You have a sign in front of your dealership that can be seen from miles away. Your cars are lined up perfectly on the lot. You’ve done everything you can to prepare for your private sale. You’re just waiting for the ups to start rolling in.

There’s just one problem.

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One study revealed that 87 percent of car buyers research potential car purchases on social media before making a purchase!1 Which means, if you aren’t using social media right, you might as well be invisible.

Shoppers are using social media sites more than ever during their car-buying journey.

You Need to Be Using the Right Channels

The key to getting the most out of your social media is understanding what channels provide the best value for a dealership.

If Facebook was a country, it would be the largest in the world. For advertisers, Facebook provides the largest reach and broadest range of audiences of all the social media outlets.2 It provides the great ROI of any channel. You can target specific people and promote any type of content you choose. The only downside is that everyone knows this and the world of Facebook advertising is extremely competitive. But, as a dealer, you’re used to competition.

Gmail boasts over a billion active users and cost-effective advertising. With Gmail advertising, you can reach potential customers who may have opted out of your promotional emails and utilize the power of customer-matched audiences.

Don’t overlook YouTube, either. Sixty-nine percent of people who used YouTube while buying a car were influenced by it – more than TV, newspapers, or magazines.3 Plus, you can repurpose commercials onto YouTube and get more out of your marketing!

Outlets like Gmail, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more can be overshadowed by the results found on Facebook, but each of these outlets provide different strengths. Consider how many active users are on each channel, how many you can target, what type of user is on each, and what they might use each channel for.

You need to be using the right channels because, ultimately, they will help you raise brand awareness and develop stronger relationships with your current and prospective customers.

Why You Need to Use Images

Humans process images 60,000 times faster than any other type of data.4 If you want your message to be seen, you need to be using compelling images in your social media that will resonate with your users!

Images linked with information (like a Facebook post with an image) can help people retain information by as much as 55 percent over a period of three days.5

So, not only are people using social media to research potential vehicles and see user reviews, they’re influenced by it.  And, they’re influenced by it for a longer period of time when there are compelling images involved.

Incorporate VIN-specific imagery for the ultimate influence. If they’ve recently viewed a specific vehicle online, VIN-specific ads re-market to them with the exact vehicle they viewed and remind them of their latest search.

Why You Need to Tell a Story

The goal of social media is to engage with your viewers and move them towards your dealership. You want to influence them at the right moment of their car buying journey by using videos, testimonials, and personality to get their attention. Don’t miss any opportunities!

Now, I could get into the science of storytelling and why humans are psychologically wired to respond to stories, but that’s not necessarily the point.

You need to tell a story because it’s proven to get results.6 To quote an article from HootSuite, “Stories are inherently social, and social media is about making connections.”7 You need to tell a story with your social media in order to build a strong connection with your readers/viewers.

This doesn’t mean that you need to hire creative writers and give each vehicle on your lot an intricate backstory, it simply means that you need to make sure that your social images relate to your social text and that they engage people long enough to provoke a response.

Your story could be as simple as a sales event or a new model release, but you’ll want to make sure you present that information in a way that tells your audience why your post is important and what they need to do in response.

Remarketing and event promotional ads are perfect ways to engage with your viewers through social media. If you’re getting ready to host a private sale, you can promote the sale on Facebook, through Gmail, and event YouTube ads. Whether they’ve visited your website before or are simply browsing their newsfeed, you can promote ads that relate to your carefully targeted customers and evoke a response with the “story” of your sale or offers.

Why You Need Social Media to Increase Showroom Traffic

Much has changed with the car sales business, but one thing has not. Keep in mind what your social media goal is. You need to get vehicle shoppers into your showroom. They’ll research online, but they’ll buy in person.

Your social media viewers may not immediately visit your showroom, but your presence online will affect their decisions in the future.

Dealers that understand marketing know that every marketing channel a customer interacts with is critical to their final purchase.

No one outlet is responsible for the final sale – all are necessary to give the customers the information they need to purchase a vehicle. By providing the information they need across social media, you’ll engage your customers with information they want through their preferred medium.

So, whether your leads ultimately come from Facebook, Gmail, YouTube, or directly from our website, each outlet is a worthwhile investment of time and money.

These days, people only visit 1.4 dealerships before making a purchase. You need to be the first so you can be the last.