Connected in Calgary!: A Recap of Our Google Partners Connect Event

On Tuesday, October 16th we had the absolute pleasure of hosting our Connect with Google event in Calgary, Alberta at the beautiful venue The Baron—and connect we did! We had a chance to meet (and have a beverage or two) with local dealers, as well as listen to a few great presentations. Continue reading “Connected in Calgary!: A Recap of Our Google Partners Connect Event”

Google Partners Connect Calgary | Presented by Strathcom Media & Google Canada

photograph of calgary with text superimposed, reading Connect with Google

We’re having a party, and you’re invited! Well, it’s more of a conference than a party, but by the time all is said and done you’ll be ready to cut loose—at the bar and at your dealership.

Join the Strathcom Media team, as well as our friends from Google (we’re a preferred partner, just sayin’ *brushes dirt off shoulder*), at The Baron in Calgary—and see first-hand how the Canadian automotive industry has and is changing, and how you can not only keep up to the changes but leverage them to be a more successful dealership. Because the goal is to sell more cars, right? Continue reading “Google Partners Connect Calgary | Presented by Strathcom Media & Google Canada”

Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics

Young man at the psychotherapist, lying on couch, emotionally speaking, discussing with psychotherapist his problems, practitioner making some notes. Horizontal photo banner for website header design

In the 70s people hung out at roller disco rinks wearing bellbottom jeans and big perms. In the 80s they hung out at the arcade, and acid-washed denim was all the rage. Fast forward to 2018 and all the cool kids are wearing morose, Zuckerberg-esque heather grey hoodies, sitting in independent coffee shops, spending their time on Google Analytics.

Okay, maybe not quite. But if you’ve been hanging around in Google Analytics lately, you’ve probably seen a few new things pop up. And while we’d never toot our own horn about how cool we are (*sound of crickets*), we do know a thing or two about Google Analytics. Cool or not, you can never say we’re not helpful, so here’s a quick summary of those new features and how they can make your life easier. Continue reading “Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics”

Google Analytics 360

Looking for a way to deep-dive into your customer data and take Google Analytics one step further?

Introducing the new Google Analytics 360.GA360Suite_Vertical_Logo

This new premium paid, enterprise-level solution is designed to help businesses just like yours integrate all of your customer data into one platform so you can easily make sense of it all and create better marketing campaigns. It’s taking advantage of all those micro-moments car buyers experience and giving them the right messages at the right time.

The full suite comes with:

  1. Google Analytics 360 – Formerly known as Google Analytics Premium, this software is coming out with new capabilities over the next couple of months
  2. Google Attribution 360 – Formerly known as Adometry, it has been rebuilt to better help you determine the value behind your marketing efforts and allocate budgets for the best returns
  3. Google Tag Manager 360 – Allows you to add code into your website in a simplified and efficient way, saving Marketers a ton of time
  4. Google Data Studio 360 – Takes data from all products in the Google Analytics 360 suite and converts it all into visual and interactive dashboards and reports
  5. Google Optimize 360 – A brand new website-testing and -personalization tool that will let you A/B-test different versions of your website for better performance
  6. Google Audience Center 360 – This new tool will help you understand your customers better and find more customers just like them

So if you think your team has mastered Google Analytics and just wants more, then Google Analytics 360 and its new product suite may just be the perfect new tool for you!

5 Painless Ways to Ask for Reviews

Reviews Are Important
Reviews are important; we get it.

Without reviews, you see less website traffic (reviews are a huge ranking factor and are good for SEO), have less engagement with your customers, and probably sell fewer vehicles.

But how do you ask customers for reviews? Everybody is busy, and if someone just finished buying a car, the last thing you want to do is pester them for a dealer review.

You need to ease them into the process. Here are a few tactics to make asking for reviews painless for both you and your customers:

1. Smooth Criminal

It’s easy to ask customers for a positive review by putting a brief message and a link to your review page in your email signature. This way no one can “forget” to ask for the review either. Remember, subtlety is the key to seduction.

2. Social Butterfly

Social Butterfly Icon

Build a very simple and friendly page on your website that links to all of your preferred review sites. Check out the page that Pacific Motors just built for this:

You can also purchase an easy-to-remember domain to advertise your review sites (, for example) and then put that link in your email signature or include it in a “Thank you” email you send each customer after they have made a purchase.

3. Don’t Ask

hush Get someone else to ask for you! Your salespeople or front-facing staff can politely ask a customer to leave a review.

Just make sure your staff know your dealership’s preferred review websites so they can steer customers in the right direction.

4. Give Incentives

While you can’t buy reviews from customers with cash, gift certificates, or prizes, you can give incentives to your employees to ask for positive reviews.

I’ve seen dealerships offer cash or an entry into a draw for every positive review they received. It was so successful that they could only run the program for a few months—if you’re looking for a quick pay off, then this may be your best bet.

