In its origin, social media was just that—a social platform to connect loved ones and create a feeling of closeness, despite the virtual nature. Since so many consumers began spending a significant amount of time online, businesses and their brands started creating social profiles to build up their online presence and create more awareness of their products. Since then, social media, especially Facebook, has evolved into a serious e-commerce outlet.
So, why social media? The truth lies in the eternal efficacy of word-of-mouth lead generation—personal recommendations will always be your strongest sales asset—which platforms like Facebook have built into their algorithms. Consumers are most likely to trust recommendations that come from a personal source, or even a stranger, over any messaging put forth by the actual business. Reviews and recommendations provide a human element that shoppers need before they feel ready to make a purchase.
Recommendations can also come in the form of actions over words. For example, an interested prospect who’s considering your dealership among others may “like” your business page while browsing your content. From then on, they may encounter more of your content in their newsfeed and see that your posts receive a high volume of “likes” and comments from other followers and your page itself has a respectable number of positive reviews from customers. These factors will further assure that individual that your dealership is a trustworthy business, and they will feel encouraged to make a purchase.
If your dealership’s Facebook page doesn’t currently receive much follower engagement—or if you don’t currently have a business profile—don’t worry. ARI offers helpful ways for dealerships to build up a following and generate qualified sales leads through Facebook.
Consumers are more likely to connect with businesses that show their human side. Promote your brand’s personality and your company culture on your page by sharing funny (but relevant) memes, spotlighting a hard-working employee every month or so, being transparent about your company values in your posts or featuring your teams’ cute pets.
Post high-quality photos.
Social media algorithms and social media users alike prioritize good imagery. Posts including photos or videos are more likely to feature prominently in people’s newsfeeds and capture their attention. So, go ahead and post some sleek images of your new inventory shipment or record a walk-through of how you are keeping your store sanitized and safe for shoppers!
Craft compelling messages.
Invest some time and thought into the appeal of your posts. Content such as “End-of-Season Sale” or “2021 Models” is sure to garner attention from your followers, so put thought into how you present your message. Let your dealership’s “voice” shine through in your wording and accompany these posts with eye-catching graphics, photos or videos.
Invite followers to engage.
Build up your social presence by encouraging followers to interact with your content. You can ask your followers questions, invite them to participate in a survey about your customer service or host a fun contest (an ugly sweater contest for pets, for example!).
Include prominent calls to action.
Along with inviting followers to engage with your content, make sure they know how to take the next step and get in contact with your business. Add simple call-to-action buttons to your messaging, such as “Call Today,” “Get a Quote” or “Learn More” that link to your lead forms or contact info so that followers can transition seamlessly from a follower to a sales lead.
Consider paid ads or promoted posts.
Facebook offers two ways to increase the prominence of your content and help you get found by more social media users:
- Facebook Ads: You can create a highly targeted audience for each ad on Facebook by selecting the locations, interests, ages and genders you want to reach. This guarantees your ads are seen by the most qualified leads and increases the likelihood of a sale! Facebook Ads also provides helpful analytics on each post, such as reach, clicks, paid vs. organic performance and more, so that you can adjust your ad strategy accordingly and boost the success of your ads.
- Promoted posts: If you don’t want to invest in an ad strategy, you can promote your posts as part of Facebook’s pay-per-boost option, which features your post at the top of your followers’ newsfeeds to increase its visibility and encourage more engagement.
Social media in general should be incorporated into your core marketing strategy, as it offers countless opportunities to engage with online shoppers and is becoming the main research platform for younger generations. In particular, Facebook is one of the most heavily trafficked social platforms and offers a superb outlet for businesses to build up their brand prominence and connect with more leads. If you’re interested in boosting your social media presence but don’t know where to start, contact ARI today about our social media tools and chat with our industry experts!