Five Social Media Strategies Your Dealership Should Be Using

Since 60 percent of car buyers research vehicle information online before visiting showrooms, your dealership needs to be active on social media platforms to reach these potential buyers.

As technology and social media platforms change, your strategy for reaching consumers on those platforms should change accordingly.

Improve your bottom line in 2020 by using the following five social media strategies:

  • Dominate with online video content
  • Use augmented reality (AR) on Instagram
  • Utilize social media for customer service
  • Personalize ad content for increased engagement
  • Encourage user-generated content (UGC)

Social media is an integral part of today’s tech-savvy consumers. If you are not reaching them on these platforms, you could be losing sales to your competition.

1. Dominate With Online Video Content

Video content has dominated social media platforms and it continues to dominate. Check out these statistics from the online magazine Social Media Today:

  • About 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily.
  • More than 5 billion videos are viewed on YouTube each day.
  • On average, 82 percent of users on Twitter watch videos.

According to a white paper compiled by Cisco, videos will make up 82 percent of online content by 2022. You can dominate social media platforms by optimizing how you create and share video content.

Connect With Consumers Through Online Videos

There are a variety of ways you can connect with consumers on social media platforms.

  • Feature the dealership with a behind-the-scenes look at your showroom.
  • Share how-to videos for the top five ways to manage winter driving.
  • Creatively showcase vehicles with interior and exterior 360-degree videos.
  • Ask customers to share UGC with a special hashtag.
  • Promote new vehicle rollouts and sales events with special video content.

Create video content that is original, exciting, and different from your competitors’ so you can connect with consumers and improve lead conversion.

2. Use Augmented Reality on Instagram

Social media platforms like Instagram have made AR filters available to users. Instagram recently partnered with Spark AR to make their AR platform available to creators.

These AR filters are popular and have been used to enhance the way the more than 600 million daily active users on Instagram view and share content.

  • Branded AR Filters – You can create a branded AR filter and share it on the Stories or Highlights for your Instagram account. Users can use your branded filter and share it to their followings. The reach potential for your dealership is exponential when you create “brand ambassadors” this way.

You can visit the Spark AR Studio online to find helpful tips on navigating the interface and creating branded AR filters on Instagram. The Spark AR creator’s community allows you to see examples from other creators, network, and get support.

3. Utilize Social Media for Customer Service

Social media platforms were designed to enhance connections among people.

Through the years, brands have found ways to optimize their connections with leads and customers by showcasing new product rollouts, like dealerships featuring new vehicles.

Change the way you interact with consumers in 2020 by utilizing social media for customer service.

  • Authenticity – Genuine interactions with users on social media can increase conversion rates and help build lifelong customers for your dealership.
  • Real Time – Monitoring your social media accounts to ensure timely responses to users who have questions can cultivate trust with consumers.
  • Support – Whenever you can answer a customer support question about your dealership, you can potentially prevent negative reviews from being posted.
  • Hashtags – Strategically create hashtags that are synonymous with your brand to enhance the way followers connect with your dealership.

An added benefit to using social media platforms for enhanced customer service is that your interactions on Twitter, for example are open for all to see. Sure, you can use direct messages (DM) on Twitter or Facebook Messenger to keep communications private. But when interactions with customers and leads occur publicly, that gives your dealership a chance to shine. Make every effort to put the consumer first and show other prospective leads that you are a customer-focused dealership.

4. Personalize Ad Content for Increased Engagement

Facebook’s worldwide advertising revenue totaled $67.37 billion for 2019. That revenue is expected to rise to $80.93 billion in 2020 and $94.69 billion in 2021.

Personalization is a key component in reaching consumers to boost sales for your dealership.

With changes to various social media platforms, you have enhanced customization options for targeting potential customers. They enable you to display timely personalized ads for maximized engagement.

Video Ads – Show 360-degree views of vehicles with videos displayed in Facebook Advertising

Since Facebook is the largest social media platform with approximately 2.4 billion active monthly users, this step will focus on personalizing ad content for this network.

