DETROIT -- The promise of social media helping dealers to sell cars has yet to be realized, said Mike Accavitti, Acura division general manager.
Networks such as Facebook and Twitter have long been used by brands to raise awareness of vehicles among the millions who log on daily, he said.
But they have been far less effective getting active car shoppers to consider specific vehicles, said Accavitti, who participated here on a retail panel at the Automotive News World Congress this month.
He was joined by Jared Rowe, president of AutoTrader.com, and Raj Sundaram, co-president of Dealertrack Technologies.
"It's a fantastic way to get awareness. We haven't seen the results yet on consideration," Accavitti said.
Millions use social media to share photos and converse easily. Social networking, however, has yet to become a big venue for shopping, though millions are willing to share their views on products and services with family, friends and the public via consumer reviews.
Acura is constantly experimenting with social media because of its reach, Accavitti said. For example, last year the brand built a platform on Twitter so that consumers could virtually build their own version of the 2015 TLX without leaving Twitter for the Acura website, Accavitti said.
"We're always looking for new ways to drive lower-funnel activity on social media," he said. Marketers picture shopping behavior as a funnel. The lower shoppers go, the closer they are to a purchase decision.
Sundaram added that dealers need to be mindful of what consumers are saying about them on social media and soliciting reviews and responding to them. However, social media as a selling tool is still to be seen.
Sundaram said, "It's yet to be the Holy Grail."