With companies slowly transitioning marketing attention to social media, many have a difficult time promoting a consistent message across all platforms, especially for car dealerships. Traditional forms of advertising were straightforward. Hard selling advertisement on television, along with newspaper and radio ads, kept the dealership’s message in line with their brand, whether that was mentioning their company, sales offers, or pushing the vehicles they had on their lot. On social media however, dealership’s seem to get lost with their message, sending mixed signals to consumers. One day they’re hard selling, the next they’re sharing irrelevant content that has absolutely nothing to do with the cars they sell, or the company their social media page is representing.

The problem with car dealership’s social media pages is lack of strategy. Because companies of a decent size used marketing agencies to deal with traditional forms of advertising, they weren’t required to do their homework when it came to creating a sound strategy. With social media, car dealerships are left with promoting their dealership on their own, usually assigning a current employee who has no digital marketing experience with the task of distributing content on all social media platforms. As a result, content such as third party links related to the car brands they sell reaches the point of coming across as spam, offering very little value to potential customers. Because of this, there’s very little engagement seen on their social media pages.

In the age of Instagram and Pinterest where visualization and picture content are essential, customers expect to see content that is on par with other industries. Manufacturers’ photos of vehicles and hard selling advertisement that would have been seen in newspapers don’t work; in fact, those posts will be overlooked 9 out of 10 times. Native content has to be the anchor and foundation of a sound marketing strategy for Facebook and Instagram.

Promote the vehicles you have in your showroom and on the lot. Discuss the features, MPG, and why customers should be buying your brand, as opposed to other brands that are sold at dealerships down the street or a few cities over. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s all about effort and engagement. Everything I’ve seen from dealerships’ social media pages over the past few weeks has made it clear that reputation and tradition don’t matter anymore, it’s all about engagement, and that comes with promoting a consistent message across all platforms.

Dealerships who stick with promoting seasonal sales every month are seeing strong engagement and success from their social media strategies. There are others who focus on displaying their vehicles instead of hard selling them, which introduces potential customers to cars they otherwise may not have considered buying. There’s a strategy behind their distribution of content, and that’s why they’re seeing growing numbers of followers, customers, and engagement. Having a defined message on social media is extremely important, and I encourage car dealerships to either find a strategy that works and stick to it, or find a social media manager who understands the value of promoting a consistent message, which is often done through storytelling.

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are vital to companies in any industry, but for car dealerships, you’re selling incredible vehicles. Have fun with the distribution of content and attract customers and followers by posting native content. Buying a car should be an exciting experience, and so should the promotion of the vehicles in your showroom. Right now only 5-10% of car dealerships understand the importance of keeping a consistent message across multiple platforms. Make sure you’re one of the first companies in your area to implement a strong social media marketing strategy, or you’ll fall victim to the dealership who are engaging with their followers, and reaping the rewards because of it.

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