Too many dealers focus their online marketing strategy on digital advertising without giving a lot of thought to other online tactics that may help them reach and engage their target audience. Digital advertising, like search advertising and display advertising, are an important component of a strong online marketing strategy, but what information are you offering to people who are interested in your brand? Or to people who have multiple dealership options? What distinguishes your dealership from the others in your DMA?
Most car shopping is done online, and if your digital presence is lacking, you are likely losing a huge amount of interested consumers. Social media offers a way for you to provide valuable and interesting information to consumers and set yourself apart from your competitors.
Here are a couple of social media tips for automotive marketers.
Set yourself up as the digital thought leader in your area.
You have already done the hard work. The dealership is established, you have the inventory, and you have the people, now open that up to your community! There are so many different listings sites, automotive news outlets, independent bloggers/reviewers, and other sources of information available online. Your business sells the cars, so who is in the best position to inform customers about your vehicles? A wider digital presence will only result in more customers engaging with your business.
Here are some commonly underutilized ways you can provide content to the public:
- Create and post video and written reviews on new and upcoming vehicles to help you reach interested consumers.
- Film walk-throughs on new vehicles and their feature sets or go live to walk through the showroom.
- Collaborate with a member of your service team to brainstorm common service and maintenance tips drivers should follow. Even a simple Facebook post about the importance of oil changes regularly shows users that you are knowledgeable about your product and are looking to engage with the community.
- Consider hosting online events for local clubs, especially if your dealership has an active and engaged community. Host a “Cars & Coffee” event every Sunday morning in a section of your parking lot, or invite owners of historic vehicles to display their vehicles at your dealership twice a year. The possibilities are endless!
Encourage engagement on your social media platforms.
Social media is intended for engagement. You want to encourage people to leave comments and reviews and to interact with one another. It is important that you dedicate enough time to fostering your digital communities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that you capture as much of the digital landscape as possible.
It is possible that an increase in activity may also lead to an increase in negative activity – but because you maintain these platforms, you can control the conversation! Responding to negative criticism with honest, sympathetic responses will show other consumers that you can be a trusted member of the community. Use these tips for responding to reviews.
Expand your reach with social media advertising.
Once you have a solid organic presence set up on social media sites, you can expand your reach with social media advertising. Facebook advertising gives you a way to reach more potential buyers in your area. And, with the robust targeting options available, you can make sure the right people are seeing your content, information, and deals.
You might try running a Facebook ad around an upcoming sale or to announce new inventory. Or, you can run an ad campaign to target consumers in your area and raise awareness for your dealership. There are a lot of great options available when it comes to Facebook advertising that can perfectly complement your online marketing strategy.
Because social media platforms are constantly changing, there will always be new opportunities to leverage your digital presence. In 2018, there are so many unique strategies for advertisers to incorporate across the big social media platforms, it is exciting to think about the stories you can share with your community. Learn more about social media marketing and Facebook advertising for your auto dealership on our website, and contact us to see how we can help you get started.