In the same way that social media connects friends, families, and acquaintances, social media is a powerful way for brands to connect with customers. When used correctly, it can help engage customers, both new and old, as well as establish the identity of your auto shop.
Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, the basic principles of social media apply: professionalism, personality, and a hearty dose of entertainment value. Here are some guidelines for what and when to post on social media.
DO Mix up Post Content
Often, auto shops treat social media like a place to push their services and post about various discounts and promotions. While you can certainly use social media to spread the word about these events, you’ll want to create content that is not directly related to selling a product.
Remember, as an auto shop, you and your team possess a wealth of proprietary knowledge related to vehicles, and social media can be a great way to share some of this information. As well as promotions, your social media accounts might share tips related to car maintenance or explanatory content that helps people understand how their cars work.
Fun posts are also a good idea. These can be used to wish followers happy holidays or congratulate team members on their birthdays or work anniversaries.
While neither of these post types relates directly to sales, they generate interest and give people a reason to check out your page, even when they’re not planning an immediate service need.
DO Post Photos and Videos
One study finds that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than posts that are purely text. Because of this, you’ll want to utilize images and video whenever possible.
Luckily, auto shops provide fertile ground for creating this type of media. You have your team take photos of your shop, all of the interesting vehicles that enter it, and your team. So rather than simply posting a text explainer of how to know when it’s time to change your oil, you might accompany this post with a photo of a dry dipstick and spent filter. This will help your posts stick out on crowded news feeds.
DON’T Ignore Customer Comments and Questions
Unlike other forms of marketing––billboards and radio ads, for example––social media creates a two-way street, one in which customers can immediately interact with your business through comments and messages. As part of your social media strategy, it’s important to respond to customers.
If someone has a question, you should answer it. If a person compliments your business, you should thank them. The goal is to make people feel as though they’re interacting directly with your auto shop, which will ultimately increase their engagement and build trust.
DO Establish Your Brand Voice
While every business takes a different approach to its voice, you’ll want to gradually establish a specific style of post for your auto shop. Perhaps your auto shop has a serious and professional voice, one that frequently provides no-nonsense, detailed advice related to car maintenance. Alternatively, you might go the more playful route and post photos of every dog that enters your shop.
No matter which type of voice you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s friendly, approachable, and free from spelling errors.
DON’T Be Unprofessional
As well as utilizing proper grammar, you’ll want to avoid alienating customers by posting about inappropriate, charged, or divisive topics. For example, while it might be funny to post a photo of a totaled car in your shop that mocks its driver, this might come off as cruel to some viewers.
Similarly, while you might feel passionate about an upcoming election, remember that — especially in our current polarized times — posting support for a particular candidate may effectively alienate half of your clientele.
Additionally, when a customer leaves a nasty comment or review, you’ll want to hold your temper and respond to them in a professional manner. Doing so also allows you to better understand their issues and potentially regain their loyalty.
DO Be Consistent
When posting on social media, you’ll want to create a regular cadence of posts that you can maintain. This could mean posting as often as every day or as infrequently as once per week. The goal is consistency, making your business more visible to all who follow you.
One way to accomplish this is to create a content calendar that outlines what you plan to post for an entire month or longer. This way, you can even create all of your posts in a single day, schedule them ahead of time, and let everything run its course.
DO Give your Customers a Voice
Whenever customers post a positive review on Facebook or Google, you might consider sharing this on your feed. This helps to establish social proof, demonstrating to followers that you not only care about their feedback but that you also can provide a valuable service.
One way to do this is through BayIQ, a software built specifically for auto shops. BayIQ has a feature that allows you to automatically publish customer reviews on your social media accounts. BayIQ will even send out automated emails to customers that ask them to submit said reviews, increasing the likelihood that you obtain their valuable feedback.
If you’re looking to streamline the process of social media marketing, then BayIQ is a great place to start. It provides you with all the tools you need to more efficiently manage multiple social media accounts, and it even includes an online scheduling tool.
To get started with BayIQ, you can request a free demo here.