chance to win a great prize will create happy faces all around. For example, a photo contest that shares pictures of customer’s pets dressed in outrageous Halloween costumes or a pumpkin carving contest, are fun ways to get your customers involved with your Facebook account. They do require planning (like coming up with prizes and comprehensive rules), but they are worth the effort!

Here are a few things to consider when you are creating your contest…


  • Require LIKES before entry. It wouldn’t make much sense for someone to win your contest that doesn’t like your dealership. You not only want customer engagement from this, but to reward someone who actually enjoys your dealership. You may even give them the opportunity to sign up for your email list too.
  • Promote, promote, PROMOTE! Not just online, but also in house. Cross-promotion is great, and you want to utilize all forms of Social media, but make sure you are also promoting the photo contest in your dealership. Tell your Sales and Service teams to mention it to customers, as well as have signs promoting it throughout the dealership.
  • Be Prepared! Customers expect that you will be able to follow through with the contest without any problems. You should test every aspect of it. You should assign responsibilities and set in motion marketing strategies beforehand.
  • Use the submitted photos after the contest ends. After you have your fans take all these pictures, make sure to use them! A great prize for the contest could be that the winning photo gets featured on your Facebook page for a month. Remember to make using the submitted photos a condition for entering the contest.


New to Pinterest?

Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com) As the third most popular social network in the world (driving more referral traffic on the web than Google+, YouTube and Linkedin combined.) it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Once you get your account up and running (which now doesn’t have a wait period) you can get ‘pining’ some great content.

One of the best ways to get visitors and contributors to your boards are to set up contests. Have your followers create a board around a specific theme (say Tailgating, 4×4, camping, accessories, etc) and make sure to have them link back to your web page, with keywords around that theme. Once that board is completed – anyone searching in Pinterest with those specific keywords in them will pull up a PIN from one of your followers and will then click back to your page! As a bonus, make it a Prize contest, and say give away a gas card for $25, and to share with their friends and families!

Here are a few tips to remember when using Pinterest:

  • Make good use of your Profile. Put in all your information so viewers can know and trust your dealership.
  • Use the official ‘Pin It’ Button. It is a simple add on to your browser that will allow you to PIN almost anything from anywhere on the web. We will add it to your emails to make sure your customers are engaged as well!
  • Don’t just PIN pictures - You can also PIN videos!
  • Connect Socially! Once you have your Pinterest account created, make sure to add your Twitter and Facebook information to the account. That way you can chose to share your PINS across your social networks, or personal web site.
  • Use #hash tags. A Hash tag in Twitter is the same as in Pinterest. When someone does a key word search, it will read all the hash tags and preview the most relevant.
  • Refrain from blatant sales tactics. The social network discourages its users, even marketers and businesses, from engaging in blatant self-promotion. It is suggested to get creative by pinning topics that showcase the lifestyle their brand represents, and to remind followers of your dealership when they think of something they need.

If you would like any help in setting up your Facebook account, or creating a social contest please don’t hesitate to call us at 925-461-4606 or email cfrates@cimasystems.net.

Get More Social Traffic with CIMA and Thrupons

Posted on April 24th, 2012 by CIMA Systems  |  No Comments »

Social Media is one of the fastest growing technologies today. When it comes to Facebook, Twitter, or blogging, how well is your dealership utilizing these important customer communication tools? With CIMA Systems, your customers can access all your specials through your CIMA generated emails, your website, your Facebook page and now via Thrupons (Similar to Groupons, Living Social).

We assist you in taking full advantage of Social Networking from the initial development of your Facebook/Twitter/Thrupons sites, to posting ongoing dealership promotional offers. Thrupons allows you to create custom online deals, as well as provide hard copy print outs for your customers to redeem. Once we post your promotions to Thrupons, they are automatically updated on your “Current Deals” Page tab on Facebook! In addition to the automatic posting of your coupons to Twitter and Facebook, we will provide you with a custom designed welcome webpage which serves as an introduction to your dealership’s Facebook presence.

When a customer clicks on the coupon, it automatically pulls their name from their Facebook account, places it on the coupon, AND posts to their Facebook telling all of their family and friend that they got that coupon from your store. Further, if the family or friend member clicks on the coupon it then posts to their Facebook and tells all of their family and friend about your offer. It is a GREAT way to have your promotions go viral to customers outside of your DMS. Thus no need to pay Groupon fees of 50% of your deal, with CIMA Social…it is unlimited deals for a flat monthly fee of $399 for unlimited coupons/postings.

Remember, all of this is automatic, you do nothing! Keep requesting your CIMA events with coupons, and we will integrate everything with your Facebook page. Plus, we will work with you to gain more followers and traffic to your social sites, website and dealership by promoting your dealership on Facebook, , Twitter, and the Thrupons Social Buying Network.

