In order to effectively market your dealership on Instagram you have to think beyond just posting photos. People use Instagram to share information, connect with friends and generally connect with others. A great way to make the most out of this social networking website is by using it as a platform for getting your business out there. You can start by searching for other businesses that you admire and start interacting with them. They will most likely be more than happy to give you a shout out if they think it will benefit their business.
The best way to find businesses that you admire and get connected with is to post a comment on their page. This will let others know that you are interested in them and your business. If you have a blog, you can also post comments in order to spread the word about your business. This is very effective because not only do you get exposure to people you may not have otherwise been aware of, but you can also gain valuable backlinks to your business website. People love getting backlinks from businesses that are related to their own, and a link to your site can be very valuable to them as well.
One of the biggest benefits of being a member of Instagram is getting to interact with others. This interaction can help you develop an image of who you are and what you have to offer your customers. However, you have to remember that Instagram is used as a marketing tool and not just a social media site. You need to post links and videos where possible so that people can see your work. For instance, you should make use of your profilepictures to upload short clips of yourself or some of your latest products. These can be uploaded to your Instagram account and can be posted to your website or blog. The point is to make sure that your profile is constantly updated and that you have other links to your website that your followers can follow so that they can get all the updates they want.
Automotive Salespeople using social media to provide value to potential customers by answering questions, responding to comments, and sharing content throughout the buying process – from awareness to consideration until a customer is ready to buy a new or used vehicle.
Social Media Statistics
Just look at the sobering statistics related to social media usage.
Everyone likely has a Facebook friend in the car business. When those in the market see salespeople in their Facebook news feeds, they become more familiar with them.
When they see a car salesperson repeatedly and they’re being genuine, they begin to see them as a friend and begin to really trust that salesperson. Eventually – and perhaps without ever actually meeting them – they see them as their friend in the car business; the one person they’re going to call the next time they need a new vehicle.
Today’s customer wants to find information fast, and they don’t want to come to the dealership to get it. That is where digital marketing and specifically social media come into play.
Dealers need to provide a wealth of data and engaging information to compete for their business.
If you don’t give them the information they are looking for, they will visit another dealership.
While there was once a time that you didn’t need a Facebook page and other social media accounts to compete, that time has long passed as we enter an ever more digital world.
Not only must you have active accounts, but you have to have engaging and valuable content.
Social Selling Defines Brand
With social selling, you get to decide exactly what your brand is and what it is not. Additionally, the more you repeat this brand message, the more it becomes a reality in the minds of prospects.
Strong automotive dealers have defined its brand as a group of honest, hardworking, yet fun salespeople looking to sell a few cars.
They’re community-minded and good people to know if you’re ever looking for a new vehicle. At least that’s what their social posts are saying about them. The dealership brand is exactly what you decide it is when you leverage real social selling.
Social Selling Produces Differentiation
Let’s say you’re a Volkswagen dealer in a highly competitive market. If all you want to do is get down in the mud on price while you spend thousands on Google every month to buy clicks to your website, then social selling is not for you. You believe that a Jetta is a Jetta is a Jetta.
With social selling, you can create differentiation between your brand of Volkswagen Jetta and your competitors’ brands. The trust and familiarity you build separate you from the other dealers in the same market. You still need to be priced competitively, but you no longer have to offer the lowest price every time to win the deal.
Social Selling Drives Buyers
Just as running a great “loss leader” in the Saturday print newspaper once drove ready potential customers to your dealership, so does great social selling today.
Whether you’re an individual salesperson creating your own brand on Social Media or the dealership’s social media manager. The key is building authentic content, stong familiarity, trust, and differentiation you’re creating puts you on the top of some car shoppers’ lists.
This means they’ll visit you first when they’re in the market for a vehicle. Giving you the first (and best) chance to sell them a vehicle.
Social Selling Helps Authenticity
With social selling, you create authenticity in advance of the dealership visit. This means – pay attention – that when someone in your network decides they want a new vehicle, they often come to you first before they spend hours shopping online. Before they find value and relevancy based on the interaction with social media.
They come to that dealership first because they trust. Being authentic. They want that dealership to help them find the right vehicle (relevancy) at a good price (value). In essence, this turns the transaction upside down and allows the dealership to make better grosses because the dealership defined what’s a good value.
Social Selling Next Steps
If you’re a sales manager or dealer principal and you’re spending any time at all trying to decide if social selling makes sense for your dealership or especially for your individual salespeople, the time has come to stop talking about it and start doing it.
If you have the experience and the resources, you are equally capable of creating a social media strategy for your dealership.
But, often working with a professional certainly can help to ensure that you will generate the best results. Meaning, less time spent on testing out different tactics hoping to uncover the one that moves the needle for your dealership.
Automotive Instagram Stories is a great Automotive Marketing option that allows dealerships to capture and post images and videos in a slideshow format. The content is available for only twenty-four hours from the time of posting. Stories also allow for the addition of text, drawings, GIFs, time stamps, location stamps, and more fun features that automotive dealers can utilize!
According to TechCrunch, Instagram Stories usage has soared to more than 550 million daily active users. That’s impressive because it means one-third of Facebook’s 1.57 billion daily users are posting or watching Stories each day.
Here are some Instagram stats that show the power of Stories:
60% of millennials watch and post Instagram Stories on a daily basis
One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from business accounts
70% of Gen Z-ers watch and post Instagram Stories on a daily basis
Instagram Stories accounts for roughly 1/3 of Instagram’s sponsored content and growing
So potential customers are watching Automotive Instagram Stories, which is obviously good to know. But how can you, as a marketing manager for an automotive dealership, effectively incorporate Stories into your social media game? Glad you asked, here are some thought starters!