There are multiple Facebook ad types that you can focus on for your dealership campaign:

  • Stories Ads – Show videos vertically in a full-screen format instead of a widescreen format where users need to turn their mobile devices to watch.
  • Stories Ads with AR – Use animation and filter options so users can interact with Stories Ads that your dealership displays for increased engagement.
  • Image Ads – Visually pleasing images work best for the single image ad. You can include this image in up to six ads within a single ad set.
  • Messenger Ads – You can display “click-to-messenger” ads, which are displayed in the news feed. They feature a CTA button so the user can communicate through your dealership’s Facebook page.
  • Instant Experience Ads – Facebook introduced Canvas ads in 2016. These full-screen ad formats are now called Instant Experience Ads for links to landing pages that load up to 15 times faster than mobile websites.
  • Lead Ads – If you want to easily capture lead contact information with limited typing for the user, then lead ads are the way to go for your campaign.
  • Slideshow Ads – Compile a collection of content like text, photos, or current video clips to include in a short video slideshow ad.
  • Carousel Ads – Display up to 10 images in carousel ads where you can feature various views of a new vehicle rollout to entice viewers.
  • Collection Ads – These ads are for mobile viewing only. You can display up to five products that are showcased in clickable images.
  • Stories or Newsfeed – They can be displayed as ads within longer video ads.
  • Video Poll Ads – They’re for mobile viewing only and have interactive polls.

Displaying the right ad at the right time to the right customer is the goal of customization options targeting specific customers related to their purchasing history.

Consider the following ways to personalize ads on Facebook:

  • Sequential Retargeting – This remarketing strategy hones in on a target market based on actions they’ve already taken, such as leads who’ve already clicked through to your landing page or website. Display a variety of ads to the same leads over a set time period and the right one might engage them.
  • Re-Engagement Strategy – With this strategy, you are trying to engage leads or customers with your brand by offering a new discount or exclusive offer. The ad content and timing of the offer is personalized for the specific lead.
  • Optimized Remarketing – Customize the audience by targeting Facebook users who have had touchpoints with your dealership like those who’ve visited your website or connected on your Facebook Page. You can customize for location, age range, and income.

5. Encourage User-Generated Content

Millennials are individuals ages 18–36. They may be an untapped purchasing market for your dealership. Many millennials spend on average 18 hours a day online and viewing social media platforms and approximately 30 percent of what they view is UGC.

The trend of user-generated content will continue to rise in 2020. If your dealership hasn’t yet taken advantage of this social media strategy, consider integrating that into your action plan for the new year.

UGC can be a gold mine for enhancing the way consumers see your brands. You can leverage UGC as a simple yet effective marketing strategy. UGC can be anything from comments on social media posts to reviews or testimonials, or photos submitted with hashtags for recognition by your brand.

Consider the following ways you can use UGC to your advantage:

  • Testimonials – Ask customers who recently purchased from your dealership to use a specific branded hashtag and post a photo of them in the vehicle.
  • Contests – Host a contest for the most creative video or photo from a customer in honor of a holiday next year or a sales event at your dealership.

Remember to continually engage with followers on social media so that when you ask for UGC, it will be freely given. Responding to followers continues to build trust in your brand.

Don’t be afraid to incentivize the process by offering a special discount to the winner of your contest or to the customer who shared the best testimonial.

Establishing your dealership as one that engages with followers and embraces UGC content will take time, but the investment will be worth it.

Start Implementing Your Social Media Strategy Today

Boost sales at your dealership in 2020 by implementing these five social media strategies. Focus on creating dynamic video content that will dominate these networks. Create branded AR filters and increase engagement on Instagram.

Showcase your dealership as a customer-focused establishment that effectively uses social media for optimized customer service. Personalize the ad experience on Facebook to improve your conversion rates.

Connect with the millennial audience that enjoys creating and experiencing UGC.

The J&L Marketing team can help your dealership excel in implementing these five social media strategies.

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