As you may already be aware, here at Spidersnet, we are working hard to ensure that all of our dealers are well versed in the world of online marketing. Our dedicated team has been working tirelessly to ensure that our Spidersnet Learning Hub is constantly being updated with fresh and informative guides.
Today we are going to focus on social media, and its importance to car dealers up and down the country. This is the first in a number of social media guides that will take, step-by-step, through all it has to offer you and your dealership. Seeing as this is the first guide we will be sticking mainly to the basics. But if you come back for more at a later date, we will have more in depth guides that go into more of the specifics.
So first off…
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA
As you are most probably already aware, the umbrella term ‘social media’ covers a huge range of websites and applications that often provide very different services to their users. For example Instagram is a platform on which users are mainly encouraged to share photos that they have taken, whereas somewhere like Twitter focuses on allowing its users to share short messages or ‘updates’ with others.
Due to the fact that all social media platforms and websites vary drastically, we thought that we would give you a brief outline of the most important platforms that car dealers can utilise!
Facebook is the world’s most popular and most used social channel. In fact, at the tail end of 2014 they announced that they had over 1.3 billion people checking their accounts at least once a month. Now that is a hell of a lot of people. In fact the actual figure was over 1.35 billion, which is pretty much the whole population of China.
As well as having a ridiculously huge number of users, Facebook is also ingrained in modern culture and is a place where most people interact with others. People share photos, videos and updates on Facebook and they also use it to speak with friends, arrange events, and get updates on current affairs or information on almost whatever niche they want.
“There are over 1.35 billion people on Facebook, which is the same as the entire population of China!”Adam Rowden
However, one other thing that Facebook can be useful for, is finding a new car! More and more car dealers up and down the UK are signing up to Facebook and utilising it to spread news, gain new customers and advertise cars. Modern day consumers often take to Facebook in order to browse for new vehicles, and a lack of presence on this platform could leave you missing out on potential customers. Want to find out more about Facebook for car dealers? Read ou guide and find out how you can utilise Facebook to help drive new leads, interact with your target audience and ultimately boost business.
Twitter is another incredibly popular social media platform that is used by around 236 million active users. Twitter dedicates itself to ‘microblogging’, allowing its users to post messages to others, with a 140 letter character limit. Individuals and businesses can have Twitter profiles and ‘follow’ whoever they want. Similar to Facebook, users only see Tweets from people they follow, or tweets that have been ‘retweeted’ by people they follow. Anyway, that’s enough of explaining what Twitter is…
As with Facebook, Twitter is a great way for users to interact directly with each other and has been adopted by many as a means of contacting businesses to ask questions regarding what they have to offer.
We’d recommend that all car dealers get on Twitter and dedicate some time to managing their profile properly. It is a fantastic place to interact with potential customers, get some much needed brand awareness and even get new customers. Again, we will soon be writing a detailed guide to how you, the dealers, can utilise Twitter to best effect, so make sure you keep an eye on the Spidersnet Learning Hub!
Instagram is another popular social media platform that focuses entirely on the posting and sharing of photos. With over 300 million monthly active users, it is a platform that really shouldn’t be overlooked. Whilst some people may find it odd to have a whole application dedicated simply to sharing images, it is a highly interactive tool that allows users to post the images that they have uploaded to other platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
With the ability to add filters to your images, Instagram allows everyone to be creative and the general consensus is to ensure that your images are aesthetically pleasing. This is great for car dealers as it provides you with an opportunity to share nice looking pictures of the cars you have for sale, without it being considered spammy.
“Reach an engaged community on Instagram. Imstagrammers are passionate about the platform and their love for amazing imagery. You’ll reach people who are open to new perspectives.”Instagram
Instagram is a more difficult platform to actively get customers and new business from, however, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. At some point down the line we will write a more detailed guide to offer you some more insight into how you can use Instagram to great effect at your dealership.
LinkedIn is like Facebook for businesses. It is a place where people can connect with colleagues, business partners, clients and other people from within their industry. There are currently over 200 million people using LinkedIn around the globe and it’s popularity as a tool for networking is on the up.
Whilst businesses and companies are allowed to set up their own profiles on LinkedIn, most users prefer to interact directly with other individuals. We feel that all dealers should be on LinkedIn as it offers you a huge range of opportunities. Again, as with all of the above, we will offer a much more detailed guide to LinkedIn at a later date.
“Generate business lead and strengthen current customer relationships by sharing valuable and rich content via company updates. Connecting with your audience has never been easier.”Linked In
WHAT TO POST
All of the social media channels listed above are different. We have established this. However, what they all allow you to do is interact with other people. And in this day and age, with so many people having an online presence, online interaction is very important for businesses. Here are just a handful of ways in which social media can be useful to car dealers…
As I stated above, the ability to interact with a huge number of people online is extremely handy for dealers and all businesses in general. Not only does this allow you and your business the chance to get your message out to an audience of potential customers, but it also allows your customers and other people the chance to interact with you.
The value of this cannot be underestimated. If a potential customer is thinking of purchasing a car from you, they may well wish to get in touch first to ask an important question. Whilst they may do this by picking up the phone, it is likely that a lot of people would opt to get in touch over social channels to make their first contact. And a lack of presence could leave you missing out on these initial interactions, which could, in turn, mean you missing out on potential sales.
Show off your stock
All car dealers need their potential customers to see their stock. Obviously this is easy to do when people are wandering around your forecourt, but if you’re aiming to reach out to new audiences and encourage people to make their way to your dealership, then broadcasting your stock online is a great idea.
Now, there are a number of websites and aggregators that you can use to broadcast your stock. These include Friday-Ad, Ebay Motors, Motors.co.uk and more (most of which Spidersnet can broadcast to on your behalf). However, another great way to promote your stock is by posting it to your social channels.
By taking good pictures of your cars and sending them out into the world of social media, you are working towards raising interest in what you have to offer. Some platforms are better than others for this, for example, you definitely don’t want to spam your followers on Facebook and Twitter with constant posts showing off your cars. But well thought out, not-too-frequent, posts can be extremely useful.
Show a personal side
Social media allows people to show off their personalities around the web. Celebs use Twitter to show ‘who they really are’ and there is no reason why you can’t use the range of different platforms available to you to show off the different characters at the dealership. A lot of people in the UK claim to not trust car dealers. in fact, the RAC recently revealed that one third of car owners, wouldn’t go back to the same dealer in the future. This means that if you get the opportunity to show people who you are, and show off the people behind the business, you can reassure potential customers that you are a reputable dealership.
If people are put off going to dealerships due to the negative connotations that they may have associated with car dealers, then you should do all you can to show you are kind, fun and trustworthy people. If you post photos of your staff in the office and on the forecourt, and offer an insight into the day-to-day running of the dealership, then potential customers may feel like they know you a bit better and might be more inclined to pop in and look at your stock.
This is not necessarily always the case, but there is most definitely something to be said for having a bit of character and personality online. It is more interesting than a constant stream of stock updates that’s for sure.
Keep people up to date
Social channels are also a great way for you to keep customers, and other people who follow you, up to date with changes at the dealership. If you have new staff starting work, why not let your followers on Facebook know? If you are offering a discount for a limited period only, then why not tweet it out to spread the word?
You can use your social channels as a message board to help you spread whatever news you want. By posting on the pages of other large local message boards and groups, or using certain hashtags, you can get your message out to a large number of potential customers!
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