I’m not a car girl. I didn’t grow up in the automotive world, and most of the lingo is foreign to me. I have no clue about the differences in engines or how to value a trade (though I am learning). Despite all this, in January 2014, Desert Sun Auto Group of New Mexico hired me, a green pea, to be its marketing director.
While not having any working knowledge of the car biz could be a handicap, it has become my niche on social media. You see, instead of posting about liters, pistons, and engines, I post unique stories about our customers. Instead of comparing fuel efficiency and towing capacities, I showcase salespeople with their families. Essentially, this has done two things:
- It has made members of our dealership into people, neighbors, and family, instead of salespeople.
- It has created a community, and given our community a reason to engage with us.
In the past three years, I have administrated more than 10 Facebook pages and echo the experts who say that social media marketing must lean heavily on the side of social and go easy on the marketing.
If you need to spice up your social media programs, here is my go-to list of creative content.
1. Current events. What’s happening in your dealership, today? Is someone having a birthday? Is there an work anniversary? Many fun things happen behind the scenes, so give your fans a VIP pass.
2. Customers. Everyone has a story. Instead of just congratulating customers on their purchase, tell their story. Is this their very first car? Did they just land a new job? Are they having a baby? We enjoy and really need to connect with other people.
3. Employees. This is by far my favorite. Salespeople get a bad rap, so I love to post about who they really are. They are fathers, mothers, and veterans. They have children they go home to and aging parents they’re supporting. This Valentine’s Day, we did a whole series on our staff and their sweethearts. Best. Posts. Ever.
4. Vehicle features. Vehicle features should be showcased on your page, but make them local, relevant, and engaging. You sell a tricked-out Jeep Wrangler? Ask the customer to send you back photos of its first off-roading adventure. Showing people enjoying their vehicles can have an alluring effect that has a more subtle “buy now” message.
5. Community culture. Appeal to the culture of your brand and/or location. Live in a blue-collar community? Showcase their trucks on the job. Have a Toyota dealership? Show who Toyota drivers are. Build pride in ownership, and you’ll create repeat customers.
These are just a few types of posts I use to engage our communities on Desert Sun Auto Group’s Facebook page. Got an idea you want to add to my list? I’d love to hear it!
Amanda Gallagher is director of marketing for the Desert Sun Auto Group of New Mexico, and an independent marketing consultant for New Mexico. Visit the Desert Sun Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DesertSunMotors, or her personal page at www.amandamgallagher.com.0