When it comes to running a dealership, every dollar counts. So, if there was a place that most people went to, and advertising there was free, you’d make use of it. I’m not talking about some mythical land; I’m talking about the modern joy and/or bane of existence: Facebook and Twitter. They’re ubiquitous, they’re intrusive, and they’re completely free. But they also require a little bit of finesse to use well. Fortunately, you’ve found yourself here, and I’m going to walk you through a few ways to up your social media game.
- Ask a question
The goal of social media is to go viral, and the way you do that is with engagement. Not mere Likes or Retweets, but people actively responding to what you said in some way. In other words, starting a conversation. The simplest way to do that is the way you’d do it in the real world: by asking a question.
The question can be in any number of formats. It can be something as simple as posting two different car models and asking your followers which they like better. And, since ideally you carry both models, no matter which side wins the debate, the true winner is you.
Alternately, you can look at questions as an opportunity to crowdsource feedback. It can be a genuine question, where you could ask your followers which offer or coupon they would want (and then give them both at the end, because why not). Or, if you’re planning a special event at your store, ask what kind of food or snacks they might like to have. You’re advertising, but it’s in such a way that you promote engagement and at the same time making your customers feel heard and valued.
Which brings us to…
- Call to action
If you want to make sure your audience engages, prompt them to. Calls to action are the cornerstones of effective advertising, and there’s absolutely no reason that shouldn’t hold true on social media. In the post, tell them to Like, or Share, Comment, RSVP, or whatever you want them to do. That helps your engagement.
- Respond, respond, respond
Think of social media like the real world, and a lot of the same rules apply. At a party, you wouldn’t walk into a room and go, “So, what does everyone like better, the F-150 or the F-350?” and then just leave. No, you would keep the conversation going, agreeing, disagreeing, offering a viewpoint or evidence, or lightening things up with a joke.
The point is, you need to do the same thing on Twitter on Facebook. If someone takes the time to respond to you, they should be rewarded with a response from you. Again, that makes your customers feel like they’re valued participants in the conversation, and it helps your initial post stay relevant for longer.
- Keep it short
Shakespeare once said, “Brevity is the soul of wit,” which is a fancy way of saying “don’t waste my time.” And he was saying this several hundred years before our attention spans withered under the constant assault of constant connectivity.
Most people browse social media by skimming. They don’t read anything too closely. If those first couple words don’t grab them, they’re going to move along until they find something that does. Your best posts are going to be between 80 and 160 characters. That’s characters, not words. These are one to three sentences, and they get your point across as quickly as possible.
Source (attention span): http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics/
- Be positive
Positivity breeds positivity. You want your followers to engage with your store in positive ways, and the best way to do that is to start out on the right foot. Keep your posts upbeat. Talk about fun things that are happening, be excited about your new inventory, mention fun upcoming events that you will be hosting or participating in.
It’s not just me saying this. Facebook determined that positive posts produce more engagement. So, put on a happy face and get to posting!
Source (Facebook study): https://buffer.com/resources/positivity-social-media
- Post an image
It’s easy to be lost in the general background noise of social media. One of the best ways to stand out from the pack is by posting an image. And besides, tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without.
But what to post? Well, you’re already ahead of most businesses because you have some attractive merchandise to showcase. People like pictures of cars, and why not lean into that? Don’t limit yourself, though. Images don’t begin and end with your inventory.
Some of the purpose of social media is giving your business a personal face. If your name is on the dealership, post a picture of your pet. A photo of a company party would be good too. Or how about a cake to celebrate the dealership’s birthday? Use your imagination and have fun!
Source (150% more): https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/visual-content-marketing-strategy
- Relevance can help
The automotive industry is constantly coming out with new design features and technology. That’s useful information that doubles as a good commercial. Your customers like cars, so give them what they want!
Keep the other tips in mind when crafting a post like this. Include a picture of the car, talk about how excited you are about this advance, and then throw in a question as a jumping off point. Here’s an example: “Honda’s new advancements in onboard navigation will make road trips that much easier. Where are you going first?”
- Time is of the essence
You want to schedule your advertisements for when your audience is there to actually see them. It’s the same reason you don’t advertise for bail bondsmen during Mr. Rogers or Slim Jims during Matlock. For social media posts, you want to post when your audience is actually browsing that platform.
A good rule of thumb is to post after lunch on Thursdays and Fridays. The reason for this is pretty obvious: the week is winding down and people are starting to wander. If you want to get more scientific about it, Facebook has you covered. Go to your business’s page and click on “Facebook Insights.” This will give you a visual map of when your customers are seeing your content.
Post when they’re looking. It’s just that easy.
Source (posting Thu-Fri): https://buffer.com/library/best-time-to-post-on-facebook
- Sometimes a rerun is a good idea
If you’ve posted much at all, chances are you’ve had at least one post that strongly outperformed the others. There’s nothing wrong with reposting it. Not immediately of course—give it some time to cool off. But if it’s Thursday or Friday at 2 in the afternoon and you have nothing new to say, dust off one of your greatest hits. Maybe rephrase it a little, change the image slightly. Maybe turn a question in to a poll, and then rerun it. It will keep you in the mind of your customers and helps you recharge your batteries a bit. Both good things.
There’s no magic bullet in social media. These nine tips won’t take you right to the top, but each one will help you improve. Do you have good tips of your own? Share them below in the comments!