Automotive Social Media Marketing
If we opened up your dealership's Facebook page right now, what would we see? Before you answer, give us a few guesses:
- Photos of customers who just purchased a vehicle.
- Photos of staff smiling.
- Photos of random, irrelevant things.
You might also try to post links to inventory or pages on your site, but I'll bet those don't get much (if any) engagement. Sorry for starting off so bluntly, but there's a reason this needs to be said:
Most car dealers suck at social media simply because they don't get it. And that's fine. It's new ground to conquer, and the rules aren't quite set yet. Below is a ton of information you can use to learn more about automotive social media marketing and how Wikimotive can help take advantage of this as a customer relations and advertising platform.
What Car Dealers Don’t Understand About Social
When you personally use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site, the focus is typically on you. What you’re up to, what you like, your friends, etc. But with a business, especially a local business like a car dealer, no one wants to see pictures of customers when they open up their Facebook feed. They want to see updates from friends, and they want to be informed and entertained by the pages they follow.
I know this is harsh, but you have to face the reality that you’re not going to make friends and win business by posting pictures of salespeople shaking hands with customers in front of their new car. It’s not original and it doesn’t inform or entertain them, so how does it benefit them?
It doesn’t benefit them, which is why your page is receiving little to no engagement currently.
Now, don’t take this the wrong way. This is not an attack on your business. It’s Wikimotive’s desperate plea to let us help you not suck.
Our executive team includes auto retail veterans who are passionate about the industry, and we hate seeing dealers miss out on the opportunities automotive social media marketing has to offer.
If you want to know the secret formula that has led to success for all car dealers on Wikimotive’s automotive social media strategy, read on!
How to Think About Social Media Marketing in 2016
We’ve established what you shouldn’t do on social as a car dealer, and now it’s time to dig into the right way of doing things. Here’s a crash course on putting yourself in the right mindset to succeed on social:
Page Likes/Followers are Meaningless without Engagement
If you were shown a page with 200 likes, and then another with 2000 likes, which would you think is the more successful page? Probably the one with 2000 likes, right?
But social media marketing is not a face-value numbers game. It’s all about engagement. Someone can like your page one day and never interact with it again. What use is that to your business? It’s not. There’s no difference between this person and someone who drives by, sees a car they like, but doesn’t actually ever walk in to inquire about it. They simply don’t count.
For our clients, we’d prefer to see a page with 200 likes receiving engagement on posts instead of a stagnant page with 2000 likes.
That’s because the true numbers game is in the engagement with your content. This includes individual post likes, shares, and comments. The more you keep your audience engaged and looking for your content in their NewsFeed, the more sales you’ll receive directly from social media marketing efforts.
Applying Wikimotive’s automotive social media marketing strategy to your dealership’s page allows you to better engage your current audience while also growing it to new heights.
Your Facebook Page is About the Audience, Not Your Business
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but your Facebook page is not best utilized by posting pictures of happy customers and employees. You may be proud of the way you do business, as well as the people who work for you, but everyday social media users aren’t going to share that pride.
No one wants to see it because no one cares. Think about it from the perspective of Facebook users. If someone is scrolling through their NewsFeed and they see updates/photos from friends, interesting news stories, funny and inspirational images, do you really think your posts are going to engage them?
Instead, think about who your audience is and what they want to see. If you’re a Chevy dealer, your audience is local users, especially those who like Chevy or are interested in cars. These people don’t buy cars every day, so they don’t want to see sales pitches about why they should “come on down.”
They want to see fun and interesting content about Chevy and its vehicles. They want to hear about the latest news from Chevy, or they want to read an entertaining article about their favorite vehicle. Make this the focus of your page and you’ll have laid a solid fountain for successful automotive social media marketing.
Pay to Play is Here to Stay
The social media marketing world has been turned on its head as Facebook has slowly made changes to kill the organic reach of pages in an attempt to cut down on spam and balance NewsFeed content for users. This has led to shrinking engagement on many business pages because they simply can’t reach a large percentage of their audience with a single post.
In order to reach more people, as well as target specific types of users, businesses have to begin budgeting for social media advertising. There’s no getting around this anymore: if you want to succeed on social media, you need to pay to play.
