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The Key To Social Media Success Is Not What You Post, But How

The Key To Social Media Success Is Not What You Post, But How

You’ve modernized your dealership’s marketing. You included social media because you know it is important to reach today’s prospective customers. You’re on Facebook. And LinkedIn. Maybe Twitter and some other platforms, too. You’re posting your heart out. But you don’t seem to be having the kind of social media success you expected.

That’s probably because social media success isn’t about what you post. It’s about how you post.

Embracing Digital Marketing Within Your Dealership | communication | engageUnderstanding certain scientific principles can help you tweak your social media conversations in ways that will boost your engagement with prospects. You know these principles, you’ve just never thought of them in that way. Let’s look at a few.

Associational learning

You know how hearing a certain song always reminds you of a specific place or past experience? You associate those things with the song. It’s an emotional response. In your marketing, you can condition prospects to associate your campaigns with an emotional stimulus. In one study, researchers showed subjects two different pictures of a pen. With one picture, subjects heard pleasant, appealing background music. With the other picture, the music was jarring. Subjects were then offered both pens, told they could take one for free. They chose the pen that had been accompanied by pleasant music.

You can use associational learning to boost social media success by crafting more effective posts. The stimulus can be either positive or negative. In fact, sometimes negatives are more effective. For instance, you could post a photo of a smiling operator in the cab of one of your new machines, with the comment, “Running this skid steer is so effortless I’m getting twice as much work done.” You’re associating the machine with something positive.

The Key To Social Media Success Is Not What You Post, But How-02Or you could post a photo of an older machine broken down on a jobsite, with the comment, “Don’t risk costly downtime. As about our extended warranty program.” You’re triggering a fear and associating your extended warranty with the solution.


Giving prospects a point of reference – an anchor — helps them make sense of your message. Retailers do this when they discount merchandise. They don’t just put up a sign that says $10, they add “was $20.” That way you know you’re getting a deal. “20% off” and similar messages make the same point. Retailers also group prices, to provide an anchor and sell more at the same time. For example, instead of offering something for $2.50, they offer “2 for $5.” The price is the same, but it seems like a better deal.

Think about how you could apply this concept to pricing your dealership’s products and services. For instance, instead of simply telling a customer you have attachments for their new machine, you could offer the machine plus an attachment for a combined price (not necessarily a discounted amount). Do the same with rental packages.


What-Are-Facebook-Instant-Articles,-and-Why-Should-You-Care-articleInformation that is readily available and easy to relate to resonates best. Keep the messages you post short, so they require minimal effort to read and grasp. Make call to action buttons obvious (and make your call to action clear). Use simple design. Studies show that the faster your brain can capture information, the more positively your body reacts. If that information is well-targeted to your audience, the positive effects are magnified. Prospects who react positively to your message right away are more likely to share and respond.


Trending topics attract more interest. Try to tie your posts in with current industry news or events, or use trending hashtags.

Processing ability

Our brains can process an amazing amount of information at the same time. Nonetheless, social media offers so many distractions that it’s tough to capture and retain your prospects’ attention. You have to stand out among flashy visuals such as sidebar ads and pop-ups, not to mention the strident sounds of message notifications. How is that possible?

Choose your headlines carefully. This is your first impression – where you’ll catch their eye and attention. Or not. And use testimonials or review quotes from customers or industry leaders in your messages. “Social proof” is good old-fashioned word of mouth tweaked for social media success.


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