Social Media Marketing Guide for Auto Dealers
Social Media Marketing Guide for Auto Dealers
Social media has been around for several years. Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other social media platforms make up a network of people constantly talking, sharing, and doing business. These days, it’s more than just your 10-yeear old gabbing back and forth with her friends; it’s a way of doing business in a more social way. Consumers like to feel they are being heard. They like to know there’s an actual person behind the logo. Social media allows businesses to interact with their customers in a professional, personal way.
The problem many businesses have with social media is it takes time. In many cases, it is viewed as a waste of time or something that isn’t necessary. However, if you take a look at some of the more successful companies out there, you’ll notice they have very active Facebook pages where fans of their products come to talk about what they like and dislike, and generally just interact with other like-minded people. The trick is to put something out there that your customers find valuable, and social media offers a place to do just that. It’s a valuable tool that if used properly, can up sales, improve company/client relations, and increase profits.
The same can be said for auto dealerships. Selling cars can be a difficult undertaking, especially in the last several years. Now is the time to take advantage of social media to gain the buyers’ trust. They want to know you’re a real, honest company that has their best interest at heart and social media can help you achieve that. The tips below offer some insight into how to successfully use social media as an automotive market professional. Each tip is simple and strategic so you spend little time and see a big return for your efforts.
- Sneak Peek – Preview photos of new cars and products coming soon on your social media platforms. Invite your fans and followers to give their opinions.
- Share your Expertise – Share articles, tips, and advice with customer to show you’re an expert in your field.
- Demonstrate your Product – Share videos of the cars you sell. Show special features and how the car handles. People love videos because they give proof of the automobile’s capabilities.
- Encourage Sharing – Install buttons on your website to make it easy for visitors to share your content.
- Be Real –Share honest information about your company (such as sales and profits) on your blog to instill a sense of honesty in your customers.
- Don’t Put Others Down – Steer clear of saying negative things about other companies. Not only can it result in a slander court case, it’s unprofessional and makes you look bad.
- Interaction is Key – If you have visitors commenting on photos you’ve uploaded or asking questions about a product or service, answer them quickly.
- Do the Work Yourself – Even though you’re busy with running the show, don’t outsource the social media duties or try to automate the process. Your fans will know, and they will feel betrayed and trust your expertise less.
- Don’t Fake a Good Reputation – Don’t create fake aliases to improve your company’s reputation. Instead, do your job, do it well, and real fans of your products and services will voice their own positive opinions.
- Foster an Employee Bond – Make it possible for employees to communicate with each other across the United States and beyond by utilizing social media networks like Ning.
- Post Promotions and Rewards – Social media allows companies to send promotional coupons and rewards for loyal customers much easier. When combined with traditional mailers, you reach more customers and offer better discounts to your current and future customers.
- Keep Track of What People are Saying – A quick search on Facebook, Twitter, etc. reveals the good and the bad and gives you an idea of what’s working and where you need to improve.
- Respond to Dissatisfaction Quickly – When customers are unhappy with a product or service, they usually turn to the Internet to voice their dissatisfaction. Social media allows you to dissolve a customer’s complaints quickly and easily with many options for improving the situation.
- Don’t be Defensive – You know you can’t please everyone, but coming up with positive solutions to your customer’s concerns is much better than lashing out.
- Keep Customers in the Know – If you’re constantly on the go, let your customers know where you are when so they can stop by if they’re in the neighborhood. In person customer interaction is vital to positive word-of-mouth marketing.
- Find New Customers – Doing a quick keyword search within the social media platform will provide targeted potential customers.
- Expand the Market – Reach multiple markets at a time simply using social media.
- Targeted Advertising – Target specific audiences for specific promotions
- Location, Location, Location – Social media apps like Foursquare let you target fans and followers by location. You can easily see how many people visit your business and send coupons and discounts to loyal customers.
- Customer Help Each Other – Forums are a great way for customers to interact and help each other out. Add one to your website so customers can interact and help each other out before they reach customer service.
- Build a Community – Grow outside your company’s website with a community designed for customers to discuss specific subjects related to your business.
- Customers Do the Talking – Encourage your customers to voice their opinions about your products and services with written or video testimonials.
- Utilize Happy Customers – Invite happy customers to help spread the word about your company by blogging about and reviewing your products and services.
- Personally Build Relationships – Invite fans and followers on your social media platforms to visit you in your brick and mortar store to build relations and add a personal touch.
- Don’t be All about Advertising – Social media is social. It’s OK to promote your business, but be personal and conversational, too.
- Engage Offline – Encourage your followers to support local business offline.
- Keep Tabs on Others – Always know what others in your industry are doing online. See what works for them and do the same.
- Exert your Expertise – Sites like Linkedin Answers are full of questions from consumers looking for answers. Spend a couple hours each week answering questions related to your business and watch your leads increase.
- Look for New Hires – Fill open positions quickly by posting status updates on sites like Facebook and Linkedin.
- Connect with Potential Partners – Build relationships with other like-minded business people and find potential partners on social media.