If your automotive social media marketing is on-point, you’ve spent the last year tailoring your company’s social media presence in a manner that reflected individuality while creating a truly personalized experience for the consumer. And if you haven’t, well, the increasing warmth that you’re currently feeling in your posterior region is the (metaphorical) fire that we’ve just lit under your (actual) ass.
In all seriousness, a personalized social media presence is a crucial component of any digital marketing strategy. The end result, of course, is to create a bond between your dealership and the consumer. But it’s the “how” that matters…the manner in which you go about doing it that demands an outside-the-box methodology. And trust us, it’s what your customers want.
The Desire for a Personalized Experience
Whether existing or prospective, your customers don’t want to be thought of as another sale. To them, their purchase of a new vehicle is both significant and personal, answering the unique demands of both their lifestyle and their budget.
Not only does Social Media allow for a means of direct communication, but it has also opened up countless new methods of advertising. Think of the personalized content that you’re served up on a daily basis, fed by your Netflix viewing habits or Amazon searches. Suddenly programs, products and related social media links and videos are popping into your news feed.
Remember that your customers are doing their research online. As such, there is a means of presenting them with related content in an organic fashion. In doing so, you can generate excitement and momentum, through such engagement as likes, reactions, shares and comments. You can also gain valuable insights as to their shopping and buying habits, as well as their personal preferences. Why is this important?
According to Accenture, consumers are more likely to buy (online or off) from a retailer who:
- Recognizes them by name (56% of consumers agree)
- Recommend options based on past purchases (58% of consumers agree)
- Knows their purchase history (65% of consumers agree)
- Offers any of these three options (75% of consumers agree)
In contrast, a report by Infosys indicated that 74% of consumers feel frustrated when brands provide them with individualized website content. There’s no getting around the fact that some people are annoyed by the sudden appearance of targeted ads, but we are still in the midst of the changeover from traditional to digital marketing methods. The real question is, what side of the changeover do you want your dealership to find itself on once the transition is done?
Additional Reasons to Create Personalized Social Media Marketing
Remember, the goal is to exceed customer expectations in ways that your competitors don’t. Think of the personalization of your social media as the commercial equivalent of the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. You want to be a friend to your customers, and here are 5 more reasons why it’s so very crucial to do so (using Facebook).
- Increase Brand Awareness – social media marketing is the modern equivalent of word-of-mouth advertising. And with 92% of consumers willing to act based on recommendations from friends and families, it’s important to understand the power of your online presence. The right content, combined with a customers sense of connection to your brand, will…
- Increase Engagement Exponentially – When comparing the ROI of personalized content over generic content, over half of retailers polled indicate (i) a higher response (ii) higher engagement and (iii) more timely consumer action. As such, it’s the most immediate means of putting your products and services in front of the customers in search of them, and prompting them to act. In turn you…
- Generate More Leads & Conversions – that’s right, by generating a larger pool of potential buyers, you have a greater chance of turning them into customers. It’s a numbers game and, through engaging content, the numbers are adding up which…
- Improves Your Standings With Facebook Advertising – it all comes down to your relevance score within Facebook’s advertising algorithms. With more positive engagement and feedback, you will enhance your value in the eyes of Facebook, further increasing the visibility and positioning of your content which…
- Increases Brand Awareness – By reinforcing your relationship with existing customers, increasing their willingness to share that content and recommend your dealership and improving your standing in the eyes of Facebook, you organically increase general awareness of your overall brand (bringing your strategy full-circle).
As such, it becomes easy to understand how your Social Media (when used properly) can help to generate a wealth of new opportunities for your dealership. But there’s more to personalized content than just unique ads. Content can take many forms, in fact, one of the most impactful ways of strengthening your dealership’s online presence comes in pairing it with the online presence of your ownership.
How Executive Leadership Can Strengthen a Company’s Online Presence
Now that you’re considering the implementation of a more personalized social media strategy, consider the two most important considerations in any marketing campaign (i) audience reaction, and (ii) return on investment.
While such considerations have led countless businesses to maintain a very sanitized and minimalist online presence, doing so can be a significant mistake. A sense of online reservation, including scant posts lacking sentiment or significance can be off-putting to social-savvy consumers. It’s the commercial equivalent of a friend or family-member that either (a) never posts, or (b) only reposts memes created by other people. A complete absence of original content can create a negative impression of one’s identity. As such, it’s important for businesses to view their social media presence as an extension of their brand, and any marketing initiatives. It’s the reason why an ever-growing number of influential CEOs and innovators have chosen to maintain a public persona on various social media platforms. And here’s the thing: it doesn’t need to have anything to do with your business, itself. Share motivational and inspirational content. Share moments of your life. Share your interests. Share anything that distinguishes you from the nameless, soulless corporations that surround you.
If you’re worried about exposure (especially of your loved ones), don’t. You can always tailor your content in a manner that protects those elements of your life, retaining their anonymity. And remember, just as you have professional critics, you may have personal ones. But within an online platform, such relationships are opportunities to refine and reshape the manner in which you interact. Have the confidence to engage your critics in a positive, constructive manner and the possibilities are endless. Then again, if the idea of an intimate, public-facing persona terrifies you, you might want to take a harder look at the culture you’ve created at your dealership for both your clients and employees. If it’s a positive one, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
It’s Not Too Late…
Speaking frankly, these trends are not new. In fact, your competitors may have been employing many of these tactics consistently, and enjoying the benefits, for quite some time now. Isn’t it about time that you dropped the distant and aloof image that makes your dealerships unappealing in the eyes of a growing number of consumers? It’s 2019! Drop the facade and get personal.