Automotive Social Media Strategies | Car Dealer Advertising Agency
The Internet has grown in a couple of decades from a university research tool to the integral part of the civilized world it is today. This is true for car shoppers, who increasingly use searching and particularly social media to research vehicles and review dealerships. It is important for car dealerships to stay on top of social media trends, because younger car buyers may look first at a dealership from a social media presence before showing up at the dealer’s door. It’s important to remember that social media sites are up and running all the time, so you are marketing your business even when the dealership is closed. Take advantage of 24-hour marketing by using the social media platforms out there.
If social media is so important, what should car dealerships be doing to successfully market themselves digitally? Let’s take a look:
1. Market your vehicles on Facebook. You need to have a Facebook presence, because a majority of your customers do. Targeted ads can be directed to specific geographic areas, age groups, gender, interests the Facebook users have published about themselves, and so forth. Research indicates a higher click rate for auto ads on Facebook than other types of ads.
2.Twitter isn’t just for idle chatter. This social media outlet has become a powerhouse of business marketing, and if you don’t Tweet you are missing the boat. If you use Twitter, you can target keywords to look for users who are serious about a car you have, and then send them directed marketing or advertising to get their attention.
3. Instagram offers the opportunity to market visually to your prospects. Rather than just words, Instagram can include pictures or videos of your vehicles in settings that will evoke the interest of your customers. Younger buyers are spending more time on Instagram, so showing a vehicle selection at the beach, at a campsite, or at a local sports event will often trigger a buyer to look further. Visual marketing can be more powerful than words, so don’t forget Instagram when planning your market strategy.
4. Put your vehicles on YouTube. Shoppers want to see the car in detail, and learn about its options, safety features, and how the car looks as you walk around it. All of this can be easily accomplished with a video on YouTube. Use the right keywords when you publish it to have searches come to your YouTube videos, and you will be selling your cars and dealership 24 hours per day.
5. If you want to market to a different group, consider Pinterest. This site is known for fashion, cooking, recipes, and beauty ideas primarily for a female audience. Placing ads there immediately targets a primarily female base, and has the advantage of showing vehicle features and benefits targeting that audience. Since Pinterest accepts photos, you can add pictures of your vehicle inventory, exterior or interior details, and links to your dealership landing pages. Start Pinning and reach a new market segment.
6. Social media isn’t just about placing an ad here and there, it’s about making a connection to a viewer. A car doesn’t sell simply because it’s a certain color, it sells because a buyer feels some emotional response to it. Telling a story about how your dealership helped someone, or putting your car in a particular situation where it exceeded the owner’s expectations, is a great message. The testimonial has always been a powerful way to reach consumers who connect themselves to the person telling the story. That’s why you see it so often in advertising — it works.
7. Now that you have established a social media presence, don’t ignore it. Customers may ask questions, leave comments, or even want you to follow up personally. You can’t use social media successfully if you are only checking it intermittently. Prospects will go somewhere else where they feel more valued. Remember that the majority of car shoppers are first looking on-line and asking questions there, not walking through your front door. Keep on top of your social media presence, and always respond and thank users for their interactions with you. It will pay off in the long run.
8. Use social media to reward users who interact with you. You are a car dealership trying to sell cars. If you notice users interacting with your content on Facebook or Instagram, offer a sales promotion to people who have come to your page. Start a contest that has people looking at your cars for a specific feature or benefit, or almost any other promotion you can think of. Keeping people interested in your content is a key part of social media success, so it’s okay to sell your dealership’s offerings as part of your presence.
9. Don’t ignore what people say about your business. Reviews are a growing part of social media, and many people will search for reviews about your dealership before they will even consider working with you. Thank those who leave positive reviews, and never get defensive about the negative ones. Try instead to get more information about what the customer felt went wrong. You may never make that customer happy for any number of reasons, but showing that you made the effort to correct a deficiency will pay off with other customers. Also remember that most negative comments will be placed on weekends when the customer feels you aren’t paying attention, so stay on top of the review sites and respond promptly.
10. Social media requires a full-time commitment. You can’t participate whenever it’s convenient to you or your employees. Your customers and prospects are on-line all the time, and they look for you to keep content relevant, current, and interesting. If you aren’t keeping your social media presence current, your competitors will fill your space and gain your customers. So, if you aren’t in the social media arena now and plan to get involved, give your organization the time and authority to market your business on your behalf.
If all of this social media marketing is too much for your business to handle, DeAngelis Automotive Advertising Agency can do it for you. We are a full service advertising agency prepared to handle your auto dealership advertising needs. We want to be a partner in your business, and will work hard to exceed your expectations. Contact us today and let us work with you on developing a successful social media advertising and business presence program, or any other dealership advertising that may interest you.