Technology changes everything in our lives, from the way we get our news every morning, to the way we cook our dinner in the evening. The growth of technology has, of course, had huge implications for businesses in every industry. The auto industry has been affected in a few very unique ways. Communications technology has exploded over the past several years, and online social media networks are now some of the most popular modes of communication worldwide. This has obviously changed our social lives, but it has also changed the way cars are purchased.

In the past, car purchases were relatively simple, and they weren’t events that spurred real-time conversations between friends who live hundreds of miles away from each other. Social media has the extraordinary power to connect people over long distances, and this is where its influence on the car buying process lies. Consumers now have the ability to easily get in touch with dealerships, research customer satisfaction ratings, get first hand accounts from friends, and discuss the buying process in a largely public forum. On average, 2,000 cars are sold on a single day in the United States. In that same day, there may be as many as 30,000 ongoing conversations about car buying on social media networks.

In a way, many social media users are becoming advertisements themselves without realizing it. Real-life testimonials have a huge influence on the purchasing process for car shoppers, and many buyers are posting their own testimonials without any corporate encouragement whatsoever. We call it the declaration of purchase. As soon as the buyer closes a deal on a car, their social media status updates are advertising the purchase to all of their friends. Social media users love to post pictures and talk about their experiences, and this is causing a big change in the way cars are purchased today.

Actual business transactions through social media are still not extremely popular, but car dealers have great opportunities available to them in terms of promotion through this avenue. Social media profiles for businesses are becoming more common every day, and this new business platform has huge potential. Customers can easily get in touch with car dealers to ask questions, set up appointments, and even negotiate deals. The dealers, on the other hand, can post their inventories, advertise special promotions, and build awareness through social media marketing. Social media is making a huge impact on the early stages of the buying process, as window-shopping can now be done from home in minutes.

They say that the internet is making the world smaller. A window to the entire world sits right on top of your desk, giving you the power to shop for insurance at right after you browse the inventories of several local car dealers from the comfort of home. The growth of technology and social media is changing the way we buy cars every day. Where a deal was once made on the lot of sealed with a handshake, it is now often decided before the customer even walks into the dealership.