8 Critical Social Media Engagement Tips for Car Dealerships

Let’s admit it. We’re all addicted to social media. GlobalWebIndex reported that people spend approximately 2 hours and 23 minutes daily on social media browsing and messaging.

And, with more eyes on social media than ever before due to global health concerns, digitally-driven businesses are no longer an option. It’s a necessity for all businesses, big and small.

For car dealerships, social media is an opportunity to get your business and inventory noticed by attentive, qualified buyers. But, the one problem almost every dealership faces is a lack of engagement from social media followers and potential customers.

Poor social media engagement leads to mismanaged marketing budgets, missed goals, and ineffective advertising campaigns. Let’s take a look at the top reasons why this happens to car dealerships.

4 Reasons Why You’re Not Generating Social Media Engagement

Many car dealerships are confused about why followers aren’t engaging with their social media content. After all, 76% of American consumers purchased a product after seeing a brand’s social post, according to Curalate.

So, what is your dealership doing wrong?

Typically, it boils down to one of these four reasons:

1. Too Much Content

If you’re posting several times per day on different social media channels, you’re overwhelming your audience.

As your audience becomes inundated with posts from your dealership, they’ll start to gloss over your content as it comes up on their feeds. Ever hear of banner blindness? It happens on social media, too.

This, in turn, leads to less and less engagement with your content as time goes on.

2. Posting Irrelevant Content

Listen, we all love cute animal videos or hilarious memes, but they don’t belong on your car dealership’s Facebook page. You’ve worked so hard to build a rapport with your clients, why ruin it by posting irrelevant content on your social media channels?

And, potential customers are reviewing your social media profiles to see if they want to do business with your dealership. You know how crucial first impressions are in the car buying process. Your customers are building their first impression of your dealership far before they step in the door by looking at your website, social media channels, and online reviews. Don’t let irrelevant social media posts be the reason they choose your competition!

3. Being Overly Promotional Online

Customers don’t want promotions and sales gimmicks thrown in their faces as they scroll through their newsfeeds. While you can post about a sale or promotion every once in a while, don’t let it be the only type of content on your page.

4. Social Media Silence

Another common reason for little to no social media engagement is the lack of communication from your dealership. Are you allowing weeks to pass without posting or responding to customer comments and messages? If so, it shouldn’t be a surprise that customers aren’t interacting with your content online.

8 Effective Ways to Improve Social Media Engagement

If you’ve got a social media strategy in place and are still lacking fan interaction, our eight critical tips will help you secure the likes, shares, and comments you need.

1. Create Content That Prompts Customer Interaction

The type of content you share on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. must encourage users to take a specific action. You can accomplish this through your post copy, media, or your content medium.

For instance, let’s imagine your dealership recently added a brand new 2020 Ford Ranger to your inventory lineup. Instead of quickly posting a picture of the car with a link to the online listing, film a 360-degree walk-through of the vehicle and ask customers what their favorite feature of the truck is. From there, include a link to the vehicle’s listing page and encourage users to click through for more vehicle information.

Common types of interactive social media content include:

  • Questions
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Videos
  • Trivia/Games

Get creative with your content! Mix it up. Customers appreciate when social media content is both engaging and unique to the business.

2. Curate Captivating Content

There is SO much content online. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to creating branded content, use the time you do have to curate relevant content for your social media channels.

content curation strategy is just as important as one focused on creation. This involves seeking out related content that:

  • Is aligned with your audience’s interest
  • Was created by trusted or relevant sources
  • Has an entertaining or educational value
  • You can add in your voice

Compile a database of links to this content and schedule these posts throughout your social media calendar.

Remember, it’s not enough to post the curated content. Brainstorm original post copy about the content that resonates with your audience. Also, always credit the source of the content in your post!

If possible, try to curate content from local businesses, too. Doing so will show your audience that you are an active member of your local community and want to amplify the content of surrounding businesses.

3. Ask Questions

As consumers, we want to feel as though our opinions matter. So, ask your audience questions on social media!

Followers will sound off with their answers, prompting others to reply as well. Before you know it, you and your fans will be having full conversations in the comments section of your content. And, they’ll likely share your post with their friends, driving even more engagement for your brand.

