With 3.5 billion users worldwide, social media is an unavoidable tool for your business if you want to make an impact. In fact, 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. That’s why it’s important to implement a full automotive social media strategy so you can maintain a strong online presence and attract a larger audience to your small business.
Have a Plan
Among the top five social media platforms, experts suggest auto repair shops should utilize Facebook, Instagram, and/or Youtube, as they are great ways to engage potential customers and encourage referrals. Here are the in’s and out’s of each:
- Target audience- Facebook is perfect for targeting an audience both young and older with 24% at ages 18-24 and 10.4% are aged 45-54.
- How often to post- Studies show that one post per day is an optimal amount for most businesses, as it keeps customers updated but not overwhelmed.
- Best time to post- Between 1pm and 3pm on weekdays and Saturdays.
- Type of content- News such as current and future sales and promotions, upcoming launches, and events. Post pictures of your products, shop, and team. In addition to general updates, you can also engage directly with your customer base.
- Target audience- Instagram is a great way to communicate with your younger customers as most of its users are ages 34 and under.
- How often to post- Instagram has multiple platforms so you should take advantage and post two or three temporary stories daily, and only one permanent post weekly. Whatever you decide, make sure that you focus on quality and consistency— you’ll want to sustain your initial frequency so you don’t end up losing followers.
- Best time to post- Many research studies show that the best time to make permanent posts for small businesses is mid-week, ideally Wednesday.
- Type of content- Instagram is all about pleasing the eye, so be sure to capture content that is high-quality and visually engaging. Don’t be afraid to be creative! You can post stories showing videos of you and your crew hard at work in the shop or pictures exhibiting your teams’ skills as mechanics or the before and after of an interior detailing.
- Target audience- Youtube engages all ages and, according to WordStream, generates 1200% more likes and shares than content containing text or even images.
- How often to post- If you want to grow your channel, consistency is key. Only commit to a sustainable schedule so that you can output quality content on a regular basis. Youtube videos take time to film and even more time to edit, so make sure to start with something manageable, such as once every month.
- Best time to post: Timing matters less when posting on Youtube because users don’t necessarily rely on a feed-system. Nevertheless, the platform receives the most traffic during the evenings and on weekends, so posting content in the early afternoons will ensure it reaches your audience during peak engagement times.
- Type of content- Highlight your skills with helpful, valuable videos like, how to change a flat tire or how to know when your car needs an oil change. This is a great way to educate the audience and gain their trust.
Engage, Engage, Engage
Garnering likes and follows is one thing, keeping them is another. That’s where engagement comes in. In fact, research shows that an average of 66% of people ages 18-54 view brands more favorably when they respond to customer service requests via social media. Here are other engagement practices to begin implementing:
- Respond to all comments or inquiries- Make sure your customers know that they are valued and that you’re there to help by replying to all comments, whether positive or negative.
- Be positive- A study done by Wired suggests that Facebook users become less engaged when negative content enters their feed. This is especially important when it comes to addressing upset customers, as your response will often determine whether they will return to your shop or not. Be understanding and empathetic.
- Offer solutions- When responding to users, offer solutions to their issues. If they had a bad experience, for example, apologize and give them an inventive to return.
- Respond quickly- Data shows that 18% of social media users expect businesses to answer questions or complaints in less than an hour. In addition, expected response times are becoming smaller and smaller, meaning the longer you take to answer, the more likely it is that the customer will remain unsatisfied.
Increase Online Reviews
Nowadays, online reviews are a necessary element of your business’s reputation. It’s important to not only increase your amount of reviews, but also to respond to reviews, both good and bad.
How to Increase Reviews
Asking for reviews in person is a great start but what are the chances that the customer will remember to do it later. That’s why following up is important. Asking them through social media or email too. Not only is it a great reminder but providing a link makes it a lot easier for them. Companies like BayIQ, automatically solicits reviews from customers after service and makes it easy to see new reviews and respond to them in one place.
Set a Goal
Every automotive social media strategy should have goals to make sure it’s effective and determine if and when the strategy needs to pivot. Place smaller benchmarks within the overarching goal so that you can track progress along the way. Identify what your goals should be by asking yourself what you want to accomplish:
- Do we want to increase car count?
- Do we want to increase average repair order? And by how much?
- How many social media followers do we want?
- What is our current star rating through Google and how can it be higher?
Don’t Do It Alone
Successfully creating and executing an automotive social media strategy is no small feat. There are social media managers for a reason— it’s a full-time job, and it should be. That’s why you should consider utilizing affordable tools to automate the process.
That’s where BayIQ comes in. BayIQ is a marketing platform built for auto repair and tire shops. The software easily integrates into your current point of sale system and offers a built-in loyalty program, the ability to solicit reviews and automatically pushes them to social platforms, and email and text marketing. You can ensure the success of your marketing efforts with the help of BayIQ.