Best Practices to Drive Better Social Media Results
Written by Dealer Spike
How would you describe your current social media strategy? Is it hit-and-miss or non-existent? Do you post a few times a week but see little response from your audience?
If you’re wondering whether social media is really worth the effort, it is! WordPress reports that 78% of small businesses generate sales leads through their social platforms. This means going beyond generic holiday posts or sporadically announcing new unit arrivals – social posts need to have intent.
How you go about planning your social media strategy will make all the difference in the quality of the outcome. I recommend the following steps to improve your social media engagement:
Choose Platforms Based on Your Audience
When deciding where to focus your efforts, consider how different platforms attract different audiences. For example, if most of your customers are millennials, you may want to concentrate on Instagram and Twitter, which notoriously pull a younger audience. Or if your objective is to push online sales and share industry-related news, Facebook may be your best bet.
If you aren’t familiar with your audience, use these methods to get to know them and their interests:
- Note the characteristics of your current customers. How old are they? How much do they spend? What do you know about their interests?
- Study your website visitors. Use your website analytics to track online traffic and determine if shoppers’ interests and behaviors are changing.
Plan Out Your Content
Every social media rep encounters this dilemma time and time again: “What am I going to post?” The answer lies in what you’re trying to achieve. Is it increased sales leads or improving your thought leadership? Get inspired by aligning your content with your objective(s):
- Curation: Repost content from industry manufacturers and experts (always credit the original poster).
- Customer generation: Reshare your current customers’ relevant posts or testimonials (with their permission).
- Educational: Answer some common trailer and hitch questions – social media has become a search engine for finding information.
- Graphics: Share relevant photos, memes and videos (bonus! People retain 65% more information when it includes a graphic, says Hootsuite).
Aim to post a variety of content throughout the month so your feed doesn’t become stale. I recommend using the “rule of thirds” – one-third sales-oriented promos, one-third education-based resources and one-third humor or entertainment.
Don’t push yourself to post every day, or else you risk fatiguing yourself and your audience. An average of three posts a week is a sustainable cadence, and you can use a posting calendar if you don’t have time to update your feed throughout the week. Platforms like Facebook offer built-in scheduling tools to plan out your content and target specific times. You can also enlist a third-party platform to manage your posts across all your social media profiles, as well as follow up on any comments or mentions from your audience.
Get Your Audience Involved
You may have heard that a social media post is like a dinner party – the host is responsible for encouraging conversation. The best measurement of social media success is an engaged audience who frequently likes, comments on and reshares your content.
How can you increase audience engagement? First, identify what you want from your audience. Feedback? More sales leads? Educated shoppers? Include calls-to-action that encourage people to share their experience or click a link to your inventory page. Second, track post engagement by keeping a record of the number of likes and comments per post so you learn your audience’s preferences. Third, post content that’s valuable to your followers, such as how-to guides, educational articles and industry news. Fourth, turn customers into brand advocates by resharing their testimonials or inviting recent buyers to post a photo of their new trailer and tag your dealership. Finally (and this is key), build a habit of responding to all online comments and reviews in a timely manner. Within the hour is ideal, but if a busy day means that’s not feasible, shoot for within 24 hours.
Best Practices Drive the Best Results
With the right strategies, your dealership can strengthen your relationship with your current customers and generate new business by tapping into a larger market of trailer buyers.
About Dealer Spike
As an industry leader in digital marketing strategy, Dealer Spike provides custom responsive websites and a suite of additional marketing services to accelerate online leads for your dealership. To learn more, please visit dealerspike.com.