These days, every brand needs to have a strong social media presence, including auto dealerships. Whether you primarily sell used cars, new cars, or both, maximizing your presence on social media platforms, from Facebook to TikTok, is essential for bringing new people to your lot and securing long-term customer loyalty.
This article will discuss how you can build a strong social media presence for your auto dealership using a handful of savvy strategies and tips.
The Importance of Social Media for Auto Dealerships
Think social media doesn’t really matter for your auto dealership and your target customers? Think again. Social media is much more important than you can imagine.
Studies show that 23% or approximately one out of four car shoppers use social media to either discuss or communicate about a recent purchase experience. Similarly, 38% of consumers say they will use social media the next time they decide to purchase a car.
Put another way, the people driving vehicles off your auto dealership lot use social media all the time, sometimes to discuss:
- Cars they purchased
- Cars they traded in
- Cars they want to buy in the future
- What they think about car dealerships in the area, etc.
It’s folly to assume then that social media doesn’t impact your auto dealership.
How To Use Social Media To Promote Your Dealership
Social media allows you to promote your auto dealership in multiple ways, including:
- Spreading the word about sales or discounts, driving traffic to your dealership
- Sharing promotions for new customers, bringing them to your auto dealership for the first time
- Building long-term relationships with existing customers by highlighting their content, tagging them on social media, and more
- Informing your customers about trends and developments in the automotive industry
- Responding to complaints or concerns posted by customers on social media platforms
Building a strong social media presence is vital for your car dealership’s profitability, reputation, and longevity. If you want to thrive in the competitive auto dealership market, you have to use social media to maximum effect.
9 Ways To Build Your Auto Dealership’s Social Media Presence
On the plus side, there are many ways in which you can do just that. In fact, you don’t need a marketing degree or programming experience to use popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and others to build up an effective and attractive social media presence for your target drivers.
Identify Your Audience and Their Preferred Platforms
Before you get started, it helps to do some market research. If you haven’t already, you need to identify your target audience and which social media platforms they will likely use when launching a Toronto internet marketing campaign
This can vary depending on your target customers’ age, gender, and mobile app experience. For example, Facebook has nearly 3 billion monthly active users, most of whom are between the ages of 25 and 34. On the other hand, Instagram has approximately 2 billion self-reported monthly active users, most of whom are between the ages of 18 and 24.
From this information alone, you can determine that Facebook has an older user base. If you want to sell or trade vehicles with an older customer base, having more social media activity on Facebook makes a lot of sense. In contrast, if you want to bring younger drivers to your lot, it might pay to advertise more heavily on Instagram.
In any case, figure out which social media platforms you should focus your efforts on; otherwise, you could waste your time and money on the wrong platform.
Unify Your Social Media Accounts
Don’t forget to unify any social media accounts you already have. This means going through each social media page and making sure they all have the same:
- Header, profile picture, and other iconography
- Address and phone number
- Other contact information
You want to ensure that your social media profiles are under your control and don’t provide misleading information. This is important for practical purposes, but it’s also crucial to ensure your brand doesn’t get penalized by Google (which can detect if your social media pages have conflicting information).
Engage With the Community
It’s important to engage with your community as often as possible. After all, social media platforms are all about users connecting to each other and their social experiences.
Engaging with your community is vital because:
- It helps your target customers form emotional connections to your brand. If you want people to rely on your auto dealership as the one-stop shop to purchase new cars or to trade in old vehicles, cultivating customer loyalty is a key objective.
- It allows you to build up your customer base, which is particularly important if your auto dealership is still new and you are trying to bring in new sales.
- It improves your brand authority in your niche. The more you engage with your customers, the more they will trust you when it comes to things like car quality, car information, and more.
Luckily, there are several ways to engage with your community. For example, you can announce get-togethers or social occasions at your car lot. You can also make YouTube or Instagram videos showcasing happy customers giving real-time testimonials about the knowledge of your staff, the variety of your car selection, and so on.
Alternatively, you can engage with your community for informational purposes. For example, many of your shoppers might be on the fence about purchasing an electric car. But they might not know that insurance costs for electric cars are generally less expensive than they were just a few years ago.
