Social Media and Your Water Cooler
In days gone by, people used the yellow pages or newspapers as part of their research process. Dealerships showcased their cars in brochures. People thumbed through brochures to compare and contrast their choices. Car dealers advertised using traditional methods like print or television to drive traffic to their showroom. At home, neighbors spoke to neighbors and friends talked to friends. At the office, businessmen spoke to businessmen and shared information around the water cooler. That’s how word-of-mouth advertising worked.
Today, the same rules apply, but now we have the internet. You still need to advertise. You still need to sell cars. You still need to have a conversation. In a world where people can fast-forward through commercials, and where newspapers are all but gone, word-of-mouth still prevails. But it’s not done around the water cooler anymore. It’s done online through various types of social media platforms.
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. These words either excite you or make you nervous. You may even have some of your own reservations about using social media. However, the little time you spend learning the basics will be worth it – as long as you know how to do it right.
Here are six social media tips that you can begin to use right now.
Tip #1: Think About Your Goals
Of course, you want to sell cars, but let’s dig a little bit deeper. For starters, where are you located? Your Facebook business page is vital and provides another online channel that broadens your dealership digital presence. You may not know this, but Facebook automatically generates high rankings with Google. When people search for “car dealership in (city name)” you want your Facebook page to pop up at the top.
Tip #2: Put Together a Solid Plan
There’s no problem with only using a few social media platforms. When you’re new to this type of advertising, it can be difficult to do more than one or two at a time. Sit down with your team and think about which ones are right for your dealership. Once you know, start thinking about what you should be posting. But remember to use only a few promotional posts. Give your readers something they would value. Develop a series of ‘How-tos’ that help educate car shopping prospects.
Tip #3: Put Yourself in the Customer’s Shoes
Think of your typical customer. Perhaps it’s a family with a mom, dad, and two kids. Or, maybe your inventory appeals to a more “seasoned” crowd, which is why you carry high-end vehicles, primarily. No matter who your audience is, you need to put yourself in their shoes. What would they want to see on your Facebook page?
Tip #4: Simplify Your Posting With Tools
Once you know what you would like to post, utilize the help of websites like Hootsuite or Buffer to help post content. They allow you to load your posts and schedule posting dates and times. These tools can help simplify content sharing so you can be out in front of your customers. Get your team involved so they can amplify your posts and help reach a wider audience using their trusted network of friends and family.
Tip #5: Use Ads
Many social media sites allow businesses to create ads. Facebook ads, for instance, have become the bread and butter for car dealerships. Targeted ads ensure you’re getting your message to the right audience. You can match your ads to the known demographic. For instance, millennials are probably not looking to buy a gas guzzling car and prefer the more environmentally appealing choice. By targeting banner ads, for example, you can fine-tune your inventory to line-up with the right audience.
Tip #6: Respond to Comments and Messages ASAP
Social media allows you to have instant communication with your customers. Messages may come in the form of private messages, or through comments on your page. Make sure to respond. Open dialogue on social media boosts your dealerships stature and sets you apart as someone that really listens to their customers. Potential customers like to see how you actively engage with others.
As you know, traditional advertising methods have changed. Some dealerships are nervous about using social media. It’s understandable because it’s relatively new. However, today’s consumer dictates how, when, and where they want to be communicated with. The proverbial water cooler is replaced by bottled water and artesian formulas. Social media is where word-of-mouth happens. It’s the new water cooler.
Since your customers are on social media, that’s where you need to be. Social media is where they get information about everything from what they should wear to what they should buy.
With a little help, you can make great strides with social media, and your dealership can prosper as a result.
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