by John Dobberstein, Associate Editor

Social media opportunities such as Facebook offer a unique way for dealerships to brand

Hendershot Equipment carries several lines of machinery, including Polaris ATVs.

themselves with customers and stand out from competitors.This is especially important with rural lifestyle customers, who do much of their equipment research online. But many rural lifestyle dealerships either have no presence at all on Facebook, or are doing little with it.

Hendershot Equipment of Stephenville and Decatur, Texas, created its own Facebook page in 2009. An invitation for customers to check out this page is one of the first things they see on the dealership’s main web site. The dealership goes to great lengths to make the page — which is “liked” by 259 people as of February — more than just a placeholder for information:
  • The dealership recently posted a picture of its service technicians, referred to as “service pros” in new charcoal-colored shirts.
  • Customers who purchase equipment from Hendershot have their picture taken and the photo posted on the Facebook page, along with a thank you message from the dealership for their business.
  • Hendershot posts new product announcements and news from its mainline and shortlines.
Dealership owner/principal Ron Hendershot says Facebook isn’t a centerpiece of his company’s retail strategy, but it’s an extra way to reach out to customers without a large investment of time and money. “When I hear a salesman say a customer wants to know when their picture will be up on Facebook, that makes me glad that I did it,” he says. “It has reinforced our brand.” To see Hendershot Equipment’s Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com and type in “Hendershot Equipment” in the search window.

To learn more about Hendershot Equipment, read the "Dealer Profile" in the Spring 2011 issue of Rural Lifestyle Dealer. Click here.