How intentional is your dealership’s social media strategy?
Do you post every few months or when you introduce a new line of inventory? Or do you post throughout the week but see frustratingly little engagement or growth on your pages?
If you’re considering putting your social media strategy on the backburner, we encourage you to read this blog first. Social media is well-worth your efforts – 78% of small businesses drive sales leads through their social pages (1). How? By creating social posts that have intent.
How much planning you put into strategizing and optimizing your social media directly affects the quality of your results (audience growth, post engagement, lead generation and so forth). We recommend setting the following intentions to improve your social media presence:
Let Your Customers Dictate Your Platforms
There’s no shortage of social media platforms, but you probably don’t need to be active on all of them. In fact, stretching your presence too thin can prevent you from properly tending to any of your audiences. Instead, look to your customers – current and prospecting – to determine which platforms garner your attention. For example, if you’re selling to a largely millennial base, you may find you’re most successful on Twitter and Instagram, which are popular with younger generations. Or if most of your shoppers are industry enthusiasts, Facebook and Twitter are great ways to grow your audience by sharing industry news.
And if you’re not sure WHO your audience is or WHAT they want, try these methods to do some investigating:
- Identify the key characteristics of your in-store customers. What’s the age range? Where are they from? What’s the average income? Can you find out more about their interests?
- Study your website analytics. Find out who’s visiting your website by viewing your analytics and determining which pages receive the most traffic. What do shoppers look at and how often?
Plan Your Content in Advance
Do you ever sit down to update your social media page and realize you have no idea what to post? You can get around the last-minute writer’s block by deciding ahead of time what themes your dealership will post about and how often.
First, consider WHY you’re posting. Is it to attract potential customers or build your thought leadership? We find the best approach is to diversify your content by pursuing several key objectives:
- Curated posts: Reshare content from industry experts and manufacturers (be sure to credit the original post).
- Customer-generated content: Post testimonials and relevant content from your current customers (with permission).
- Educational: Many people use social media as a search engine to find information, so go ahead and share your best service and maintenance tips or post a link to a good industry article.
- Graphics: Did you know that people remember information 65% better when it includes an image? (2) So don’t shy away from sharing relevant memes, videos and photos!
By varying your social posts throughout the month, you can prevent your feed from becoming stale. Considering following the “rule of thirds” – one-third educational, one-third promotional and one-third entertainment.
Don’t stress about getting out a post every day – in fact, this could lead to audience fatigue. Feel free to scale your calendar to an average of three posts per week. And speaking of calendars, if you’re concerned about finding time during the week to post, we recommend utilizing a posting tool to schedule your content in advance. Facebook, for example, has a built-in scheduling tool to target peak days and times. Or you could enlist the help of a social media expert, who can also manage your entire posting calendar across multiple platforms and track audience engagement.
Encourage Audience Participation
If you’re hosting a dinner party, you’re responsible for keeping the conversation flowing amongst all your guests. Well, your social media is your dinner party and your audience is the attendees. Audience engagement in the form of likes, comments and reshares is the surest indication that your content is performing well.
How can you encourage your followers to interact with your posts? First, you need to determine what you need from them. Are you looking for more website clicks? Better attendance at an upcoming store event? Feedback on your services? Include calls-to-action on your posts to click the link to an inventory page, register for an event or share a testimonial.
Second, learn your audience’s preferences by recording the number of likes and comments per post. (Keep in mind, people browse social media more on some days versus others, so you may want to run the same post on different days and times to see when it gets the most engagement.) Do your audiences gravitate more toward your educational how-to’s over your sales posts?
Third, feature your customers on your page! Repost a glowing review or ask if you can take a picture of them with their recent purchase. If your shoppers buy online, encourage them to share a picture on your page when their unit arrives.
Fourth, make a habit of responding to all comments and testimonials within the same business day. Encourage customers to reach out by setting the precedent.
Bottom line: Best practices create the best results! By being intentional with your social media approach, you can grow your audience base, strengthen your relationship with customers and expand your brand into new markets of shoppers.
ARI’s social media experts are available if you have questions about managing your pages. Contact us today!