Social media is an invaluable marketing tool. For many businesses, it is the primary medium for acquiring new customers. Auto repair shops are no exception.
With easy access, social media marketing can help your company stay relevant and keep customers engaged so that when an auto issue arises, your auto repair shop is top of mind.
With that said, there are some strategies that have proven to be ineffective. Before you start allocating your budget to social media, here are automotive social media trends to avoid.
1. Underestimating Paid
The simple act of being present and active on social media will certainly help you grow organically. But, an organic-only approach is limiting. In fact, the average organic Facebook reach is just over 5% of a pages likes while paid is 28%. Benefits of allocating part of your budget to paid social advertising include:
- Targeting- Most social media platforms allow you to target specific audiences that are relevant to your brand.
- Retargeting- On average, it takes 7 touchpoints before a consumer will convert to a sale making the utilization of retargeting through social media ads imperative.
- Analytics- Providing the ability to track clicks, conversions, views, etc, paid advertising on social media can give you critical insights into what type of advertising and engagement works for your customers.
Worried about your budget? Don’t be. Most platforms offer a pay-per-click model so you will only be charged when users engage with your brand. You can also set a daily budget so that the platform automatically stops when it’s been reached.
2. Automated Responses
While chatbots have become increasingly popular and useful, many customers still prefer a personal touch. This doesn’t mean every communication you send must be personally written–that would take years–it means to be personal where it counts.
Messages on Facebook, for example, offer a good opportunity to personally respond. Those who have left reviews should also get a personal response to show them (and others) how much you value their feedback.
When it comes to other less bespoke marketing efforts, however, automation is the way to go. BayIQ provides the auto repair industry with an automated marketing platform that streamlines the remaining aspects of your business, such as soliciting reviews, email and text marketing, and a loyalty rewards program so that you have time to be more personal in other areas.
3. Obvious Sales Pitches
Your goal should be to engage–not annoy. Social media users are there to keep in touch with people and brands they care about, not have businesses throw sales talk at them.
There are other, more creative and fruitful ways to promote an auto shop’s services and offerings without making it obvious.
- Think about your audience, not yourself- What does your customer base want to see? A great way to find out is by asking them directly through a Facebook or Instagram poll. Give them three or four options and let your audience do the rest. This way, you can not only ensure that the content you’re putting out will engage customers but also demonstrate how much you value their feedback.
- Get on their level- Keep the jargon out of it. As an expert in the automotive industry, you might be compelled to advertise your knowledge, but there’s a time and place. Today, gaining customer trust and loyalty is holistic and takes more than simply convincing them that you know how to do your job. That’s why speaking to them in a language they understand will help you foster long-term relationships.
- Work the platforms- Every social media app— Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube— is different. The key is knowing what content to share on each and actively managing each of them. Consider utilizing social media automation platforms such as Buffer and Hootsuite.
4. Getting Too Personal
Part of the appeal of a small business is that it’s personal. And because of that, customers expect a more personalized experience and treatment. Don’t get too carried away—there is a line, and it’s important to show that you’re there for customers in a real way without going off brand.
To help you understand the boundary, here are some do’s and don’ts of being personal as an auto repair shop:
- Don’t take pictures of your blown out tire and make a sales pitch about your shop.
- Do tell a brief story about the importance of knowing how to change a tire with a video tutorial.
- Don’t DM people you know through your personal social media accounts to advertise your shop.
- Do utilize Google and Facebook adverts in order to reach customers who live in your area.
- Don’t pester customers while they’re in your shop about why they didn’t leave a review.
- Do send automated emails kindly asking for reviews after every service.
5. Manually Managing Your Accounts
There are many platforms out there that can support your social media efforts and that it’s almost become antiquated not to use one. WIth that said, investing in a system tailored for the auto repair industry can put you ahead of the competition.
BayIQ is a marketing automation platform built by auto repair shop experts for the auto repair industry. They offer a wide range of features from email and text marketing to report and analytics generation to soliciting and automatically posting reviews.
The reality is–staying ahead of the social media game takes time, so automate where you can with a reliable, effective platform that will help build long-term relationships and increase car count.