How far does your dealership go to make customers happy?

How far does your dealership go when it comes to making people happy? Shaun Del Grande, owner of the 15-brand, 14-store Del Grande Dealer Group in San Francisco, says happiness can’t just be lip service – you’ve got to make it happen! Luckily, Shaun has found a way to do it with social media.

In a recent interview with, the second-generation dealer discusses the marketing message he presented at the recent Automotive Social Media Summit. His main message? “Don’t just be a car buyer, be a happy car buyer.”

Del Grande’s group distributes “Be Happy” license plate holders and uses social media storytelling videos on YouTube to get the point across that buying a car should be joyful. The group has 900 employees, and a lot of them are millennials. Del Grande uses three videographers and 11 photographers to shoot the videos, which have garnered more than 271,000 views on YouTube. The social media, combined with the “Be Happy” theme, is evidently working. Del Grande’s store group delivered 25,000 vehicles last year and expects to sell 30,000 this year.

Del Grande has these tips for dealerships that want to connect with the online crowd:

  1. Plan, but don’t overthink it.
  2. Don’t make it overwhelming.
  3. Focus on what your dealership already does, like contests.
  4. Seek outside help as well as help inside your store.
  5. Build a community of raving fans.

You can check out some of their videos here.