People who click on these social media posts are redirected to the dealership's website. Phil Almas, the store's service manager, said that effort has attracted new customers and helped turn around an underperforming service department.
Almas says his shop's number of customer-paid, flat-rate service hours rose from 1,303 in the first quarter of 2016 (not including internal or warranty work), to 2,167 hours in the first quarter of this year — a 66 percent increase.
Moreover, the effective hourly rate that service customers paid climbed from $77.66 to $87.78, Almas adds.
He says total customer-pay service is up 168 percent year over year, although he declines to divulge revenue numbers.
"We're just driving people through social media channels to our website, where they elect what they want to look at and purchase and elect to do business with us," Almas says. "It looks like it's working."
Traffic on Ganley Subaru East's website has increased by 36 percent in the past year, and visits to service-related pages have jumped 31 percent. "That is more exposure for all the departments and the more [service] leads we can get," Almas says.
The dealership displays Subaru vehicles at community events. Employees hand out sales and service brochures and award dealer-branded prizes for contests.
"This industry is typically one where there is not a lot of trust from the public," says Brittany Klucaric, the marketing manager of Ganley Subaru East and another store in the 29-dealership Ganley group.
"Getting involved in community events is a way of locally branding us and getting our faces out there, so people can see us on a personal level and see that we do give back," she adds.
The dealership's exposure through social media helps the service department recruit technicians, Almas says. Job candidates "want to join our team because of how involved we are and how much fun it must be to work here," he says.
Visibility at community events also brings non-Subaru owners to the service department, Klucaric says.
"If we're at an event and we're talking about our brand, and they say, 'Oh, I don't drive that,' that's a great opportunity to give them an express service brochure and say that we actually do all makes and models," she says. "We say, look at all the great things we can offer you that you can't get at the quick-lube stop or independent shops."