It’s the oldest rule of marketing: Business owners must be where their customers are. In today’s world, most consumers are active on some form of social media, and Facebook in particular. What that means for used car dealers is simple: You ignore social media sites at your own peril.
For dealers with little prior social marketing experience, however, getting started on social media isn’t something that necessarily comes easy. To help get the ball rolling, we’ve put together five important rules of marketing in the Facebook era.
1.Invest in relationships.
Social media marketing isn’t something that yields fruit overnight. You’re not going to put an ad on Facebook and immediately have a long line of brand new customers the very next day. It takes time and it requires patience. What you’re doing is developing your authority and creating relationships in the online space—and as with any relationship, your Facebook relationships will take some nurturing.
2. Accurate information is the first step.
Even before you start posting content to social media sites, spend a few minutes ensuring that your dealership’s contact information is accurately displayed across all your social media channels, as well as online review sites like Yelp. For SEO purposes, it’s deeply important to have your address and phone number listed consistently across these different sites. Also, make sure your name is presented in a consistent way; having one site say Al’s Used Cars and one say Al’s Used Car Lot is problematic.
3.Consistency is key.
If you post to your Facebook page once every six months, you shouldn’t expect to see much reward from it. Social networking is like a beast that must constantly be fed—and if you’re not putting new content out there on a regular basis (once daily, or at least five times weekly), your audience will dwindle.
4.Social marketing requires collaboration.
Get with your sales team before you start your social marketing endeavor, and ask how you can help push leads through the sales funnel. Make sure you know what kinds of buyers they are looking for, and how social media posts can help educate and qualify those buyers. Make social marketing a true team effort.
5.Have a budget.
A Facebook account might be free, but social media marketing ultimately isn’t something you can do well without spending some money. Make sure you have a budget in place to take out social media ads, to promote your best posts, etc. You’ve simply got to put some money into the pot to achieve any kind of results—which is not to say that organic reach is unattainable; it’s simply not enough.
Dealerships can build their credibility through social media sites—and develop a keen competitive edge in the process. Use these tips to begin that process today, and start reaching out to your consumers right where they are! It takes time, but the results can be well worth it.