October 11, 2017
In 2017, automotive marketing options for your dealership seem almost limitless. In the past, you’d probably market your company through newspaper and phonebook space but today, marketing your brand could not be easier with the invention of the internet.
Arguably one of the most profitable forms of marketing is social media marketing. And considering that 68% of US adults engage in social media, you really have no excuse for not taking advantage of this form of marketing.
Sadly, social media is not as easy as creating a Facebook page and updating it once a month advertising some random hatchback your lot just received. Instead, social media is a bit of a science. You’ll need to follow a few formulas and rules if you want to make the most of your dealership’s profile. But once you start gaining followers, increasing sales, and having a bit of fun along the way, you’ll see that social media is more than worth it. So, do you want to know the secrets to boosting your social media presence? Then read along with us, as we discuss some of the best methods for attracting more social media followers.
First things first. You’ll want to decide how often you will post on your social media profiles. Remember that vacant accounts tend to lose followers. To prevent this from happening, many companies choose to post at least once a day. You can decide which works best for your dealership. You don’t want to spam your customers’ feeds with 20 daily posts of useless information. But at the same time, you’ll want to remind them your dealership exists.
Also, keep in mind that research from a 2016 University of Tennessee study implies frequent posts help your business. In the study, companies that posted more frequently received less negative news than companies that tweeted less often. So with this in mind, remember that you will want to create frequent posts.
Don’t Make Every Post an Overt Advertisement
How often do you log into your personal social media accounts to see advertisements? For most people, the answer is likely never. Instead, most users log into their accounts for fun and relaxation. So, with this in mind, you’ll want to tailor your content appropriately. This means finding ways to inform your customers of products and services without sounding like a sleazy salesperson.
One common method involves helping customers and commenters. For example, imagine someone leaves a concerned comment about driving in the snow. You don’t want to reply with a lone link to a four-wheel drive SUV that drives well in any terrain. Instead, share some of your knowledge about the features of cars that help them drive better in the snow. You might even link them to one of your blog posts about driving safely in the snow. If you want, you can even suggest a few cars your dealership sells—again, don’t make it seem like a boring advertisement.
Providing helpful responses proves your dealership is knowledgeable when it comes to cars. Furthermore, you add a human element to your profile.
Keep in mind that the help part is only an example. Pet company PetSafe asks for cute puppy photo contests every once in a while for posting. Your dealership can follow suit with something automotive themed. The bottom line here is that you want to engage and interest your customers. In other words, don’t try to overtly sell a car—most people ignore these posts.
Let Your Followers Know You Are Human
This step easily slips most companies’ minds. But you’ll want to connect to your customers on a human level. Think of it like selling a car on a lot. How often can you sell a car without establishing some rapport with a customer?
A similar concept applies to social media. This is as easy as individually replying to comments on your dealership’s posts. Thank your customers when they praise your dealership. At the same time, address any important questions they may have.
Sometimes, you will receive negative comments. Keep in mind that ignoring the negativity is not always the best strategy. Instead, remember that most problems are solved with a little bit of empathy and an apology. If you respond in a kind and respectful manner, your dealership’s image will reflect nicely as well. For the most part, this will help your company establish a sense of trust with your followers.
Automation can be Your Friend
Yes, automation contrasts the human elements of a profile. But it will save you plenty of time and attract followers when used correctly. If you need to advertise an upcoming event or announcement, automation is a great way to send the message at a specific time.
On the other hand, automation can go wrong when it comes to replying to customers. So, for most replies, you will want to manually respond. Otherwise, your account will quickly lose any human traits you worked hard to create.
All of the above tips will lead to a simple goal—discussion. To take this a step further, try asking open-ended questions to your customers. For example, you might ask, “what are your favorite features on the new BMW 7-series?” after posting a relevant article. You can post any fun automotive-themed memes and quotes as well. Just remember to not become too complex in your post. Instead, keep everything easy to understand for your customers. When one person comments, that customer will be more likely to see future posts from your dealership in his social media feed. Often times, commenters’ friends will also see the posts, which might even attract some new customers.
Lastly, track your posts. See what earns the most activity on your dealership’s social media pages. From here, you can continue to attract comments and new followers.