Carter West Public Relations, the nation’s leading agency specializing in the retail automotive technology industry has  launched  its social media division. Integrated public relations and social media solutions have been proven to greatly increase the effectiveness of clients’ marketing communications strategies, maximize web exposure, increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to client web sites.

“The social media strategies we have implemented for our clients have opened up new channels of communication for them and have been very well received,” said Sara Callahan, President of Carter West. “The results have made clear that an integrated public relations and social media approach takes a company’s exposure to a new level, enabling them to reach and engage with a very targeted audience.”

The launch of the new social media division is the culmination of more than a year’s worth of trials that have implemented social media strategies into current public relations programs. “Carter West PR has increased our web presence and we are looking forward to seeing the ROI of a full-service social media program with them in 2012,” says Phil DuPree, President of AutoUSA Internet Sales Solutions. “In the past year it’s become clear that as more dealership employees are growing comfortable with the various social media platforms, they are using them to research, find reviews of, and interact with vendors.”

Carter West’s social media services include establishing and building presence on well-known platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, client blogs and automotive-specific social networking sites. Carter West’s social media team provides full-service solutions including content creation, engagement campaigns, comment marketing, video production, design and advertising, reputation management and ROI reporting/analytics. All social media strategies are custom designed to each client’s preferences and specific marketing goals, and are offered as part of an integrated public relations program.

In a recent survey conducted by Carter West PR, 159 dealership management personnel responded to social media related questions (55% owners and general managers, and 45% a mix of other management positions including controllers and CIOs, dealer principals, service and parts managers, and sales managers). Survey results indicate that a growing number of dealership management personnel are turning to auto social networking sites as a primary source of information and news on products and services. In addition, more than 81% of respondents maintain a Facebook profile, and of those, 29% said they use Facebook to interact with vendors. 44% have a Linked In profile and 17% have a Twitter profile. The survey also highlighted the growing usage of social media by dealerships, with 79% of respondents reporting they have a social media program in place.

For more information about Carter West social media programs visit www.carterwestpr.com or call 727-288-2159.