When it comes to car shopping, social media sites have become a major influence in the consumers decision making.
Most automotive advertisers understand that social media should be part of their strategy. We all know we should have a company page and be posting pictures. With more and more time being spent consuming social media, the automotive industry needs to step up and get fully engaged.
To help you plan your social strategy, here are 6 tactics you can use immediately to boost engagement and interest:
1): Create and deploy targeted ads on FaceBook. This is not a boosted post or a Marketplace strategy. FaceBook has gotten sophisticated and just like Google, you can target your ads to specific audiences.
Targeting criteria allows your ads to reach consumers who have indicated they are in the market for a car. You can target by geographic area, vehicle type, gender, interests, and more.
And here’s the best part – current research shows that car dealer ads have 2 times higher click-through rates than the average Facebook ad.
2): Instagram: The votes are in…. Millennials are leaving Facebook and are turning to Instagram. Instagram is about taking, uploading and sharing pictures and videos. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this is a great way to share your dealership’s story. For example, share pictures showcasing lifestyles: Vehicles at the beach, tailgating at a sporting event, camping near a lake or any other creative way you can imagine.
Just be patient with this one. Ad avoidance on Instagram is much higher than FaceBook.
3): Video Marketing on YouTube. Consumers love and prefer video. Google (which owns YouTube) also loves video. Why not give consumers (and Google) what they want?
Dealers will benefit two ways with this strategy. (1) Consumers get to watch a video which is what they prefer to do as they are seeking information like model comparisons, safety features, connected devices, walkarounds, reviews and other content to help them make a decision. Video brings all this to life. (2) Google is putting a lot of organic search weight behind properly optimized videos. More video content means you get to rank higher on Google.
4): Tell stories. It’s not enough to just post and broadcast content. Consumers are looking for a human connection. Storytelling on social sites is a perfect way to interact with your audience to develop relationships. Use social platforms as a conversation channel rather than an advertising channel. Add the human touch to your dealership by sharing pictures, bio’s & videos of staff members – the face of your business.
5): Create Social-Only Promotions. The goal with social is to create content that will engage consumers. And since everyone loves a deal, discount or special offer, this can prove very effective. Just don’t over-do it or your “deal” won’t be believable. Get creative and reward your social followers with promotions and contests only available only on your social pages.
6): Social Reviews Matter. Encourage your customers to share reviews on your social sites. According to DealerRater, car shoppers are 90% more likely to visit your website and 5.3 more likely to visit your dealership if you have positive reviews.
Just as important, respond to negative reviews. Consumers who have had a bad experience want to be heard. Prompt attention can help limit the damage. Be sure you are monitoring review sites and social channels.
Social media marketing provides enormous benefits to the automotive industry – more visibility, more leads, and ultimately, more sales. When done correctly, maintaining a social presence will get you more appointments, help you sell more services and vehicles, and boost your dealership’s revenues.