Social media represents a vital marketing platform for most businesses and its appeal for small and medium sized dealers, often operating on a local geographic basis can be particularly beneficial.

The number of users on social media might knock you over, as the latest figures (below) published in July reveal billions of active users. Just think about the potential reach this could deliver for your dealership – in almost every region, there will be someone on social media that you could be promoting your products to.

Social network monthly active users

  • Facebook: 2,230,000,000
  • YouTube: 2,230,000,000
  • Instagram: 1,000,000,000
  • Twitter: 336,000,000
  • Pinterest: 200,000,000
  • LinkedIn: 106,000,000*

The clue to being successful on social media is in the generic title; ‘social’.

The key knack for motor dealers is to post content that is informative, interesting, amusing; in short social conversational. Posts can be mixed up with sales promotion messages, but simply uploading a stock listing is unlikely to capture the hearts and minds of people. I tend to stick to the 80/20 rule – 80% informative and fun content, 20% sales.

Here are my top 5 tips to energise your social media!

1. Training & planning

We all know the saying ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’; this is true for social media marketing. Just ‘rocking-up’ and having a go is unlikely to deliver success (and bear in mind success takes time as you build your network).

Investing some time and a little money on how to make the most of social media from a business perspective is money well spent. Courses, training and articles can help you to understand which social media platforms to embrace; how and when to post; content creation and network-building.

2. Processes & controls

It is best practice for any business using social media to have appropriate processes and controls. All posters need to be trained and authorised and understand the ‘dos and don’ts. A few observations on the don’ts’ - avoid controversy and recognise that social media is subject to normal advertising regulations, even if it is not directly an advert. As an example, if you use finance in a post, it must comply with financial promotion requirements.

3. Consistency & persistence

Success needs a steady rhythm of posts. Consider posting content that adds value to your target audiences; this could include posts from other local businesses, views on local and national news (avoid controversy).

A crucial tool that should be used is imagery – photos and videos. These are an easy way of bringing your business to life. Photographs of your stock with interesting observations on key features; images of happy customers and your own people; your business in the community. All of these create a social picture of your business and the way you work 

4. Build your network

Networks are a key part of success on social media. Social media is not all about having the most followers, it is important to create lasting relationships with customers and potential partners. Engage with your followers, comment on their posts, bring your business into their conversations.

This ‘chat’ may seem like a long route to gaining sales, but what you are doing is establishing a profile of your business as being interested and interesting on its customers and the local community. The aim over time, is to build a position where your business is seen as a trusted expert.  

5. Create and continually update your page

On Facebook and Instagram, your profile is your ‘Point of Sale’. Ensure critical information on display is complete and up to date; opening hours, contact details. A smart step is the addition of a regularly updated cover photograph; this could be your premises, people or ‘car of the week’. Another nice touch is to theme this image around current activities (local carnival, sporting or seasonal events). These small steps demonstrate that your business is active, up to date and switched on; subliminally important messages. 

By Barry McDermott

Source; Dream Grow- last updated July 9th 2019

Information is for guidance only.

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