When crafting questions, be creative! While most of your questions should be related to cars, service, and maintenance, you can include questions about your local community, fans’ favorite teams, and so on. So long as your audience responds positively to the question and it provides a benefit to your business, it’s fair game!

4. Go Live

Skeptical about the benefits of live video? ZoomInfo discovered that 80% of customers would rather watch a brand’s live video than read an article.

And, 79% of marketers state that live video facilitates a more authentic interaction with an audience. Isn’t that what you’re trying to achieve by improving your social media engagement levels?

Give your fans an inside look at your dealership by going live on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other channels! The best part about live video is that the topic can be whatever your audience will respond to. The interactive nature of the live video enables you to present your topic and respond in real-time to audience comments, questions, and concerns.

For instance, your dealership can live stream topics such as:

  • Q&A sessions with the maintenance department
  • Behind-the-scenes looks at your dealership
  • Service Events
  • Walk-throughs of new cars

Your live stream video options are limitless. However, when preparing to go live on social media, make sure you review the following factors before pressing record:

  • Is your camera in focus? Is it able to capture high-quality video?
  • What’s the audio quality like? Can your viewers hear you?
  • How’s the Internet connection? Will you be cut off halfway through the video due to a poor connection?

Just like the videos you create, your live streams must offer professional, high-quality content to your viewers.

5. Collaborate With Influencers

Social media engagement isn’t limited to your dealership’s pages. Customers are talking about your dealership on their feeds and with others.

One way to encourage these conversations is by partnering with relevant influencers in your industry and community. Through these collaborations, influencers share your dealership with their audience via original posts, articles, videos, and other sponsored content. As a result, you’ll reach new individuals who might not have heard of your dealership before.

When partnering with influencers, it’s important to thoroughly explain and document your goals for the joint effort. If social media engagement is your primary objective, make sure your respective influencers tailor their content to accomplish that goal.

Identifying the right influencers to work with is key, too. Start by seeing which local influencers or celebrities you can partner with. From there, look at their follower counts and feeds. Do they post content that aligns well with your dealership? Does their post copy sound like something that would mesh well with your brand? If so, reach out and see if they’d be open to collaborating!

6. Respond to Customers on Social Media

One of the easiest ways to increase social media engagement is also the most overlooked.

Your customers are already reaching out via Facebook Messenger, Instagram comments, Google reviews, etc. Respond to them.

Seriously, it’s that easy.

By responding to customer posts, comments, and messages, you demonstrate that your business is interested in their needs and solving their problems. From there, other customers will feel comfortable interacting with your business and will reach out when they have a question or concern, too.

7. Use Relevant Hashtags

Ah, hashtags. We love them and we hate them.

Yet, they’re crucial for finding new fans online and driving up engagement rates on social media.

Social media users follow certain hashtags that speak to their personal or professional interests, specifically on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. By using these hashtags, you actively place your content in front of a larger audience than just those who follow you. As a result, you boost your chances of an improved engagement rate.

However, some dealerships make the mistake of cramming as many hashtags into a post as possible. This tactic never works and appears spammy to consumers.

Instead, research proper, relevant hashtags in advance. Popular hashtag tools include:

Hashtag tracking and performance is often an included feature in most social media scheduling platforms. Check to see if your social media tools already include this feature!

8. Post at the Right Time

Do you notice some posts receiving fantastic engagement rates, while others fall to the wayside? Aside from the context of the post, one main reason for the lack of interaction could be when you’re posting your content.

Review your social media analytics and see if there’s a correlation between posts with the most engagement and a certain time of day or day of the week. Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram already offer analytics around this insight, which your dealership can use to guide your social media strategy.

By posting at the right times throughout the day and week, you increase your chances of being seen by the most fans possible. In turn, you should see an improvement in interaction, especially if you utilize the other seven tips on our list.

Amplify Your Social Media Engagement

Your team is already swamped with on-site marketing and other promotional priorities. Let the J&L Marketing team integrate Paid Media for your sales and service, implement messaging that attracts, and in turn improves overall sales.

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