I've seen a lot of social media posts floating around from various auto dealers large and small, international and local. One thing that I notice about them is that many of them are focused on self-promotion, and do not provide much information that customers would be likely to share. Sharing (and other interaction such as liking, retweeting and so on) is the lifeblood of any automotive service marketing on social media. If your customers aren't interacting with your social media content, what's the point of posting regularly?
Yet social media is an excellent way to reach out to more customers than you thought possible. Certain messages posted on social media may go viral, bringing in new customers and contributing to increasing your reach and your revenue.
Automating auto service marketing is a great idea to save time and effort, but you need to make sure the content you are having your automated solution post is good and shareable.
Imagine you own a service station. You start a social media page to generate more visitors, but appear to be generating very little return on investment. Chances are, you may have made two key mistakes that led to a lack of interaction. These mistakes are made by auto dealers and service stations alike and are easily remedied.
Automotive Service Marketing Pitfall #1 (and What to Do)
The first relates to putting the right person in the position. If the person you put in charge of your social media campaign is either unfamiliar with the sites or unable to put themselves in the shoes of a customer, chances are they shouldn't be running your social media campaigns for you.
You want to make sure that the content you put out is easy to relate to, relevant, and most of all that it's not simply focused on self-promotion (which can get boring for customers). Advertise new parts, big auto news, closures or important dates. Promote community events that you're going to have a presence in. Start a loyalty program or offer exclusive social media deals, as well. This gives customers an incentive to follow you, and a good reason to promote your page and share your messages. All of that will go a long way to drawing in new customers and making your existing customers want to promote you more.
Automotive Service Marketing Pitfall #2 (and What to Do)
The second mistake I see a lot is really a perception issue. The assumption seems to be that creating a social media page is some sort of communication holy grail. “If you build it they will come” doesn't apply here, and whoever is running your page needs to know that. They need to be ready, willing and able to dig in and supply your customer base with a patient, dedicated effort that shows that you want to try new things. There will be growing pains, and social media posting won't be a magical cure-all, but it is a long-term solution that will set you apart and give you a huge boost over time.
These issues aren't unique to a single industry, and I see them a lot on social media. With just a few adjustments to what is posted and dedication to the page, it can be a fantastic investment that helps you not only increase your customer base, but also engage with auto customers and the community. The auto industry can thrive with online marketing, it just takes some patience. The auto service industry doesn't have a huge presence online yet, but dealers and service shops are quickly adjusting to current marketing trends. In fact, it might be accurate to say that the auto service industry needs to develop a greater online presence as the world moves toward social media as one of its primary communication method.
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