We live in a digital age where consumers decide who to give their business to long before they ever step inside. To ensure that their businesses remain competitive in this new age, more and more dealers are improving their online marketing techniques. Especially today, one of the most popular and crucial ways that dealerships are connecting with consumers is through social media. The very nature of social media has made it imperative for any business that wishes to remain competitive today.
Consider the example of Facebook; the nature of the platform allows businesses to interact with customers when needed with an ease and convenience that would have been inconceivable only 15 years ago. It allows them to build and connect with communities of consumers, colleagues, and even competitors that help to keep them in touch with their base and their industry. Businesses can now interact directly with their customers instantaneously, which means that they can now assist those in need. It also means that they can now market to them with ease, whether by buying ad space on the site itself or by creating communities and profiles to reach out to customers personally. Its wide scope of usable formats, including text, photo, video, and stories, gives businesses the freedom to choose how they wish to communicate on the platform. And it’s certainly an important platform to be communicating on, with Facebook consistently reaching over 2 billion active users a month.
Even as far back as 2015, 75% of consumers in the car buying market found that social media was one of the most helpful resources when choosing a car dealership. (DigitalJournal). Consumer reliance on crowd-sourced information and social media channels has only expanded since.
The following are seven tips for bringing your dealership’s Facebook page to that next level:
1) Only Use The Best Photos
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, which is why the photos you use should be as enticing to customers as possible. The photos you choose should both create interest in customers and communicate to them what your business is. Your Facebook profile picture and cover photo should be an accurate representation of what your dealership stands for. The pictures you post should show the range of cars you sell, and they should also show customers that those cars are quality vehicles. Facebook’s wide range of usable formats means that you can choose to use videos or even stories to appeal to customers, giving you the freedom you need to choose the right images for your page. Recently, Facebook also added the ability to use a video or slideshow as the cover photo for your page, which can add an immediately visible flair to your page, especially if you can’t choose just one image that really communicates who you are to the world. It’s important to be honest and proud of who you are as a business, and images allow you to communicate exactly that, but always keep in mind that you want someone to look at those photos and say, “This is the place I have to buy my next car.”
2) Include Your Hours
People will often go to a business’s Facebook Page to find out all the information they need. Are your hours of operation listed on there? Are there any holidays coming up that might affect those hours? Make sure this, and any other important operating information you choose to include on your page, is up-to-date and accurate to keep customers aware and prevent upsets.
3) About Us
Your “About Us” section is the perfect opportunity to gain the trust of any potential customers. You have the absolute freedom to choose what information you feel might be relevant for any customers looking to purchase a new car. What are the important things you want a customer to know? Building trust and confidence with your customers is a crucial part of operating a business, especially in an industry as maligned and distrusted as car selling. This is the perfect opportunity to address any potential trust issues your customers might have before they actually become an issue.
This section is about much more than just how long you’ve been operating or the brands you sell. What makes your dealership different? What is your mission statement? Why should customers choose you over your competition? Here’s a trick; try to fill out this section as if you’re asking a potential customer, “How can we help you?”
4) Username and URL
Facebook provides an easy way to change to the URL attached to your Page; just change your username. In doing so, you can easily link your Page to your website, and anywhere else you have a web presence. Using a shorter URL rather than a long, numerical link also helps customers to easily find you on Facebook and anywhere else.
5) Bring Attention To Your Facebook Page
There are many different ways to increase traffic to your Facebook page. One method is using “Web Exclusive Offers,” which can be placed on your Facebook Page and are a great way to bring more attention to it. You can post weekly specials that only those who follow or like the page would be notified about. To create an initial following and continue to grow it, you could include a plug for customers to follow your Facebook page for exclusive offers, such as weekly specials, at the end of emails or on business cards.
6) Include a “Call To Action” On Your Page
Facebook has made it easier for businesses to connect with their consumers using their Pages by creating compelling CTAs. This can be done right underneath the cover photo, where you’ll find a variety of different CTAs to choose from. Find the one you feel would best entice potential customers to do business with your dealership.
7) Pick the Right Admin
It’s vital that whoever you choose to be your Page’s administrator knows they need to be actively monitoring and adding to the Page. This means consistently updating it with creative content related to your dealership, responding to customers, listing important information, posting photos and videos of your inventory, and keeping customers up-to-date about any upcoming sales events and promotions.
These are just a few of the ways you can make your Facebook Page into a powerful business tool for your dealership. Consider taking yours to the next level by implementing some of these same tips. You’ll find that correctly interacting with customers online will keep your business competitive in an age where failing to do so would mean stagnation, and ultimately the end of your dealership. The key to success in the digital age is an active commitment to the online world.