How Dealers Can Avoid Common Social Media Mistakes
Engage customers online by using the right—and right amount of—information
Social media can be an incredibly useful tool for new and used car dealerships. It allows you to build an audience and engage with existing customers, and if you use it well, the “likes” can soon transform into sales.
If you do it badly, however, you’ll crash and burn and you’ll be forgotten about quicker than you can say “MySpace.” Let’s take a look at the most common social media mistakes made by auto dealers, and how you can avoid making them.
The last thing that your followers want is to be overloaded with information. Yes, it’s great to tell your customers about new deals on Twitter, but not in a way that leads to them pressing the “unfollow” button.
Tweet multiple times a day with the same message and you’ll get this result: A feed that resembles spam, which makes potential customers look elsewhere. Tell your customers about deals sparingly—no more than once a day—to avoid making the same mistake.
Lack of visuals
If you’re selling cars, your customers are going to want to see photos and videos. Not sharing enough visual content can hinder your social media efforts.
People interested in buying a new car will visit their local dealership, but they often look online to see what cars are there before they go. Use your Facebook page to photograph every new model that comes into your dealership, and create a short video explaining its features.
Once customers arrive at your dealership, you may find that they’re already sold on the car as a result of social media.
Too much self-promotion
On your social media accounts, you have to strike a balance between promoting your dealership, and promoting it too much.
You should always try to stick to the rule of thirds—one third of your account should be promotional, another third should share ideas and stories from the automotive industry, and the final third should engage with your customers in order to build your brand.
For example, on any given day, this could mean making one Facebook post that tells customers about a new vehicle delivery, a second post that links to an article about an issue relevant to the industry, and a third post containing a poll asking your followers about their favorite movie cars.
Lack of interactive posts
Not interacting with your followers is one of the most harmful things that you can do on social media. This includes replying to comments and getting your followers involved with your page.
An easy way to interact is to run a competition. It could be for something simple like a free maintenance check or a free feature when they order a new car—the choice is yours. Set it up so that your followers have to like and share a post to enter, and you’ll find yourself with legions of new followers in addition to the existing ones.
A great example of being interactive on social media is Mercedes Benz of Boston, which is very active on Facebook, but rather than being self-promotional, engages with followers by posting entertaining content for them.
Reviews can either make or break your business, but either way, you’ll want to utilize them. Customers almost always check reviews on social media before they consider making a purchase, so ensure your business page on Facebook has the reviews function turned on—this is the easiest way for customers to leave a review.
You should respond to every review, whether it’s negative or positive. If it’s positive, simply thank the reviewer for the comment. If it’s negative, publicly offer to make the situation right for the customer. This will be seen by potential buyers, and they’ll appreciate your effort to make amends with an unsatisfied customer.
A mistake that dealerships can make is trying to cast their net too wide. You probably have a very local database of customers—stick with them.
There’s no point spending time and money trying to win over people in a different city or state, who more than likely have their own local dealership they prefer. Invest your social media efforts in your local audience, and they’ll reward you with their loyalty for years to come.
This also applies to the social media channel that you use—instead of trying to be on all of them, choose the one that the intended audience uses the most.
Leila Jones is a content writer for PSD Vehicle Rental. She is a public relations graduate from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK and recently bought her first car, a red Fiat 500 named Franco. You can follow her on Twitter @LeilaJones18.