Your dealership has social media, right? And an office girl is posting to social media, so you have this covered. But do you really?
Social media in dealerships today is used for many purposes.
We have a client who receives service quote requests via Yelp.
Another client maximises Facebook Lead Ads to drive showroom traffic.
Several of our dealerships have us set up Facebook pages for their sales staff to help them generate their own leads and traffic. The social media team retains admin rights to these pages in case the salesperson goes to work elsewhere.
The bottom line is that your customers want to get social. They want to engage with you where THEY are, not where you are.
Are you doing enough?
A good social media team knows this, and directs traffic to the social arena. They want to make it easy for your current and future customers to have a conversation with you and maintain a relationship with you. This strategy will keep your dealership thriving in a declining market.
Your current customers may have purchased from you before you were a social-media mega- dealership. If so, don’t forget them – and it’s easy to invite people in your current database to engage with your social media pages. This can be accomplished through an email campaign or a Facebook ad, and as they come through the service department. Invite them to follow you, but give them a reason to do so. A fun contest with a free oil change is always good. Be consistent, and pick a winner when you say you will. People love to win free stuff, and they really don’t care if it’s a big prize or a small one. #winning
But do not mistake this as an opportunity to continually barrage them with commercials, posts that scream “HEY, LOOK! I HAVE A CAR FOR SALE!” or “HEY, LOOK! I HAVE ANOTHER CAR FOR SALE!” This is a waste of a social media platform. The entire name of this medium should lead you to learn how to be “social”. If your customers want to engage with you on social media, respect that. Learn the language, engage with them and provide valuable content for them. This is top of the funnel engagement. They are starting a conversation, and how you do or do not engage with them will dictate how far down YOUR funnel they make it – or if they will jump into someone else’s funnel.
What is customer engagement?
I know what I think engagement is, but I wanted to see what other experts say it is. So I did some research.
“Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth and loyalty.
Businesses that focus on customer engagement are focused on value creation, not revenue extraction. They give people something meaningful beyond a sales pitch: a brilliant end-to-end customer experience, great content, or interactive, real-time customer support.”
You can have fun, you can be sympathetic, you can be social – but just remember that although a human is answering your customers’ questions, you are answering as a brand.
Your words could get the brand in hot water or even legal trouble if you accept responsibility for an untoward or ill-considered action or event. Towing the company line is imperative. You must know the company culture and always, ALWAYS engage within the guidelines created by the company culture.
So, what do we post?
I know it can seem overwhelming to plan a month’s worth of content, plus be original, and, oh, don’t forget you’re not supposed to be salesy … YIKES!
But the one thing you need to know: it doesn’t need to be perfect. I promise.
I represent several dealerships across the country, and the most polished posts created by my graphics team probably get the least engagement. They are important for content, but not so much for engagement.
If I want true engagement, I will grab my phone and broadcast some silliness or behind-the-scenes happening at the dealership. People really want to see us as humans, and they will fall in love with us if we are real.
The Magic of Video
Video is huge and will only grow in the future. But trust me when I say: do not make this complicated. Here are some stats: “There is no exaggeration in projecting that the video traffic would be 80% of the total consumer internet traffic by 2020.”
With numbers like this, how can you ignore video? Why would you want to? I know that making a video is awkward at first, but after a few tries it actually becomes fun.
What else can we talk about with our followers?
How about these items I found in a recent search?
- User-Generated Content
- Blog Posts & Articles
- Images & Information About Your Events
- Relevant Industry News
- Posts from Your Local Community
- Facebook Live Anything
- Stories About Your Business
- Trending Topics
- Behind-the-Scenes Content
- “What Do You Think?”
Now that you have these tips and tricks of the engagement game, do you think you can be an effective brand on social media? Can you STOP being a commercial, and be real?
If you want to have some fun, follow a brand like Wendy’s. The social media team there is having a great time – as they should.
Robin Wilson is the co-owner of SCP Agency.
She is a self-proclaimed social media guru and specializes in social marketing for auto dealerships. She has also been instrumental in teaching auto dealerships how to market through social media to their existing database and shows them how to make sure that they do not become victims of conquest marketing. She is a marketing coach to all and has become a leader in Facebook marketing strategies in the U.S.