Social media provides numerous opportunities for car dealerships. Through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, dealerships can engage with current and and prospective customers faster than ever, gain more exposure [and more followers], as well as drive showroom traffic.
While engaging customers via social media isn’t the same as getting them in the door, it’s a key first step. Like any first impression, how you engage with customers via Twitter and Facebook can set the tone for the rest of your relationship. That’s why now, more than ever, dealerships should be focused on social media engagement with a goal to drive showroom traffic, not engagement for engagement sake.
Before getting started on social media, it’s critical to develop a campaign. Identify your dealership’s story, whether you will highlight a specific event/promotion, make or model for your customers to build an interest in, participate in, and get behind.
Remember, your perception of your dealership’s inventory and service bay are NOT the same as what potential and existing customers desire or think. Further, what future customers and current customers are interested in varies as well. Be sure your social media plan “speaks to” both audience groups to maximize engagement and drive showroom traffic.
While applications like ChatterUPHootSuite and TweetDeck make it easier to set up daily and weekly social media posts, don’t auto-schedule all of your tweets and updates — especially those that are repetitive and monotonous. While some auto-scheduling of posts is OK, don’t do this all the time. Set up your social media strategy so some content will be shared in real time and be sure to acknowledge those who share or engage with your company’s social-media profiles. People like to know an actual person is on the other side of an online profile.
Also, take the time to explore various methods to share and promote your inventory and service bay while also curating content from your online audience. One of the best ways to do this is to ask people questions and retweet or feature their answers on your company’s Facebook page, website, or blog.
It’s important to keep in mind not every online engagement will turn into a purchase. However, social media is a great place to connect with customers and build trust. Make sure you keep relationships with your customers growing as they click-through to your website and other social-media channels. Be sure to ask them to opt-in to your email list, too.
To protect your customer relationships, don’t blindly run the same promotions month after after; instead, provide end dates to promotions so you can measure, review and modify them to make them more successful the next time around.
Most importantly, follow up with customers who buy from you. Email them a thank-you note, share a discount code for their first oil change, or send them a tweet or post of appreciation. They will then be more likely to share their experience with your dealership with their friends, family, and followers, and you can invite them to do this, too!
Remember, the first step to drive showroom traffic is showing you’re there and offering an invitation for customers to engage with you whether they are car shopping now or will be one year from now.
To learn how you can begin engaging with prospective and current customers, check out more from ChatterUP.