TAMPA, Fla. -
Social media success for your dealership is not an exact science. You may fall into one of the below categories when it comes to managing your dealership’s social media presence, which is synonymous with having a website. You need to have it in order for your dealership to stay competitive.
Here are the five ways dealerships often manage their social media:
—We manage it in-house and have a well-thought-out strategy.
—We post sometimes, but don’t really know what to do.
—Someone used to do it, but they no longer work at the dealership and we don’t have access to the page.
—We don’t see value in it or any ROI for the time we spend on it.
—We use it to post our inventory and that’s it, when we have the time.
If you fall into any of these categories, LotVantage can help you.
As of June 30, Facebook has 1.71 billion daily active users and Instagram has 300 million daily active users. According to Alexa, Facebook is the third-most-visited website on the internet and Instagram is No. 16. There is absolutely value in having an active and engaging presence on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram.
In this post we’re going to highlight what it takes for your dealership to be successful on social media and we’ll go into depth as to why each one of those tactics will make your dealership a destination, rather than passing right by it.
8 qualities of a successful dealership on social media
1. Rarely post inventory. Social media is not a direct sales tool.
2. Engage with your customers in posts and comments.
3. Happy customers post on their Facebook page about your dealership.
4. Share interesting and engaging content your customers will find value in and want to share.
5. Run Facebook and Instagram targeted ad campaigns.
6. Advertise specific inventory through retargeting based on what the customer was looking at on your website.
7. Don’t over- or under post.
8. Fans are using your Facebook page to write reviews and ask questions.
Why does your dealership need a social media presence?
Even though you’re a dealer, you’re a consumer as well. Aren’t you more likely to purchase something from a company you know and trust? Social media is how you build that trust and how people get to know your dealership.
Let’s go into detail about the ways your dealership will be successful on social media.
1. Social media is not a direct sales tool
Your website, salespeople, Craigslist and eBay are direct sales tools. Social media is an indirect sales tool. It indirectly gives you authority, builds trust and gives you a platform to communicate with your current and potential customers.
2. Engage with your customers
As of May, Facebook reported that consumers are spending 50 minutes a day on Facebook on average. Why not give your dealership a presence on a website where people are spending a lot of time? This means that 1/16 of the average user’s waking time is spent on Facebook. If your dealership is on Facebook with an active presence, customers will find you. If they comment on one of your posts, make sure you comment back.
3. Activate and motivate happy customers
If you post pictures on your dealership’s Facebook page of happy customers, you’re only doing it half right. The real value in a happy customer is that all their friends see it if they post it on their own page. Find a way to incentivize them to share that photo on their Facebook page instead and tag your dealership. Do this and you'll earn yourself free advertising.
4. Share interesting and engaging content
If you’re not supposed to post inventory and happy customers all the time, what are you supposed to post? Well, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. What are they going to find entertaining and get some sort of value from? It could be an article about the different types of synthetic oil or how to know when to replace your tires. If you spend the time searching the internet for these types of articles, you’ll start to see your Facebook audience like, comment and share your content. Likes, comments and shares increase your dealership’s exposure.
5. Run Facebook and Instagram advertising campaigns (here’s where the ROI is)
Facebook has an extremely powerful advertising platform, which will let you run many different types of advertising campaigns. These advertising campaigns can actually be tied back to form submissions on your website, which will tell you when someone has filled out a form as a result of clicking on your ad. Even if you don’t have an Instagram account, you can use your Facebook page to represent your dealership on Instagram. We’ve covered a few topics regarding Instagram for your dealership in the past.
6. Retarget customers who land on your website with ads on other websites and Facebook
This is an advanced strategy, but if your dealership is able to master this, it puts advertisements for specific pieces of inventory back in front of your customers, helping close the sales loop and putting your dealership top of mind. If your dealership is using these types of ads and your competitors are not, you have gained the upper hand. LotVantage can help you with retargeting your inventory by placing a series of pixels and uploading a product catalog. Contact us if retargeting is something your dealership is interested in.
7. Post on your dealership Facebook Page consistently, but don’t over post
There is a balance between posting too much and not enough. Posting once a day is ideal, but don’t go without posting for 3 days. Remember, you are competing with other pages and friends to stay top of mind. It is important that you don’t inundate, which will dilute your message.
8. Facebook is a great platform to solicit reviews for your dealership
Facebook is a fantastic place to direct your customers to post reviews about your dealership. It’s also recommended that you respond to any and all customer reviews. It gives you an opportunity to manage your dealership’s reputation. Make sure you thank happy customers and work with those who may have had a negative experience.
Adam Goldberg is the marketing manager at LotVantage, a provider of digital marketing solutions for automotive, marine, powersports, RV, trailer and outdoor power equipment dealerships. He can be reached at email@example.com. You can also access more social media tips at motors.lotvantage.com/blog.