On average, car buyers spend almost 14 hours researching and shopping for a vehicle, according to a Cox Automotive study, with 61% of that time spent online. But 2020 hasn’t been an average year, and today more than ever, buyers are turning to the internet when they’re ready to purchase a vehicle.
Customers want information fast, and they want it before they commit to visiting a dealership in person. But even though social distancing has become the new norm, that doesn’t mean you can’t still be social. Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites are an easy way to gain traffic when buyers are making big decisions from the comfort of their own home.
A successful social strategy takes more than just posting regular content. It takes making a connection. By posting content that educates, entertains, or inspires, you’ll gain exposure to prospective customers and build relationships that could pay off down the road.
Here are five industry-specific strategies to take your social media to the next level, so you can gain traffic and build your brand online.
1) Use Videos to Drive Sales
Searches for car reviews on YouTube have increased dramatically, with users searching for everything from detailed customer reviews to videos comparing different models head-to-head.
Highlight specific vehicles on your lot, calling out details like safety features, dashboard technology, or even financing options. Test drive videos help prospects see things from the driver’s seat without having to leave home. But make sure your videos are short and sweet—the average human attention span is only 8 seconds long.
2) Let Your Customers Tell a Story
Buyer testimonials are a great way to keep costs down while creating engaging content. But consider some other ways to engage followers with customer content:
- Ask a repeat customer if they’ll share what’s kept them coming back to you over the competition. Buyers have a lot of options, and this can help build your dealership’s value story beyond inventory and price.
- Share the happy moments. Photos of happy drivers getting their new keys for the first time can have an emotional impact—and make sure to get a quote from satisfied buyers!
3) Introduce Your Employees
The picture you paint online is as much a part of your showroom as your actual square footage. With 41% of buyers visiting only one dealership to make their purchase, the experience they have online can be what sells the car. Share pictures or videos of the people behind the scenes, and explain their role at the dealership. Buying a car can be intimidating, and the less you feel like a stranger, the better.
4) Get Personal
People like doing business with dealers who are passionate about what they do. Share why you love your job, or feature a different employee every few weeks. What’s your favorite part of selling a car? How did you get into the car business? Does your dealership have a history in the community? Make a video or share your thoughts with a post and a photo.
5) Ask Your Audience
Get some intel and interaction with a Facebook or Twitter poll. Customers appreciate the chance to share an opinion. Ask for votes on preferred car colors and features, or test their knowledge with questions about classic cars or industry trivia. You’ll gain insight, and your audience will feel even more appreciated.
Almost all dealerships have a social presence these days, but a rarely updated Facebook page won’t bring in leads. Gain name recognition, build your reputation, and help your customers through their buying journey by taking the time to craft a thoughtful social media presence. Your social media pages may be the first results a customer sees if they’ve Googled your name—make sure they like what they find.