3 Social Media Tips For Today’s Car Dealerships
Forbes recently put out a thought-provoking article on car dealerships, and how the game has changed significantly. Dealers who have failed to notice the big changes in the mentality of their buyers are finding themselves left in the dust by tech-savvy competitors.
15 years ago, the first step customers would take to finding a dealership would be looking in a newspaper. Today, almost every buyer’s journey begins with a device they carry around in their pockets. One Google research paper found that a modern-day car buyer spent over 3 months conducting her own online research prior to even walking into a dealership, raking up over 900 digital interactions.
The dealerships that get more customer walk-ins and interactions are not the ones who spend more on newspaper ads, or have the biggest signs outside their store. They are the ones who engage with their potential customers online, capturing their attention and having conversations with them through social media.
But for many dealerships, the reason they haven’t started using social media is that they are unsure of how to. No need to fret: this simple guide will give you a strong idea of how to start off using social media to better market your dealership.
Picking The Right Social Platforms
Many dealerships (or companies, in general) make the mistake of wanting to be on every social media platform. They’ll make a Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Hangouts, the list goes on. If a new platform becomes available, they’ll be present on that platform as soon as possible.
While it sounds great to cover all your bases, it can be detrimental to your brand. If your potential customers don’t use the platforms you’re on, you will end up with an Instagram page with 10 followers – everyone in your company you managed to persuade to like your page. Social media accounts with low followers or user engagement can make your brand look worse; potential customers will be turned off if they find an unpopular page associated with your brand.
Learn where your customers are. Are they business professionals? LinkedIn is great for building professional connections. Twitter and Facebook are for a more casual audience, but you’re bound to get a lot more engagement on your posts if you can establish a good base of followers.
A great way to figure out which platforms you should be on is to just ask your customers. Ask your walk-in customers which social platforms they use, and if they would be interested in following your pages if they were to get updates on promotions or offers.
A lot of companies use social media incorrectly. Many companies think that the objective is getting as many fans as possible, and that the success of a social media page is solely dependant on its number of followers. This is only half true, though.
The true value of social media is engagement. Engagement could be as simple an action as a Facebook Like or Share, or it could be leaving you a message and communicating with you. Because that’s the entire point of social media – being social.
Maintaining regular engagement not easy. It requires a keen understanding on the kind of content your fans are interested in, and meeting that need on a frequent basis. Some quick tips to do that is:
- Post at the right time, on the right days. Find out the best time to post for your brand that gets you the most engagement. (Typically 8-9am, 12-1pm, and 6-7pm)
- Use good pictures. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this couldn’t be more true. Find high quality photos you can use to help sell your ideas.
- Ask questions that invite engagement. Open discussions on topics, and make sure that your customers know their voices are being heard.
Managing multiple social media accounts can be hard, and it can be difficult to figure out what people are saying about your brand if you’re not experienced enough to go find the right conversations to be a part of.
Thankfully, there are dealer solutions that can help eliminate this problem. Technosoft’s next generation Automotive Retail Solutions come with Microsoft Social Engagement and Microsoft Flow, which allow you to manage your social media accounts and engage in social listening. Direct integration with Linkedin will be available soon.
Social Engagement lets you find conversations taking place about your brand or products, and instantly join the conversation. If the conversation is in a foreign language, it can even tell you if the post is positive or negative. Flow allows you to schedule and queue posts for social media posting, which is helpful for posting at the appropriate time across different time zones. Out of the box, Microsoft Social Engagement allows for full management of all social media platforms.
If you are looking for a DMS or mobile app that will allow you to manage your dealership effortlessly, while also providing you with the power to take charge of your social media presence, you can find out more about Technosoft’s Automotive Retail Solutions here.
Trial And Error
Effectively using Social Media isn’t something people are naturally good or bad at. Like any other skill, it simply requires more practice and the right mindset to master. As long as you understand the core concepts of what makes for a strong social media presence, you will be sure to succeed.