Having spent a lot of time visiting car dealerships’ Facebook pages, both local and across the country, it’s apparent which dealerships understand the importance of having a social media manager behind the desk and overseeing accounts. I’d say somewhere between 5-10% of dealerships have a sound social media marketing strategy where they’re posting native content on their Facebook and Instagram pages, instead of online ads and photos the car brands supplies. These dealerships are seeing a strong interest in their cars from followers, and are on occasion, asking questions about prices and other details about the cars the dealerships are displaying. For the 90-95% of dealerships who clearly have a person who has no social media marketing experience running the social media accounts, there’s a significant decrease in likes and engagement.
I want to make it clear that it’s not the dealership’s, or the person who is running the social media pages fault. However, by placing people who don’t have any social media experience outside of running their own personal accounts behind the desk, you’re putting them in a position where they can’t thrive and are completely out of their element, costing you followers and strong engagement. Sometimes, it’s almost as if dealerships’ social media pages become that Facebook friend you forgot you had, and after about 8 months, you see them on your friends list and think, “Oh yeah, I remember him!” Social media pages should never be forgotten; they must contain content worth reading and seeing, and always make customers come back for more.
Most of the dealerships that I found across the country have upwards to 10,000 – 20,000 likes on Facebook. This could be due to social media dark posts; which are ads that get sent to specifically targeted audiences, but don’t show up on your Facebook page. These ads will be seen on the side bar and in the news feeds of this targeted audience, and these ads don’t have to contain hard selling copy, a cool picture of your best car in the showroom could be enough to attract followers and likes. Through this, you have the makings of a virtual word of mouth. The people who like your page are real, not fake, and they’ll share any photo or content that’s relevant to them, making your native content go viral. This is already happening on Instagram, just on a smaller scale and without the use of advertising and spent money.
I always felt that the dealerships that are seeing great results from their social media presence, not only hired someone who understands the ins and outs of social media marketing, but also has to some degree, a passion for cars. It’s easy to identify a salesman running a page, due to the high frequency of hard selling content, which is why people are repelled from going to your Facebook page. As with any form of content, whether that be sharing local news events, pictures of your customers getting their new car, or the employees you have, it can get old. There needs to be a well-balanced mix, along with native content that contains pictures of your cars in the showrooms, or out on the lot.
I can’t stress it enough; you have an inventory, use it. While these cars are in someway like holiday decorations, show them off. No one knows you have these cars at your dealership, unless they do research from third party resources. Be that primary resource, and make sure those customers are coming to you, and not the dealership selling the same car brand 15-20 miles away.