5. Thank Them!

If you send a “Thank you” letter to customers a week or two after their purchase, you could ask for a positive review at the same time.

Whether you’ve decided to set up a separate page or URL for your review sites, or to include review icons and a brief sentence requesting a review, adding it to your sales process is an effective way to remind customers to review your business.

For more on reviews, don’t forget to check out our post on 4 places to get dealer reviews!

4 Places to Get Dealer Reviews

By now, everyone understands the benefits of getting positive reviews for your business. But where do you send your customers to leave their reviews? Is it just a testimonial page on your website? There are actually a number of popular review websites that you can send your customers to.

Here’s the shortest, sweetest list of where to get customers to leave their reviews:

1. Google+ (duh)

Getting positive reviews on Google+ has arguably the biggest bang for your proverbial buck. Google weighs these reviews, combined with the quality of your Google+ page, the heaviest of all the review sites. Why? Because they own this sh*t!

The authority of your Google+  listing combines with your website authority to give you a better chance of showing up in the Google maps locations in the search results page (known as the “Map Pack”).

Map Pack Google Screenshot

If you lack time or resources (who doesn’t?), definitely start with this one. Your first steps should be to claim your Google Plus and Places listing, complete it as thoroughly as possible, and then ask customers for reviews.

2. Facebook

Facebook might be getting a little tired to some of us, but it’s still hands down the social media giant. With 1.3 billion monthly active Facebook users, you can bet that people are asking their friends and family about buying a car and looking for advice and information.

Facebook also launched something called Graph Search in January, 2013, that makes their database easier to search with conversationally-phrased questions like “what is the best Ford dealership in Vancouver.”

Facebook only shows results from popular Facebook pages already in their database. If you don’t already have a Facebook business page, set one up and post a few times before advertising the page too much. Not sure about the whole Facebook thing? Read some reasons why your car dealership should be on Facebook and see if we can change your mind.

3. Yelp

With over 60 million registered users and over 20 million reviews posted on the site, this is not one to ignore. Yelp is also considered the second most important review site (next to Google+) to help boost your SEO.

In the beginning, Yelp was mostly used for reviews on the restaurant industry but other industries now account for more than 75% of their listings. To get started with Yelp, check to see if you already have a Yelp listing and update any incorrect information on your account. If you can’t find your dealership, then create a new listing.

4. Dealer Rater

Of all of the review sites built just for the automotive industry, we see customers leave the most reviews on Customers can search for a dealership, service centre, or actual vehicle using this site and leave a review by logging in through their social media account or by creating a Dealer Rater account. In order to become a Dealer Rater Certified dealership, you have to pay to play.

If you need help improving your online presence or gaining positive reviews for your business, Contact Us at Strathcom with any questions!

Facebook 101: Why Do I Need to Be on Facebook Anyway?

We get asked all of the time, “Why do I need to be on Facebook anyway?” often followed by “Nobody cares what I had for dinner!” True, what you had for dinner probably falls out of the realm of things your mother even cares about. However, for car dealerships, Facebook does have a number of benefits—and it just so happens to be where your customers are.


Reasons your dealership should be on Facebook:

  1. Google likes it — especially since the new Hummingbird Update,Google has been including the content from your public page in their rankings and, more importantly, its looking for how interactive your fans are (how often they are sharing, commenting and liking your content).
  2. The conversation happens whether you are there or not — everyone has questions, and Social Media is the new “word of mouth” referral.  Potential customers ask each other for opinions and recommendations, and if the question is about where to get their next oil change or what kind of SUV will be optimal to tote little Johnny and his four messy friends around in, you have a unique opportunity to become a part of that conversation or at least monitor what people are saying about your dealership.
  3. Social media is everywhere and it’s necessary — if you’re going to dive in, why not start with Facebook?  It’s hyper-visual so it lends itself well to car sales. It’s been around since 2004 and has billions of users worldwide, making it the largest platform (meaning more access to different demographics). Most importantly for your brand, Facebook has the highest levels of user engagement.

Who should manage my Facebook?

Find someone within your company that naturally likes talking to people and who has an affinity for customer service. They can learn the platform relatively easily, but it’s more important that they just like engaging with people.

How to get started:

  1. Do a quick search to see if there is already a Facebook Places page related to your business that people are checking in at or liking. If there is one, you can claim it from the Edit Page drop down menu at the top.
  2. To create a new page, please visit this link: and make sure you choose “Local Business or Place.” Dealerships who make the mistake of setting themselves up like a “person” (as you would with a Personal profile), after reaching about 1000 friends, Facebook will notice and reserves the right to cancel your account.

Stay tuned for our next social media blog post on how to properly set up your Facebook page and get started with Facebook posts.

Need help getting started?  Ask Strathcom Media today!

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