With 95 percent of today’s car shoppers beginning their vehicle path-to-purchase online, the importance of delivering an engaging, connected digital experience to potential customers is more critical than ever before.
But how can you set your dealership apart from the rest when everyone faces the same challenges and opportunities? Sometimes, messaging that exists on the periphery of typical dealership marketing campaigns can make all the difference in attracting and maintaining customers. It can also be the key factor in creating repeat purchasers – those devoted to your dealership that consider your business a loyal partner.
For example, communicating your dealership’s involvement in your local community via social channels nurtures customer relationships and loyalty, and can greatly support other marketing efforts. While attractive deals and pricing are obviously important components, a sound community management strategy, one that builds strong dealership ties to the local community, can greatly improve customer demand through awareness and interest. People want to support a business that demonstrates involvement and investment in its local community.
Here are four tips for an optimized social presence:
1. Introduce your dealership team.
The word “face” is in the very name of the world’s most popular social network. Why not showcase your dealership’s team and put faces behind your brand. Facebook is a great mode to introduce your dealership team. From the general manager to your newest service technician, you choose the individuals, departments, or the entire staff on which to focus. Make it a weekly social event and post on the same day. Create a name for the posts and hashtag them. #TipTuesday.
2. Volunteer and fundraise to benefit a cause within your community.
Social media and corporate social responsibility (CSR) go together well, and not just because they have a word in common. It’s critical to highlight your dealership’s CSR on your website, and a really good practice to continue the conversation on social channels. Post photos, updates, and stories involving the cause and your efforts. Get customers involved by engaging them in the social conversation. In addition, broadcast your charitable fundraising efforts. You can host contests, raffles, and games on social media – great for both raising funds and generating customer engagement.
3. Promote your dealership’s differentiators.
What makes your dealership unique? Why is it different than the one down the street? Let’s take a dog-friendly dealership, for example. Not all dealerships welcome them. But if your dealership does allow dogs inside the showroom, let the world know on social media. Craft a quick write-up about “Max, the Golden Retriever, his human,” and the new truck they bought from your dealership, and snap a photo or two of the happy (and possibly panting) new owners next to or inside of the vehicle. Make the dog the star of the story, and post it.
Social media is the perfect medium to keep your dealership relevant to both new customers and those that have bought from you. You do a lot more than just sell cars. Make sure your community knows about all of the ways in which you are involved.
Michelle Meagher is a Managed Services digital campaign coordinator at Dealer.com