Game of Phones: Instagram and Why Your Dealership Should Not Ignore it Anymore
Instagram tends to evoke images of bushy-bearded men from Brighton sharing snaps of the activated almond and probiotic cashew nut mung bean lunch they’re about to tuck into. Similarly, you could be excused for expecting a tidal-wave of toilet selfies, declarations of love etched into sandy beaches and cats with bread on their face.
The reality is that this mobile tool is fast proving to be a powerful ally for businesses across the country, motor dealerships included…
In a nutshell, Instagram is as simple as… well, a nutshell. It peels back the features found in the likes of Facebook and Twitter and what’s left is a clean, vibrant photo sharing platform. By performing a simple hashtag search (we’ll get on to them in a minute), users are instantly connected with thousands of images relevant to their point of interest. A search for #usedcars for example, could potentially direct them to a photo that you have uploaded and if they like what they see, they will continue to your dealership profile.
Hashtag searches are usually one to three words without spaces preceded by a #. For example, instead of searching for ‘Mazdas for sale in Coventry’ one would search #mazdacoventry or #mazda #coventry In order to increase the chance of users finding your photo you will need to attribute relevant hashtags to them. Unlike Twitter, there is no character limit so you can apply some context to your photo with a caption in addition to as many #keywords as you feel necessary. Remember though, too many can look desperate and others may mistake your content for spam.
Perhaps, but there’s more than one way to get noticed on Instagram. Conduct your own search for users who have a mutual passion for motors, follow their profiles and comment (remember, this is social media.) Unlike that old family friend you may have on Facebook who insists on hourly updates about how unfathomably cute their baby/dog is, Instagram only subjects users to content they want to see. When a person likes what they see from the individual or business that just followed them, they will more often than not return the favour.
No. Realistically, it is unlikely that anyone will actually take to Instagram in order to conduct a search for their next vehicle but that shouldn’t be your mission statement in the first place. Instagram’s USP is that almost all shared images are genuine photos taken by its users and won’t be found on Google et al. If you can garner a respectable following through the photos you share, there’s every chance that should one of them want to buy a car, they will have you at the forefront of their mind, view your profile and follow the link you’ve embedded into your bio through to your website. Get it right and followers can become customers.
Whilst one or two images of your dealership logo is fine, it’s unlikely to attract many followers. Use this medium to present the interpersonal side of your business. Are you involved in a charity fundraiser? Snap and share! Does one of your team have a bizzare collection of Star Wars memorabilia on their desk? Snap and share! Did Spurs give Arsenal a hiding last night? Snap and share your sales manager’s miserable, miserable face. Take the opportunity to highlight any weird and wonderful vehicles that come through your door or simply offer a “Happy Friday.” Instagram now allows for short videos to be shared and uploading tips for first time buyers is a great example of how you can offer users reason to follow and stay engaged with you.
Dealerships could be excused for dismissing Instagram as a waste of time but ask yourself what you have to lose? It’s free, simple and exposes your business to an entirely new pool of potential customers. Grant access to your entire workforce and you’ve got an instant team building exercise and an army of snappers to bolster your outreach. Embrace Instagram today as part of your social media mix.
Why not attend Spidersnet’s free social media workshop on 16th February for more tips on how social media can turbocharge your dealership. To book your place click here!
If you are not a Spidersnet customer already and you would like to know more about our services, provide us with your details below and we will give you a call!