There's more to social media marketing than just running paid ads. This article covers the four main areas of social media marketing that will help you get the best brand exposure and return on your investment.
By Barry Alt
By Barry Alt
Social media is a direct channel into your customers’ daily lives – it’s a great communication tool and an unbelievable relationship builder.
If you’re not sure of what social media marketing includes (or what it is!) here’s a quick introduction.
What is social media marketing?
Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of internet marketing that uses social networking websites as a marketing tool.
Social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, Instagram and Snapchat.
The goal of SMM is to produce content that users will share with their friends online to help a company increase brand exposure and broaden their customer reach.
In our 20+ years of working with business owners, we’ve never seen a marketing tool so effective, yet so overlooked by our industry.
As of 2019, there are 3.48 billion social media users, with the worldwide total growing by 288 million (9 percent) since this time last year. Facebook is still the 3rd most popular website on the internet (We Are Social Study 2019) – but there are plenty of other options there to help you connect with your audience. The power of social media can’t be denied and the longer you avoid it, the more potential customers you’re missing out on.
Not only is it a direct line of communication with the people you want to serve, the reporting tools available for each platform can provide you with unrivaled insight into what resonates with your audience. Thanks to social media marketing, we now have the ability to measure the effectiveness of each marketing campaign in-depth like never before.
For the unfamiliar out there, there are 5 main social media marketing channels that are effective in the automotive world: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter & YouTube. Which one (or two, or three!) that will give you the best return on your investment depends on who your customer base is.
Before investing your time or your money in social media marketing, you need to decide who your ideal customers are. This might be determined by their age, marital status, income level or many other factors.
Once you know who you’re targeting, you need to figure out where they’re hanging out online. Knowing where your customer spends their time online is a huge factor in getting the best return on your ad dollars and time investment.
There’s more to social media marketing than just running paid ads. This article covers the four main areas of social media marketing that will help you get the best brand exposure and return on your investment.
1. Using social media for customer service
We’ve all heard of companies that got a negative online review that went viral because of their unprofessional response. Don’t let those once-in-a-blue-moon bad experiences put you off.
For many auto shop owners, investing in a reputation management service is a must – it’s one of our most popular services for this industry. For a lot of people, social media is the first go-to touchpoint for a company if they have a question or need a problem solved.
In fact, a recent J.D Power survey indicated that 67% of consumers used a company’s social media channels to seek customer support. That includes both pre-purchase enquiries and post-purchase problems.
Facebook messenger is an invaluable resource for managing customer requests and questions. If you’re not overtly comfortable using technology, it’s one of the most accessible and easy-to-use solutions out there.
With more car owners relying on their cell phones for day-to-day tasks than ever before, it’s easier for them to send you a message on Facebook or Instagram than it is to actually call you. If they’re browsing through your Instagram feed at 3am and see something they really like, they’ll drop you a message right then and there – they won’t wait to give you a call the next day.
But what does that all mean for you? Social media gives you an amazing opportunity to connect with potential new customers and showcase your unrivaled level of customer service and expertise in the industry.
The only downside? Some social media sites will show the average time it takes you to answer private messages. You’re expected to answer within 24 hours, but the quicker the better. If you leave customer queries unanswered and your profile shows a lack of engagement, it can prevent potential customers from getting in touch with you.
As with everything online, you get out what you put in. Some companies use public customer support situations to double down on their brand’s personality and show their sense of humor – but sometimes this is best left to the PR professionals!
2. Monitor your reputation with social media PR
Social PR is pretty similar to influencer marketing but with one major difference – the goal. Social media PR focuses on building a positive brand perception among its audience. PR has always been about monitoring a company’s reputation and building relationships with other companies as well as customers.
Thanks to social media, you can keep track of who’s saying what as well as what the important figureheads in the automotive world are up to – all in one place.
With a simple tool like BrandWatch, Google Alerts or HootSuite, you can get notifications if someone mentions or tags your company in any posts or reviews online. Instant notification means you can reply instantly too – which can be a serious reputation saver when it comes to bad online reviews…
Please head on over to the Motorhead Digital Blog for the rest of this article.
Barry is the founder of Motorhead Digital, providing signature Marketing Maximizer™ programs specifically developed for auto restoration, performance and restyling shops. These programs are geared towards customer acquisition and conversion to keep those project bookings coming. With over 23 years of experience in digital marketing and web development, Barry’s goal is to help clients market and grow their shops through strategic marketing practices. You can reach him at (585) 766-9785, email@example.com or online at MotorheadDigital.com