SAN FRANCISCO -- Maryland dealer Tamara Darvish turned to a recent movie about Facebook to instruct her managers how they should use social media.
She bought 45 DVDs of the film “The Social Network” at $16 each and gave them to her general managers and sales managers at a meeting last month.
In the movie, which has been nominated for eight Oscars, the character of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg rejects his partner’s requests to display advertisements on the site. Zuckerberg keeps the site ad-free to build cachet and credibility among Facebook users over the long run.
“So many sales managers want to post rebates, car prices and specials,” Darvish said Friday night over fettuccine alfredo at an outdoor restaurant table in San Francisco. “That’s not what people are looking for on Facebook. It’s about building community and making friends in those communities.”
Darvish’s family-owned Darcars Automotive Group, based in Silver Spring, Md., is expanding its use of social media.
The stores have their own Facebook site with 1,000 fans. They use the site to promote contests, such as one planned for Mothers Day asking teenagers to write why their mom deserves a car.
At her dealership meeting last month, Darvish asked managers to pass the DVD along to other managers in the store once they finished watching it.
“They loved the movie,” she said. “They said things like, ‘Now I get it!’ and ‘I thought Facebook was only for kids.’”
Darvish is co-founder of the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, a group of rejected Chrysler and General dealerships that lobbied successfully for passage of 2009 dealer-arbitration legislation.