The theme of the past few articles has been to look forward to 2017 as a new beginning, one in which the content that is being posted on your dealership’s social media pages is worthy of engagement and further action taken by the customer. There is no doubt that digital media will be at the forefront of social media marketing strategies for companies in all business sectors heading into the new year. For many in the automotive industry, the addition of digital media is not only a new concept for most dealerships’ marketing strategies, but will be crucial to increasing online sales.
When you visit dealership’s social media pages, primarily on Facebook, the timeline resembles a bulletin board. The links to third party sites that are irrelevant to the customer, along with posts that receive no engagement are like the papers tacked onto walls back in high school that you went by everyday to class, and maybe looked at once. You want future, present, and past customers, along with potential buyers to always come back for more, and be frequent visitors to your Facebook page, or accounts on other social media platforms. That traffic will eventually lead to referrals, as people who view, like, comment, and share your content are playing a role in the distribution of your brand and digital media.
The reason why digital media negates the effect of your Facebook page becoming a bulletin board is because it’s your own content. The pictures that you take and the videos you produce are not only eye catching, they’re informative, which is providing value to the consumer.
Most dealerships will post anything to see what sticks or gets the most engagement, and that’s why there’s no coherency to the timeline. You’ll see photos from the corporate brand, articles from Car and Driver, and even local news or events being posted sporadically. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being a part of the local community or creating posts that may not necessarily be the vehicles on your lot, but there needs to be a balance in terms of the content that you’re creating.
Digital media should always come first and be promoted to achieve engagement and interest, while also accumulating likes and followers. With customers’ attentions now on your dealership because you’re providing informative and eye catching content that motivates people to visit your showroom, you can then inject other forms of content that wouldn’t have received any viewership. For instance, sharing news about your dealership, upcoming events, and coupons for current customers when they bring their cars in for service. Many dealerships put the cart before the horse, which is why most social media pages end up being a list of posts with no engagement because there was no audience to begin with. There needs to be a reason for people to visit your social media pages if you desire seeing results.
In the picture above, a local dealership promoted a preview of a video they shared on YouTube about a GMC they were selling. There were 2,000 views in less than a week, which was more traffic on that one video than they have likes on Facebook. The viewers attention is not only on that GMC, but the dealership that created that digital media. With that attention, the social media manager can now guide that audience in any direction he/she wants. In this case, driving traffic to the YouTube channel that has more than 4,000 subscribers. These followers and subscribers can eventually become customers as over time, the digital media that’s being created is going to motivate buyers to visit this dealership and purchase or lease that vehicle.
Think of each social media post as a bread crumb on a trail. Your objective is to lead customers in the direction of purchasing/leasing a vehicle, or at the very least, like, comment, or share the content you’re creating. Your followers have just as much power to bringing new customers to your showroom as the digital media you’re creating. So the thought process when diving into social media is that your content is persuading and driving people to react, whether that be engaging with your content, visiting your showroom, or being moved to make a purchase.
Social media platforms should be treated with excitement. Instead of being the traditional dealership that just throws out hard selling copy or irrelevant content, you’re producing high quality digital media that makes an impact, and that’s why social media marketing is so unique when it comes to advertising.