The good news is, Facebook is one of the most affordable advertising platforms available. On top of this, the people you connect with can be reached again and again once they like your page. Those that engage with your content will see your content in their NewsFeed, and you will expand your audience further by reaching the friends of people who share your content.
Dominating Your Market Through Social: The Wikimotive Game Plan
Up to this point, we’ve been pretty blunt about the problems with car dealers on social media. But it’s time to give you the game plan that will change the way your business utilizes the various social media platforms.
To start, we only post original content to Facebook. Other sites, such as Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest receive syndication (which we’ll cover). The reason for this is, Facebook is the largest and most valuable social media site for car dealers. ROI from other sites has been minimal at best, so we don’t directly manage original content on those platforms.
Some companies will tell you otherwise, as they want to charge you more to manage more assets. But we’re not in the business of doing work that doesn’t get results. Wikimotive is focused on making sure that we bring you the most bang for your buck.
What to Post
“What the heck do we post?”
This is the biggest question on most car dealers’ minds, and really it’s the most important one you could have. What you post directly impacts your success, as only the best content will be liked, shared, and otherwise interacted with by Facebook and other social media users.
Remember, this is about the audience. And for car dealerships, we’re targeting automotive enthusiasts and local users. Just like traditional advertising, we want to reach the most people in order to get the attention of those currently in the market for a vehicle.
At Wikimotive, we’ve discovered Facebook can be tamed and conquered using three to four types of posts:
– Automotive (Image)
– Local (Image)
– Blog (Link)
– Inventory (Link)
Each one of these posts serves a specific purpose, working to attract local users, especially local car buyers, to your page. Think about ways you can tie in each of these types of content, execute consistently, and you’ll start seeing results.
Content is King, Even on Facebook
There’s one thing, and one thing only, that dictates success on Facebook: content. It doesn’t matter how much money throw at ads; without great content, you won’t see great results. In thinking about the types of content we mentioned above, it probably sounds easy to just find some great images and post them. And if that were true, it probably would be easy.
But it’s not that easy. Because while users are drawn in by the images, it’s the attached commentary that brings engagement with the content. This means you need to think long and hard about the written content that goes along with each image in order to see the best results.
There’s no doubt you could hand these duties over to someone at your dealership, but by hiring Wikimotive you’re not just getting one person. You’re getting a whole team dedicated to your success. Our knowledge and experience and success with automotive social media marketing allows us to instantly go to work to create ROI for your dealership.
Here are few examples of great car dealer Facebook posts from Wikimotive clients:
Selling Cars via Social: It’s Not Impossible
Since social media began to pervade our daily lives, marketers have looked for ways to capitalize on the audiences from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Selling has never been easy on these sites, but there’s a key component most business owners fail to understand. You heard and once, but here it is again: Marketing on social media is about the user, not the business.
Once you start thinking about what’s good for the user instead of what’s good for your dealership, you’ll see social media success go through the roof. This means you have to limit the number of inventory posts you make each month to only a handful. Sounds crazy, but Wikimotive clients actually see more clicks and more engagement on those handful of inventory posts than you probably would if you posted 100 times or more each month.
There’s no secret to our success with selling cars via social media, though. All we do is time our content properly, pick great pieces of inventory to feature, and craft stories around each vehicle. That last part is extremely important, and here’s why:
A car is not just a car to most people. Sports car drivers want incredible handling and speed, hybrid owners want to save money and reduce emissions, and Jeep owners want the option to conquer trails in their spare time. After all, if a car was just a car we wouldn’t have a market for luxury vehicles. People who’ve worked hard want a car with sophistication, status, and comfort unlike any other.
Through social content, you can build a connect between the vehicle and the consumer. As long as you can build that connection, you can build sales.
Why Wikimotive is the Best at Automotive Social Media Marketing
Our social media team is run by one of the industry’s most experienced and beloved social media personalities: Erin Ryan. Utilizing her knowledge of social media advertising and experience working with automotive content, Erin also brings energy and drive that is evident in each and every meeting.
Overall, Wikimotive is focused on your success. We don’t just want to give you the playbook and hope you succeed. We take control and put on best players in to ensure you get a win from social media.
If you want to start taking advantage of social media like no other dealership in your area, contact us now!
Last Update: February 4, 2016
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