Content is the answer to how to sell via social media. Although content has been important since gossip was invented, the easiest modern example of the evolution of content-driven media is in the history of radio: In order to monetize the new medium, advertisers gave people reasons to listen to the radio by using interesting content and then did commercial announcements between the content. This "hook'em and sell'em" device later transited nicely to TV. And it's transiting to social media now, as well! Give people a short and interesting mini-article, funny video, human-interest story, and THEN give them a link to your site/inventory/contact form/what-not.
My point is that if we are all showing inventory or always talking about your dealership experience using social media then we are "doing it wrong". Would folks throwing a party like to see us staple pictures of our cars to the walls of their house? NO. Would somebody want to watch a thirty minute show about our dealerships instead of looking at photos of their grandchildren? NO. However, TV has proven that they WILL watch a 30sec commercial on your dealership while watching a 30 min popular show. So, moving to the modern media, will they keep you as a friend on social media if you send them weekly content they are interested in, even if it ties (via link and content) to your retail vehicle sales? SURE.
It's that simple: We monetize social media the same way we did the old media, by driving "viewership" with content and then culling leads from folks who are interested in our message.
I'm not saying this is where your own content should go, but if you can imagine this being passed around Facebook . . . well, it was. This Suzuki dealer is now #1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGgmFQ-SMBw.
Not every TV advertiser bought time on The Gong Show or Jerry Springer. Dramas and news get viewers, too. And why do people pay attention to the advertisers?
Content, baby, content!
P.S. Check out Ed Brooks' blog post http://www.automotivedigitalmarketing.com/profiles/blogs/facebook-p... about how the live news feed dominates Facebook now . . . guess what? That's CONTENT, baby, content of interest! :)