We are offering all of this to you for a small FLAT monthly fee. If you have any questions on Thrupons, would like more information, or to request other CIMA-built pages, please contact Marie Carter at (925) 461-4616.

Timeline is Coming to Facebook: What You Should Know

Posted on March 30th, 2012 by Marie  |  No Comments »

What is Timeline?

Timeline is a new display format Facebook is requiring all individuals and businesses to use starting between now and April 5.This will be a rolling change Facebook implements.

Facebook Time Line

Timeline makes it easier for your customers to view the history of your brand, as they are now able to easily navigate your past posts and activity. If your dealership maintains an active Facebook business page, there are a few important things to know and actions to take in the coming days.

Cover Photo

The Cover Photo is a large (850 x 315 pixels) picture that sits at the very top of your page. This photo can be of almost anything, but you will have to upload it manually.

There are a few rules regarding this cover photo:

- You cannot post promotional or price information. This means, no coupons or sales announcements can be used in the photo.

- No references to Facebook features (“press the ‘like’ button now”) or calls-to-action (“tell your friends”) can be placed here.

- Covers must not be false, deceptive or leading

It is important to choose a photo that communicates what your brand is about. If you want to feature a vehicle photo, choose something that makes viewers connect with the ‘feeling’ that vehicle gives them. Or, if you have a great employee photo, upload it there – the decision is up to you. Just remember this photo is not a direct selling tool, it’s merely an opportunity for you to add something aesthetically pleasing to support your dealership.

Custom Pages

Some of you (especially our Thrupons customers) have had CIMA build or edit custom tabs, or welcome pages for you. You may have even created one yourself. These pages initially were limited to a width of 520 pixels, but now with Timeline, they can be stretched to 810 pixels. If you would like your CIMA-built pages adjusted, please contact your Account Executive. We will only be converting new customers and those who specifically request the change.

About Description

Under your profile photo, there is now room for a lengthier “About” description where you can write a brief description of your dealership (now 170 characters).

Update More Often (But not too often)

If your dealership posts once every couple months, it will now be more obvious to your customers that you’re not active with date formatting changes Facebook is implementing. We suggest posting once a week or so for the best results, so if you are not in that habit yet, now would be a good time to start!

If you have any questions on the timeline page, Thrupons, or to request the widening of your Welcome or other CIMA-built pages, please contact Marie Carter at (925) 461-4600.

For a comprehensive list of all the changes coming with Timeline, please see the Kiss Metrics article here: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/new-facebook-pages/

A Proven Way to Market Outside of Your Database

Posted on October 3rd, 2011 by cima  |  No Comments »

We at CIMA Systems are continually searching for new ways to promote your dealership offerings in an effort to drive more traffic into your dealership. Many of our dealers have had us design their Facebook and Twitter accounts, which have resulted in additional ways to market to your customers, their family and friends. We are proud to announce our new partnership with Thrupons (competitor to Groupons) which allows us to announce your CIMA generated email promotions automatically to your dealerships Facebook page, Twitter page and now Thrupons Social Buying Network. With CIMA Systems Now your customers can access all your deals through your CIMA generated emails, your website, your Facebook account and now via Thrupons.


For a small FLAT monthly fee, we will add custom features to your Facebook page, including a “Special Deals” tab that will always house your latest and greatest coupons. it’s automatic, you do nothing! Plus, we will work with you to gain more followers and traffic to your social sites, website and dealership. Partner with us to make the most out of your online presence. Ask us for a demo today!

Engaging Your Customers with Effective Social Media Content

Posted on February 22nd, 2011 by cima  |  No Comments »

Embarking on a social media strategy for your dealership can be a daunting task! Setting up facebook and twitter sites is enough work, but that’s only the beginning. The real blood, sweat and tears come in developing and sharing effective content. If you can engage your customers effectively through relevant content, your effort will be more likely to pay off in real dollars.

This article serves to share three main principles of developing effective content for your social media sites:  Content should be unique, dynamic, and transactional.

1. Your Content Should Be UNIQUE

When someone visits your social media site, they should find an environment different from your website, different from your email newsletters, different from your mailers. Your facebook and twitter sites should complement your other marketing efforts, but in order to get people to spend time on your social media sites, you must offer them something new. Add articles that might interest car enthusiasts, post about your Service Advisor’s new baby, or share an inspiring story. But let’s face it, your customers will most likely head to your social media sites for some kind of coupon or offer, so give it to them! How about an additional 5% twitter discount, or just post your monthly coupons on your facebook site where they can easily be printed, or shared. People have so many places to go on the internet these days, it’s important to engage them as quickly as possible and offer them what they are looking for.

