10 Tips To Effectively Manage Your Dealership Social Media Accounts
It’s called “social” media for a reason. If your dealership is doing nothing more than posting messages and pictures, you’re missing the point. You’re also missing opportunities to broaden awareness of your business and increase leads and sales. Socializing takes interaction. So let’s look at how a well-defined dealership social media strategy and plan of action can inspire that all-important interaction.
- Identify your goals
Why are you using social media? No doubt you want to accomplish the “big three” – boost brand awareness, attract more website traffic, and increase sales. But without specific goals and objectives for reaching each of them, you won’t be able to determine whether your dealership social media efforts are paying off.
- Create a monthly action plan
Like having an editorial calendar for your blog posts, using a calendar keeps you on schedule so you are posting regularly and consistently. This is crucial to stay top-of-mind with followers. A calendar also helps you coordinate social posts with the rest of your marketing.
- Automate your posting
You could post manually to each of your social media platforms whenever your calendar indicates it’s time to do that. But this is time-consuming, and what if you’re not available right then? Scheduling posts in advance keeps things on track and frees up your time to spend on some other dealership marketing task. Isn’t that what technology is for?
- Double-check branding for consistency
Now is a good time to review each of your profiles to be sure your dealership social media is presenting a unified brand. Are you using your logo as your profile picture? You should. Does your cover image instantly convey something distinctive about your dealership? It should. What sets you apart from the competition?
- Hold up your end of the conversation
This is the interactive part. If someone comments on one of your posts, messages you, or shares something, the ball bounces into your court. Respond to their comment. Comment on their post. And do it in a timely manner, so it’s clear you’re an active listener as well as contributor.
Some social media experts say you can simplify responding by creating some prepared responses to use, but be careful here – if you sound “canned,” you’ll sound insincere. It’s hard to imagine what could be more counter-productive than de-personalizing your social media interactions.
- And speaking of listening . . .
Make an effort to tune into other conversations – industry experts, influencers, your key customers or prospects. You can step into these conversations yourself, to increase visibility and authority. Knowing what’s on other people’s minds also helps you uncover timely, relevant blog content ideas. Use keywords to search for relevant conversations, and make it easier on yourself by using a tool such as Hootsuite, Sprout Special, or TweetDeck.
Use the lists feature on Twitter to divide your followers into groups such as customers, industry leaders, news, influential construction or trucking, etc. Then use Hootsuite to monitor each list. That will make it even easier to spot conversations worth joining.
Eventually, people will find you on your various dealership social media channels, especially if you display the appropriate icons on your website, blog, etc. But why passively wait around for that to happen? Advertising enables you to build a following faster, so consider devoting some of your marketing budget to this.
- Incentivize interaction
Conversations occur naturally on social media, but you can motivate prospects and followers to engage by posting surveys and conducting contests. Photo contests are always a winner, especially when you invite folks to share images of their trucks or construction equipment in action in challenging or strange situations. Every platform has promotional guidelines, so read up on the rules before you hold a contest.
- Track your progress
Monitoring and analyzing results brings your dealership social media strategy full circle. Do more of what’s working best to achieve your defined goals, and either improve or jettison unproductive efforts.
- Track the world of social media, too
Social best practices are continuously evolving, and new platforms appear with regularity. What does it all mean for your dealership? You won’t know if you don’t keep an eye on the latest developments.