If you were to point that out to your followers on social media–through a carefully crafted photo of an electric car on one of your lots with a description beneath–you could drive targeted sales action throughout your auto dealership.
Engaging with the community allows you to have a hand in how conversations flow surrounding your auto dealership. You can point things out to your customers, help spread awareness about new car dealership trends and sales, and more.
Invite and Post User-Generated Content
UGC or user-generated content is exactly what it sounds like: any content made by your users, then leveraged for social media or marketing purposes. For example, if a customer posts a review about your dealership and their experience shopping there, that’s user-generated content.
You can utilize user-generated content by:
- Highlighting positive reviews and testimonials of your auto dealership on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Inviting customers to participate in contests, social get-togethers, and other activities at your auto dealership
- Having customers showcase the interior of the cars they purchased at your lot and more
The most effective user-generated content is definitely positive testimonials. People are inclined to believe honest, unbiased reviews of products and services. The more positive reviews you can gather and showcase about your auto dealership and its inventory, the better.
Partner With Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are integral parts of the modern marketing sector. Think of these as professional social media platform actors who partner with brands and dealerships just like yours to:
- Advertise products
- Improve brand reputation
- Attract new customers
For example, you can have a social media influencer break down all the benefits of visiting your dealership or trading in a vehicle. One of the advantages of trading your car to a dealer is you’ll get instant credit to use for a new car purchase.
That’s an important benefit when you say it, but imagine it coming from a trusted influencer in the car social media scene. You could get many people dropping off their cars at your dealership, particularly if you time the influencer marketing post with a sale or special offer relating to car trades.
This is just one way to use influencers to maximum effect. Plus, as your car dealership becomes more popular and takes in more money, you can partner with even more powerful and influential social marketing experts.
Start by partnering with influencers who primarily market to people in your local area. Over time, you can partner with bigger influencers with broader audiences.
Giveaways and contests (like giving away a free $5000 coupon for a new car purchase) could help to drive engagement throughout your social media platforms. You can post about the upcoming giveaway or contest across all your social media platforms to drum up interest and anticipation.
Giveaways are great techniques to bring newcomers to your auto dealership for the first time, especially on special weekends like Memorial Day weekend. Just make sure that the participation conditions for a giveaway or contest require that people follow your social media profiles. That will ensure they are always notified about the new posts you put up online.
Experiment With Different Types of Content
As you build up your social media presence, remember that you can post many different types of content. For example, there are:
- Video posts, which are perfect for showcasingvi some of your new vehicles on your lot
- Stories on Instagram, which are great for advertising specific vehicles and driving consumer interest
- Image posts, which can be ideal for showing new cars on the lot
Depending on your target audience and what kind of activity you want to drive, one or another content type might be ideal. For example, if you want to announce a special sale, a basic image post with a brief description and the right hashtags could work.
On the other hand, if you want a customer testimonial telling the social media platforms across the Internet how great your dealership is, a short video post is even better, whether you post it on Instagram or TikTok.
Be Personal With Marketing
People demand personalization with modern online marketing and for good reason. They don’t want to feel like nameless cogs in your marketing machine. With that in mind, you can personalize your social media marketing and build up influence by:
- Naming customers and drivers in your social media posts, giving them friendly shout-outs
- Highlighting the people who purchased a new car on your website or social media profiles
- Inviting individuals to write reviews and experiences with your auto dealership and sign their names
These help to lend authenticity to your overall social media marketing experience. Perhaps more importantly, they also show on-the-fence drivers and shoppers that the positive testimonials you’ve posted online come from real people, not fake personas you created purely for advertising.
Last but not least, try to post across different social media platforms consistently and at the same time every day or week. There are two big reasons for this:
- It allows your social media followers to anticipate your next marketing drop or special discount.
- You’ll be rewarded by social media marketing algorithms.
Brands and individuals who post most consistently are highlighted on social media feeds more often. Therefore, if you want to be noticed as often as possible, post as consistently as you can, preferably at least once or twice per week.
The tactics discussed above will help you build and maintain an effective, engaging social media presence for your target shoppers. The more you stick with these strategies, the more potent your social media profiles will become–and the more money you’ll make from your target drivers.