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In an ever-changing market, it’s important to find consistencies to hold on to. Automotive retail and marketing are both fields that undergo constant change. Car dealerships are constantly changing their inventory because manufacturers release new variants of their models every year, and marketing changes their methodology constantly as communication channels wax and wane in prominence.
So where’s the solid point that marketers in the automotive industry can cling to? Well, digital marketing, in general, is well-established as the future of dealer marketing, but social media especially represents some great opportunities for outreach.
While best practices and rules of engagement change on social media channels like Facebook every now and then, the importance of dealership presence has only grown in prominence since the mid-2000’s. Social media is an essential component of a car dealership’s public image, and it’s a great way to build a sense of community with their customers. Keep reading to learn about what we do here at DOM360 to help our clients succeed in this area.
1) Know your purpose.
What is your reason for using social media? Many dealerships have a good standing with their community, and they use their social media to further build up that relationship. Other dealerships might not be as well-known, so they can use their social media to highlight some of the unique aspects about their dealership, like the free coffee and WiFi they offer in their service department, or whether they offer free manicures on Wednesdays.
Another obvious purpose of social media is to drive tangible results. Although measuring how many people buy a vehicle because of specific Facebook posts is very difficult to do, Facebook does offer metrics on the performance and reception of certain posts, including how many people saw them or interacted with them.
For more specific metrics, though, Facebook ads can be an extremely valuable tool. They offer detailed reports on performance and can target specific groups of users and potential customers within a certain distance of your dealership. DOM360 writes both high-quality social posts and Facebook ads, so you can take a more holistic approach to the way you interact with your customers and community.
2) Link back to your site.
Remember, you’re on social media to strengthen the positive image of your dealership and drive results. One of the best ways to do this is by sharing content from your own site, like your specials, inventory and online service scheduling portal. You could even share informational pages that explain things about your dealership or the manufacturer.
At DOM360, we’re highly experienced in this type of marketing. Our employees split into teams to come up with content for different types of posts, and then the account executives work with their clients to decide which posts work best for them.
Additionally, when more people visit your site, assuming they don’t encounter issues with usability, your SEO rank increases. Think ahead about which web pages you’d like to get in front of consumers, and find ways to promote those on your social media.
3) Emphasize community involvement.
Many car dealerships have a great standing with their community, and some are even household names. In those cases, playing up their community involvement and charity work strengthens their image. And for the dealerships that don’t have as much name-recognition, there’s still a great deal to be gained by broadcasting their community involvement.
Especially for new dealerships or ones with new ownership, rebranding never hurts. Whether it’s a pet adoption event, fundraiser for an ailing team member or their family or volunteering with a local nonprofit, be sure to let your audience know you’re getting involved and that you care.
4) Use hashtags.
Hashtags are a great way to get more recognition on social media. When you click on a hashtag, you see several public posts from accounts that have used the same hashtag. That includes your dealership’s account.
Virtually all car manufacturers have a designated hashtag or slogan that can be used as a hashtag. Because it’s a specific hashtag, when someone clicks on it, the variety of posts that come up is much more narrow. That means that someone clicking on that hashtag is much more likely to see your post in their results. It’s a pretty simplistic tool, but they’re so easy to implement in regular posts that it’s worth your while to use them occasionally.
These are just a few quick pointers you can use to make your page more engaging. If you are looking to optimize your social media to build your brand and drive results, contact us at jennifer@DOM360.com