How to Post an Organic Story
To avoid redundancy, we will outline how to post an Automotive Instagram Stories on Instagram only placement, but know that you can easily post the same Story on Facebook by selecting a special sharing feature (more on that later).
First, let’s set up the scene. Maybe the newest truck just hit your lot, and you want people to know about it. This is a great opportunity to share an image or video (or both) of the new vehicle on your Story! Here’s what you need to do!
Open the Instagram Application
You can post a Story either from the Instagram news feed or from your profile by clicking on your profile picture with the + icon.
Take the Photo or Video (or select one from your photo library) to post on your Story.
From here, you can add text, emojis, or anything else you think would help give context to your Story. To post the image or video on your Instagram Story, just click your profile picture in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
Adding content to your Story means once you post, it will be available for your followers (and non-followers, if you have a public profile) to view immediately. There is an option to post this same Story to Facebook by selecting the Send To button in the bottom-right corner of your screen, then Sharing Options under your Story, it will then show on Facebook as well.
From here, you can decide if you want to either share this particular Story to Facebook once or set it up so that all of your Stories are automatically shared with the Facebook Story platform in the future.
When to Post Organic Stories
Organic Story posts are great opportunities to showcase your dealership’s culture with “behind the scenes” moments — promoting events, showcasing employees, and sharing anything else your followers would enjoy seeing!
Organic Stories are not the place for only posting photos of your inventory. Your followers know you sell vehicles, and while that’s important, they want to see the faces behind the vehicles.
Reach More Auto Leads Through Story Advertising
Posting organic content on Facebook and Instagram Stories is great for maintaining a good brand reputation among your current followers. But what about people who don’t follow you? How can you get potential leads to view your Story content?
If you already advertise on Facebook, the answer to getting more leads through Stories may be a lot simpler than you think.
Under the Stories section in the ad set level of your Ads Manager, select the Story placements you’d like to include in your ad targeting.
Based on your targeting (either through Custom Audiences, Special Ad Audiences, interest-based targeting, or a combination of all three), Facebook will show your Story ad to people who might be qualified to see it with the word Sponsored in the top-left corner of the ad.
Before you go wild adding the Facebook and Instagram Story placement to all of your car dealership Facebook ads, it’s important to be aware of some of the Story ad limitations.
The Story placement provides a different experience for a user than viewing an ad within the news feed placement, so we recommend editing your ads to accommodate the different placements. Story ads, in particular, remember:
Story ads disappear quickly (usually after 5-10 seconds)
Use minimal text — just enough that users know what your ad is about.
Story ads are not available when your campaign objective is set to “Catalog Sales.”
Unfortunately, this means that dynamic retargeting ads are not available on the Story placement (yet).
Image Ratios Matter for Stories Ads
The image you are using for your news feed ad may not be the right proportion for a Story ad. Preview how the ad looks in the Story placement; if necessary, crop the image, or select a new image to fit the aspect ratio requirements.
Measuring Automotive Instagram Stories
You posted the Story, but did it deliver the results you were hoping for? There are a few different ways to measure Story results.
The more detailed steps to accessing organic Story insights for both Facebook and Instagram are outlined here. Generally, within the analyzation tool, you’ll find metrics including:
Similar to how you analyze Facebook ad metrics that matter for your dealership, you can analyze the same results for Facebook and Instagram Story ads.
To see Story stats in Ads Manager, select the Breakdown menu in the top right, and click Placement.
Here, you can see how your ad performed on the Facebook news feed, Instagram feed, Audience Network, Stories, and any other placements you’ve selected.
Pro Tip – Use Carousel Ads
Three-card carousels are a great way to highlight multiple products or collections. Each card can feature a specific product or group of products with call-to-action (CTA) buttons (like “Shop Now”) that linked through to the relevant product pages on your eCommerce website, where visitors can purchase the items.
Pro Tip – Use Collection Ads
This format makes it easy to showcase a range of products in a way that users can easily discover, browse and purchase them. Creatives start with an enticing image or engaging video on top, and feature several product images underneath. The format allows a full-screen Canvas experience with multiple tabs that showcase different groups of products. Tapping on individual products can take users that product’s detail page on your website.
Ways to Take People Behind the Scenes
Shine a spotlight on your people. Whether it’s the business owner, company employees, your customers or your brand advocates, leverage the power of the human element to wow your audience.
Show them what makes you tick. Do you have a special office environment, manufacturing process or support an important social cause? Use it to show and tell how you stand out from the competition.
Highlight your products or services. Use interesting storytelling and great visuals to showcase your offerings and generate interest with history, methods, events that show your uniqueness and authenticity.
Give them a sneak peek. Creating or building something new and different? Partnering with a special or well-known partner on a project? Tell your audience about it with compelling visual content.
In the end, a great Instagram Story ad compels the user to act quickly,
You can achieve this through clear text directions; delivering a slew of lovely products in rapid succession; creating a sense of intrigue and mystery to elevate your brand; using keen narrative techniques, or simply making everyday moments more exciting with Boomerang loops and other video editing tools.
When plotting your Instagram Stories strategy, it’s a good idea to take a look at some great examples of successful Instagram ads and to be aware of these common Instagram ad mistakes brands make (and learn how to stay clear of them).
You have a range of creative tricks at your fingertips to take advantage of this fast-evolving and increasingly popular ad format to distinguish yourself for better results.
Steele Auto Group launched a Back On Track program for their dealers – and wanted to promote it on social media. So designed some visuals with their logo to help them on Facebook and Instagram postings.
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