10 Tips for Social Media Interaction for a Dealership

Making social media a powerful tool for marketing your dealership is about the right approach. The benefits of social media communication, such as viral sharing and increased trust when messages are shared between friends, don’t happen just because you create a Facebook page. In fact, if done incorrectly, social media can turn into an equation for expensive hours wasted and a poor online image. How does one avoid the pitfalls? These 10 tips should help.

1. Focus first on building brand awareness.

A big mistake many businesses make with social media is trying to use traditional advertising techniques. The hard-selling, promotional tone of voice will not work on a social media audience. With so much competition for attention, you will likely be ignored if your only posts, tweets and videos are about how great you are. Instead of selling to your followers, build brand awareness by presenting your business as a resource for relevant information. Use the traffic you get to drive followers back to your website for additional information.

2. Be a real person.

Social media is by definition a very personal way to communicate. Don’t be afraid to add personality to posts, give opinions and use actual names. Even Fortune 500 companies like Ford and GM have people with names and faces behind their social media presences.

3. Provide content people care about.

This is the most important but also the most difficult key to success when interacting on social media. If your information is engaging enough, it will be consumed and shared. Try to think like your customers when deciding what is most relevant for your audience. Popular types of content for a dealership might include:

· Customer success stories

· Deals, offers and discounts

· Questions posed to your audience

· Tips for car owners

· Information on choosing a new car

· Links to auto industry news

· News about your company

4. Use social media to enhance customer service.

Social media involves two-way communication; when you begin engaging your customers, they will have plenty to say back. Use this opportunity to listen to them and provide an additional outlet for customer service. When customers ask questions or raise issues, respond as quickly as possible. Be friendly and personable, and try to resolve the issue. Not everyone will fill out a customer satisfaction survey or pick up the phone, so social media is a new way for you to discover and resolve problems while building loyal customer relationships.

5. Encourage participation and real-time awareness with event marketing.

When you’re advertising the next big sales event, service promotion or even community outreach event; don’t forget to promote it to your social media audience. Several well-timed posts and reminders before the event can increase attendance, and once the event begins, live messages can up awareness and audience participation. You can also increase event success by offering exclusive benefits to fans, friends and followers who register online and attend the event.

6. Build excitement around new products.

As a car dealer, you always have exciting new vehicles to promote. As mentioned in tip #1, this isn’t time for a hard sell, but if customers are following you, they are likely interested in the types of vehicles you offer and are hyped for a chance to hear about the latest products first.

7. Hold contests.

People love the excitement of winning something. Using contests is a great way to increase registrations for an event or to get more contact info for potential leads, all while generating more brand awareness.

8. Use social media as part of your sales funnel.

A lot of social media marketers fall into the trap of counting followers, fans and friends without figuring out how that audience fits into their sales funnel. Turn fans into paying customers by providing links and calls to action that drive followers to your website or to your dealership directly. Ask for followers to join your email list, and create a solid plan for Internet lead management LINK.

9. Encourage your network to share.

Getting the people in your network to actively promote your business isn’t as hard as it sounds. Simple steps such as providing pre-packaged content and links make it easy for your followers to share. You can provide sample tweets, ask Facebook fans to change their status for a day, or create widgets or badges your network can share on their websites, blogs or personal networks. Put a Facebook “Like” button on your site, create a poll to get feedback from your network or ask people to re-tweet or share your messages and posts.

10. Be persistent.

The above tips are all valuable, but the most accurate predictor of success with social media is how persistent the business is in their efforts. Post regularly for enough time and you will be ahead of most of the competition. Except for a few rare cases, this is not a marketing strategy that pays off in the short term. It is usually a slow start but can provide exponential growth after time. Keep at it.
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