Dealer.com bolsters social media offering for auto industry with acquisition

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Photo by buddawiggi on Flickr
Photo by buddawiggi on Flickr

Dealer.com, a provider of digital marketing solutions for the automotive vertical, announced Aug. 20 its acquisition of hearforward, a designer and developer of social media campaigns, says Dealer.com's communications consultant Alison von Puschendorf. The acquisition closed Aug. 17.

The hearforward acquisition enables Dealer.com to enhance its social media capabilities for its clients, specifically in the areas of building an advocate community and increasing brand loyalty.

“When done well, social media gives dealers control over their online reputations—providing the tools to build loyalty, encourage advocacy, and turn consumers into loyal brand advocates,” von Puschendorf says. “We partner with our customers to develop meaningful communication points between their dealership and their customers, both existing and potential.”

Hearforward will “discontinue its operations at the end of the 2012,” von Puschendorf says, and will be folded into the Dealer.com brand.

“Dealer.com has used hearforward's services before, and they have made a significant impact in helping us drive our social media strategy forward,” says von Puschendorf. “As we look to further strengthen our own strategic social media solutions for the auto industry, we need to invest in the proven technologies and methodologies that have built brands, driven sales, and increased customer engagement.”

Sean Hurley, hearforward.com partner and CEO, has joined Dealer.com as the director of social and marketing analytics, according to von Puschendorf. She anticipates no layoffs.

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