Written by: Lauren McLean, Dealer Spike
Dealership owners and management teams have learned that a strong social media presence needs to be a priority for the health of their business. In addition to the most logical benefits that social media provides, like brand recognition, there’s a wide variety of other advantages as well.
For example, engaging on social media with prospective customers and advertising directly to them via social channels is much more cost-effective than traditional advertising. An active presence on social media also goes hand in hand with superior customer service – when people have a question or concern, your team can quickly and easily address it. More than anything else, your dealership’s social media activity drives traffic to your website, your online storefront. Search engines consider social media content to be a major factor in search result rankings, and you can provide your own promotions and links via social posts as well.
Clearly, it is in your best interest to grow and maintain a large social media following, but many dealership teams are not sure how to do that. Read on for five tips to increase your dealership’s number of followers on social media.
- Follow established customers on social media. Your team has access to contact information for customers who have made a purchase from you. If you don’t have a customer’s email address, you at least have his or her last name, which will often allow you to find them on social media. You’ll find that many of your customers will follow you back. In many cases, it’s also appropriate to follow prospective customers if you have access to their contact information.
- Tag customers in your posts. Many dealerships post pictures of customers with their purchases, which could be a great strategy depending on your business style. You can tag them in the posts if you decide to go this route. You can also do the same for other types of posts, like pictures from an event at your store or a promotion for a big sale that you know specific customers will be interested in. The added benefit is that people who follow the person you tagged will also see your post, potentially opening you up to new followers who take an interest.
- Offer exclusive content on social media. Announce a big sale early, or offer a percentage-off special to your followers only. Consider a “first purchase” deal or incentive for new customers who follow you. Give your social media audience a reason to stay engaged, and encourage others to follow you too.
- Provide value in your social media posts. This could look much different for various social platforms – for example, high-quality imagery of your trailers on Instagram vs. educational articles and blog posts about trailer maintenance on LinkedIn. Think outside the box, too. For instance, Facebook is a great resource for customer feedback. Why not poll your followers about the next event you hold at your dealership? You could even tie in a contest for those who participate. Get creative!
- Target the exact social media users who could become your customers. Social media advertising makes this a piece of cake – simply select the location(s), demographics, and interests of your perfect prospects and market directly to them, at any budget you choose. You can also select a specific goal for your ad campaign, such as “Page Likes.”
There’s no secret to increase your followers by a huge amount in a short time span, and you wouldn’t want to grow your social media presence in a way that isn’t authentic. Online engagement should be driven by real connections with your customers and potential customers. The relationships your business is able to form and nurture on social media can foster real results in leads and sales for your dealership.