Car dealerships face a number of difficulties, such as a heightened competitive landscape, quickly shifting consumer preferences, and the rise of electric and driverless automobiles. A drop in consumer confidence and less foot traffic to dealership showrooms have also been the inevitable fallout of a global pandemic, leaving dealerships searching for alternative ways to reach their audiences.
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The growth of internet marketplaces make it simpler for customers to buy automobiles remotely, allowing them to completely avoid traditional dealerships. It can be expensive for car dealerships to reach customers, especially with the cost of maintaining a web presence and paying for advertising. However, we know of a simpler, less expensive, and far reaching tool that auto dealers are catching onto in the last few years: social media.
Social media is an effective marketing tool for businesses across industries, but can be especially beneficial for auto dealers. Social media platforms have a sizable user base and can assist dealerships in connecting with a variety of potential clients. Different platforms like Instagram and Facebook house sophisticated targeting tools that let car dealerships connect with people who share certain interests, behaviors, and demographics, for a reasonable cost to the business.
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In a fast-paced industry like auto sales, opening up channels for two-way contact with potential buyers can be a major perk to investing in social media. Auto dealers can interact with clients, get their opinions, and forge bonds with them to drive sales. Posts can even go viral and reach large audiences, leaving a footprint of increased followership and opportunities.
Ultimately, car dealerships can boost brand recognition by regularly providing material, interacting with customers, and developing a strong online presence.
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Want to know how to get started? We’ve put some information together below.
Find your target audience: Who are you trying to reach through social media? Is it potential customers looking for a new car, or current customers looking for service and maintenance? Are you into newly manufactured luxury brands, or certified pre-owned vehicles? Once you know your target audience, you can tailor your social media content to appeal to them directly.
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Choose the right social media platforms. For car dealerships, it makes the most sense to build your brand on social media platforms that connect you directly with potential customers. For example, Facebook and Instagram are generally good for reaching a broad audience, while Pinterest may be more effective for showcasing visually appealing cars and car-related content. Consider which social media platforms your target audience uses, their age groups and demographics.
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Post photos and videos of your inventory, as well as information about promotions and special deals. Got a repeat customer? Ask them to vouch for you on social media with a pic of the car they just purchased. You can also share industry news and helpful tips related to car ownership. Be sure to use hashtags and geotagging to make it easy for people to find and share your content.
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As we mentioned above, social media is a two-way conversation, so be sure to respond to comments and messages from your followers promptly. This helps to build trust and create a sense of community around your dealership. You can create engagement opportunities with customers, too, through the Live or Stories features.
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Planning a social media calendar is essential to ensure consistent posting and engagement. Plan out the content you want to post on social media in advance and identify someone who will execute for you. Many companies identify one person on the team for posting, or they outsource posting to a contractor. Programs like Synup Social, Hootsuite and others can help if you do social media management in-house. This can help you ensure that you're consistently posting high-quality content and staying top-of-mind with your audience.
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Use high-quality images and videos. In the automotive industry, visual content is especially important. Make sure to use high-quality images and videos of the cars you have for sale, inventory you expect to come in, as well as any dealership events or promotions you may be running.
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Find industry influencers by searching social media for those who are relevant to your brand and have a sizable following. To find influencers in your niche, use tools like Buzzsumo, Followerwonk, or Klear. Get the handles of those you meet at industry events, and keep an eye out for those who post frequently. To work with influencers, you can offer them a valuable favor, like a chance to try out one of your vehicles or a pass to an event you're holding. Discuss working together to produce content that promotes your brand once you've developed a relationship. You could, for instance, ask an influencer to film a review of one of your vehicles and upload it on their Instagram page.
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Find possible partners by keeping an eye out for companies that are relevant to your brand. Look through their content to determine the quality and credibility of their work. Check to see if the content they publish fits with the message and core values of your brand. Once you've made contact with a potential partner, suggest a cooperation that will be advantageous to both parties (similarly to how you would with influencers). In exchange for them advertising your dealership on their Instagram account, you may offer to support their events or exhibit their cars in your showroom. In all of these instances, partner or influencers alike, make sure you have a solid agreement drawn up and reviewed by legal counsel. Once a relationship is legitimized, you can work with them to create IGTV videos, live broadcasts, IGTV postings, or stories.
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Once you’ve had the opportunity to plan, schedule and execute over a period of time, we recommend frequently utilizing the analytics features on all of the social platforms to see the performance of your content. As you move through your social media strategy, you can develop improvements based on the analytics you see.
Ready to get your business up and running on social media? Synup is offering a free trial today to help your company reach more customers by uniting your social profiles on one platform. Start a conversation with us to find out how we’re making this process stress-free with maximized results.