You might think car dealer forums are a thing of the past in 2022, but you'd be wrong. In fact, while the old internet forum is dying out in most industries, they're thriving in the motor trade.
And any car dealership owner who isn't on one is missing out on the latest goings-on in the motor industry.
If you want to stay on top of the news, from purchasing leasing and servicing to auto auctions, electric vehicles and new and used car sales, we've compiled a list of the three best car dealer forums you need to join in 2022:
Let's start with the big boys, and they don't come much bigger than Car Dealer Magazine.
Who they are: Car Dealer Magazine is the leading motor trade website in the UK that provides car industry professionals with the latest daily news and features.
Why you should sign up: Honestly, it's got everything you want from a car dealership forum.
It has a Buy & Sell Trade Cars forum for discussing buying and selling trade cars. So, if you are looking to source a Mercedes Benz or a Peugeot 205, this is the place to do it. While in a separate Buy & Sell area, you can discuss anything and everything, from Xenon bulbs up alloy whiles.
But that's not all.
There's an exclusive car dealership owners area that doesn't admit the general public, which means you can speak to people in your industry who understand the highs and lows of doing what you do. Plus, a special area called Stolen Vehicle and Fraud Warning - vital if your dealership is broken into.
And if you want a break from all that car chat, there's a General Chat area where you can discuss random stuff to your heart's content, including how you're still really pissed off by how Game of Thrones ended.
Second on the list and slightly small in stature is Honest John.
Who they are: Honest John is a mother vehicle website that proudly proclaims best known for its "no-nonsense approach to new and used car buying and owning advice".
Why you should sign up: With well over 100,000 posts, the Honest John forum is a busy place. There's a 'Motoring discussion' room where you can discuss buying & selling, green motoring, where to get the best deals, insurance, warranty, road tax and running costs. And a second area for discussing things like spare parts and accessories.
And if you're a fan of two wheels as well as four, then you'll get a real kick-start from the 'Bikers Caff' discussion forum.
It's probably the least 'showy' forum, but it's by far the most comprehensive with millions of posts.
Who they are: Founded in 1998 (and to be honest, the layout of the forum looks like it's still in 1998), Piston Heads is famous for its devoted (and extensive) online motoring community.
Why you should sign up: Where do we even begin?
The Piston Heads forum has more chat threads than you can shake a carburettor at.
In the 'General Gassing' area, you can talk to like-minded car enthusiasts about the latest motoring news, in-car electronics and vintage cars. There's a Marketplace section with car sales chat. There is a motorsport section for adrenaline junkies, plus areas for discussions about BMW, Ford, and Jaguar Land Rover. American cars, Japanese cars, electric cars and top of the range supercars.
If there's a car worth talking about, there's a dedicated discussion area for them.
It's so comprehensive that if you're a car dealer who loves everything about vehicles, down to the smallest nuts and bolts, the Piston Heads Forum is the place to be.
The truth is, forums like those above keep the motor industry forum alive, but we all have to move with the times. And in the modern era, Facebook and LinkedIn have become the place for business professionals.
Facebook is crammed full of groups aimed at car dealers and car dealerships.
Some are great, others utter crap.
But one of the best, although aimed more at the US market, is the Facebook Auto Marketing Collective.
When it comes to Facebook, it's a minefield that's worth navigating if you have the time, but you'll have to wade through a load of rubbish or dead groups to find one that's worth joining.
On LinkedIn, you're likely to find fewer groups and more individuals.
And you'll have to find time, or a copywriter, to help you post regular content about your business and the topics you want to discuss. But, when you do, you will find your audience over time.
And when that happens?
It results in a network of contacts who are either in the motor trade or people looking to work with or buy vehicles from you.
If you're going to use social media, especially Facebook, you'd be better off spending less time looking for car dealer forums and groups and more time on marketing your dealership.
And if that's something you'd be interested in, Social Tap can help.
Facebook's advertising tools are incredibly powerful. And like all powerful software, they're also complex to use. So, to get the best results, you need to know what you're doing.
At Social Tap, we specialise in creating Facebook advertising campaigns for car dealerships and financial services providers in the motor trade. We monitor, optimise, tweak, split test every ad to make sure you get the best leads possible for your investment.
If your current ads are performing like a clapped-out banger, then it's time to upgrade them with Social Tap and watch them perform like a Ferrari.
Start the engine on high-quality car finance leads - get in touch.
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