Widely regarded as the fastest-growing car dealership group in the UK, Stoneacre Motor Group boasts more than 45 branches across England and Wales.

While the company traffics in world-famous brands such as Aston Martin and Harley-Davidson, its most valuable assets are the relationships it forges with customers, an undertaking in which social media has been invaluable.

Using Sprout Social, Stoneacre equips its head office and individual dealerships with the tools required to uncover valuable industry insights and ensure all communications stay on brand.

In the past year alone, the company’s social strategy has paid off to the tune of £1 million, and there are no signs of slowing down.

Without Sprout, we would lose the overall control we have to ensure our social media efforts across the whole dealership are consistent and within the brand’s guidelines.
Charlotte Stevens
Social Media Manager

Calibrating collaboration

Social Media Managers Alex Hodgson and Charlotte Stevens lead Stoneacre’s social media team, which includes supporting Showroom Hosts at individual branch locations who are publishing localized social content.

Each time a Showroom Host creates a social post, it must be approved and scheduled into a content calendar for their particular branch. By using a social media management platform, Stoneacre can turn a tedious and time-consuming manual task into a streamlined process.

“We decided to use Sprout Social over other platforms due to the robust and effective nature of the platform,” Hodgson said. “Its ease of use to us and our staff, the ability to download the platform on a mobile device – which is perfect for our Showroom Hosts – and the competitive pricing model that Sprout offers were all deciding factors.”

Sprout’s social collaboration tools are specifically designed to help teams increase visibility and achieve workflow efficiency.

“The approval system in Sprout is incredibly helpful,” Hodgson said. “It allows us to make sure all content posted is formatted correctly with no spelling or grammatical errors, and that images are cropped, tweaked and look the best they can.”

While enabling each branch to create its own social presence is a vital part of Stoneacre’s strategy, it’s equally essential that all branches stay on brand and support overarching business goals.

“Without Sprout, we would lose the overall control we have to ensure our social media efforts across the whole dealership are consistent and within the brand’s guidelines,” Stevens said. “It lets us pull everything into one place, keep an eye on proceedings and make sure we are fully compliant and that our presence on social media is unrivalled.”

Sprout’s collaboration tools have also helped Stoneacre beef up its customer care.

“Sprout has helped us collaborate much better with our compliance department to ensure we can easily task complaints and concerns to them,” Stevens said. “They will instantly receive an email informing them of the issue, and they can then contact the customer and ensure they receive a satisfactory outcome to their comment or message. It has saved us hours by streamlining our process.”

We use listening to understand what is being said about us across social media, and further into the web, such as in blog posts and on forums.
Alex Hodgson
Social Media Manager

Supercharging strategy

A major part of Stoneacre’s business strategy is continuing to grow brand awareness on social at the branch level in hopes of increasing web traffic and conversions.

In order to understand what content may serve these goals best, Stoneacre turns to Sprout’s social listening tools.

“We use listening to understand what is being said about us across social media, and further into the web, such as in blog posts and on forums,” Hodgson said. “We also track what is being said about our rivals, and the manufacturers that we stock. We then take all this information and use it in our quarterly social media strategies to determine how we can tailor content that we believe our audience may be interested in.”

With the learnings gleaned from listening, Stoneacre is better prepared to help local branches build out their content strategies.

“We use Sprout to help our in-branch staff find and create engaging content that will benefit our audience and portray our business in a good light,” Stevens said. “Both staff at the local level and in our head office use Sprout to plan effectively, source good content, edit photos and respond to queries in a timely and effective manner.”

Revving up results

Stoneacre became a Sprout Social customer in 2012, and it’s social success has only continued to grow.

For example, in the first quarter of 2019, on a year-over-year basis, Stoneacre saw a 1,000% increase in website traffic from Facebook, representing 92% of all similar traffic achieved throughout the entirety of 2018. Website lead generation from Facebook increased 3,300% over the same time period.

Year over year as of June 2019, across all Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest profiles, Stoneacre generated 350,000 link clicks, achieving a:

  • 73.5% increase in total social followers
  • 100% increase in total social engagements
  • 153.2% increase in total social impressions

Stoneacre credits social leads with creating £1 million in sales over the past 12 months, with 591 sales directly attributed to social leads.

As Hodgson told Automotive Management Online, Sprout helps Stoneacre determine which brands to promote in certain areas and which types of posts will resonate most with online audiences.

“Sprout is integral to our social strategy,” Hodgson said. “We undertake research and development using the platform, build up an idea of our audience and what they’re saying and posting about us, then take this information and use it extensively in our strategy planning.”

Stoneacre Motor Group is committed to providing customers with exceptional experiences, both on and offline.

With the help of Sprout Social, the company will continue to deliver.

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