2. Your Content Should Be DYNAMIC

As important as it is to draw customers to your social media sites, it is infinitely more important to keep them there. You can do this through the use of dynamic content. Offer monthly or quarterly drawings for gadgets such as ipods, or navigation systems…or even drawings for free vehicle details, or oil changes. Use monthly or quarterly events to incentivize your friends and followers to stay. Make sure to vary your content and keep it fresh so your customers remain interested and engaged. Don’t know what to post that will be dynamic? Ask your audience! Send questions out through facebook and twitter like “What’s interesting you guys this month?” or “What’s your favorite coupon to receive?” or “What feature do you want to see on the cars of the future?” It doesn’t really matter what the questions are, as long as you are keeping your customers talking and coming back, although you can gain some valuable feedback from customer input. The bottom line here is, keep your content changing, relevant, and constantly offer incentives and offers to ensure that staying connected with you on facebook and twitter is more valuable than leaving.

3. Your Content Should Be TRANSACTIONAL

If you are thinking about using social media for your dealership, you are most likely looking to draw business and increase profits, so keep this goal in mind as you are posting content. If you are having a slow day on the service drive, tweet out a “TODAY ONLY: $10 Oil Change Special” to bring customers in, or if you are trying to move cars off the lot, share photos and videos of those vehicles on facebook along with a cash bonus coupon. Your social content should not solely be about business, but in order to bring dollars in, you have to make it easy for your customers to see a value on your site, and turn it into a real transaction at your dealership.

In all, there is no specific recipe for posting content to your social media sites. Pretty much anything is fair game, and everything varies depending on the demographics of your customer base, and the current situation in your local area. The best thing to do, is to take the time to get to know your customers, consistently post a variety of content they are interested in,  and offer them valuable incentives to not only remain connected with you, but to come back to the dealership and spend money. Social Media marketing is relational and requires a steady commitment to maintain, but it will be worth the effort in the long run when you can retain customers and gain new ones.

Lowering the Anti- of Social Media

Posted on April 21st, 2010 by cima  |  No Comments »

Check out this great article on how to leverage social media to turn your disguntled customers into fans!  Not sure how you can use social media for your store? Talk to us! Just send an email to pmason@cimasystems.net and we’ll be happy to help.

source: Automotive News | April 19, 2010 | Lindsay Chappell | located here

Anyone who was a friend of Florida resident Thomas Alascio might have gotten the following Twitter tweet from him last October:

“Took the kids to Sonic for dinner. Great food and service. Route 60 Hyundai should take lessons.”

Tolstoy, it isn’t. But as millions of Americans link together on chatty outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs and Internet message boards and product review forums, auto dealers are grasping that social media offer an explosive new opportunity to market themselves and their vehicles.

They are also an explosive new source of negative publicity and customer kvetching.

Just as customers easily can tell the world about the wonderful dealership experience they just had, they also can blanket the nation’s laptops and Blackberries with angry denouncements and warnings to stay away.

Dealerships are scrambling to protect their reputations online, and ad agencies and online marketing shops are offering to help.

Speeding word-of-mouth

The Alascio case illustrates how social media can propel bad word-of-mouth far faster than ever before.

Alascio had received a loaner car from Route 60 Hyundai in Vero Beach, Fla. The dealership said he had damaged it. The two parties disagreed over Alascio’s financial obligations.

So last October, after an altercation at the dealership, Alascio took his beef to the airwaves, tweeting critical remarks about the store once or twice a day.

A typical post: “Beautiful nite. Pretty moon and btw. Route 60 Hyundai sucks.”

The dealership wasn’t amused. In December, Route 60 had its attorney write Alascio a letter demanding that he “cease and desist” making what the attorney called defamatory comments. The letter warned Alascio that his Twitter comments “entitle Route 60 Hyundai to bring an action against you for defamation and tortuous interference with an advantageous business relationship.”

The letter closed with a stern warning to the customer in all capital letters and underlined: “PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.”

That warning sparked a longer letter from Alascio’s own attorney. It challenged Route 60′s legal claim and urged it to drop the matter or face a lawsuit from Alascio.

In a more conciliatory conclusion, Alascio’s attorney proposed that Route 60 instead consider actually inviting the unhappy customer into the store to discuss ways to improve its customer service.

That never happened, and the case simply disappeared, says Alascio’s attorney, Marc Randazza of Miami.

Stark advice

Randazza offers some stark advice for dealers upset at comments posted by disgruntled customers.

“If you are confronted with a consumer complaint and you pick up the phone to ask your lawyer to try and intimidate the consumer into silence, you should fire yourself for being an abject imbecile,” he says.

“Even if the consumer is wrong, it might cost you a few hundred bucks to make the consumer happy, which then would turn into positive word-of-mouth advertising.

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