Automotive Social Media Marketing: A Window into Your Dealership’s Culture
If we clicked on your dealership’s social media pages right this second, what would we see? Would we find content that is both entertaining and informative? Would this content captivate users long enough to pull them away from updates from friends and news outlets? If your automotive social media marketing is successful, the answer is yes.
Let’s face it: Your likes and follows don’t mean much without engagement. If you’re seeing more people like or follow your pages without much improvement in sales, it’s time to take a step into the future of automotive digital marketing. Stream Companies is here to guide the way.
With strong automotive social content to drive follow-up interactions with your audience, you can begin to build a social community that powers sales. But first things first: You need your posts and ads to be seen by the right people.
Stream Companies can help you do that with an automotive social media strategy tailored to your needs and goals!
What is Automotive Social Media & How Will It Improve Sales?
In an increasingly digital world, social media has taken on many of the traditional roles found in retail settings. What does that mean for the automotive industry? Chiefly, it’s another chance to reach out to and interact with prospective consumers who already want what you’re offering.
Modern car shoppers interact with an average of 24 research touchpoints, most of them digital. From dealership websites to reviews across social media pages, their research is mostly done online, transforming social media and digital marketing into a new standard for the industry.
This opens the door to your dealership without the consumer ever leaving their living room. With endless opportunities to connect with shoppers, it’s a powerful tool in a highly competitive market.
Guiding Shoppers Through the Funnel with Automotive Social Media
Scraping the surface of social media tactics won’t work these days. However, diving deeper with a custom social media strategy from Stream can transform your accounts into conversion central. We do this by targeting consumers not just at one or two stages of their buying journey, but at every stage. Here are a few examples:
- Awareness: Making your brand and business known is the first step to any successful digital automotive marketing campaign. With strong awareness tactics (like boosting your most popular posts), you’ll see more likes and follows on your social media pages.
- Consideration: After people are familiar with your dealership, you can start engaging. Drawing them in with fun and unique posts is crucial at this point because this is when the consumer is still researching. Will it be your dealership they choose?
- Conversion: With high-quality ads targeted to the right people, you’ll be able to see your sales go up just by using social media. Conversion-focused ads give you the result you want, and Stream knows what to post (and when to post it) to get those conversions finalized.
These automotive social media methods work together to show consumers who you are, what you’re selling, and draw them in–and finally, clinch the sale!
Expanding Your Digital Reach
Creating posts, sharing news, ad targeting, and reacting to your customer’s reviews and comments are crucial in this digital age. Why? Because 80 percent of prospective car buyers start their shopping journey online.
This means tons of people are accessing their laptops, work computers, smartphones, and tablets to find the best deal on their next set of wheels. Chances are these shoppers already have social media accounts across multiple platforms.
The more they see you and take note of how you engage, the possibilities are endless. By earning their service, you can in turn earn the service of their friends, family, and beyond. Better yet, this is all while increasing your online presence and elevating your sales.
Social Media for Dealerships: Your Outlets
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the holy trinity of social media. Millions upon millions of people visit these sites every day whether they have accounts or not. While you won’t be able to connect with everyone, you can target who sees your posts, turning social media users in your area into loyal customers.
- Facebook: As the most popular social media platform, Facebook boasts over 2 billion active users, and more than half of them in the U.S. These users visit the site several times a day, elevating your chance for them to see what you’re selling even more.
Posting a mix of images, videos, and even polls will give you a sense of who is watching and interacting with your page. Targeted ads can define this further, giving you an edge over the competition.
- Instagram: Instagram is now owned by Facebook, opening the door to a more streamlined social media marketing outline. This allows you to run ads through Facebook and Instagram, increasing the number of people who notice your business. With Instagram’s 1 billion active users, a lot of whom don’t have Facebook profiles, it’s a great opportunity to elevate awareness.
- Twitter: With 62 million users, Twitter is a sound resource to advertise your business. Since you’re limited to 288 characters per post, use this outlet to share links to your websites and other social media accounts, where it’s easier to interact with your customers.
But social media doesn’t end there. With Pinterest, Snapchat, LinkedIn, TikTok, and other sites where people gather online, you can open the door even wider for awareness, consideration, and conversion-based ads and posts.
Social Media Trends Are Always Changing
Pinterest has become increasingly popular over the past several years. It has grown its community in the last calendar year (2020) alone by over a quarter, reaching more than 330 million users! This makes it a great social media platform for advertising through promoted pins, carousels, videos, and even buyable pins.
Another hard hitter? TikTok. This newcomer to the social media game has taken the world by storm with over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone. However, a lot of companies, automotive included, have yet to utilize the advantages of this platform.
Why is this? In large part, it could be due to the preconceived notion that TikTok users are younger. However, nearly 38 percent of users in the U.S. are over the age of 30. That’s your prime market! Additionally, recent studies have shown that TikTok beats out other social media platforms in terms of engagement, changing the automotive social media game completely.
Such trends give Stream and your dealership an incredible opportunity to expand your automotive social media and digital marketing. Along with our targeted approach and our knowledge about your dealership’s goals and key demographics, we can allocate social media ad spend, yielding a higher and more precise ROI. Isn’t that what this is all about?
Trends in Automotive Social Media
Social media has changed the car shopping and buying experience for everyone, especially the automotive industry.
In the past, consumers may have visited your dealership multiple times before they purchased or leased a model. In today’s age, a potential customer makes an average of just two trips. This gives you less time to interact and build loyal customers in person. Luckily, using social media, you can still form meaningful relationships with customers.
Here at Stream Companies, we like to think of social media as a window into your dealership. In your area, car shoppers probably have many dealerships to choose from. And the fact is, many shoppers are going to decide which dealership to shop at based largely on one thing: who they see and hear about the most.
Humanizing your business through posts showcases your customer service is unparalleled, a key to standing out online. A plus is that this is all while building up your social media presence and becoming more noticeable online.
Posting things like funny and relatable snapshots of your staff, welcome messages to new followers, and even stories of when things don’t go quite right shows your followers that you’re not just about big business and making sales. It shows them you’re human just like they are, and what’s more relatable than that?
By rising above your competitors with a strong and personable social media presence, you will not only remain relevant in a saturated market. You can also sway your followers by presenting them with convenient and easily accessible information as well as the customer service they expect.
But before you rise above, you need to know what your competition is doing.
Which Social Media Platforms Get the Lion’s Share of Our Ad Spend?
Over the last few years, 35 billion dollars was spent on automotive marketing, resulting in the sale of over 100 million cars by the year 2020. But what does this mean for you and your dealership? Sometimes, numbers speak louder than words.
- Consideration Spending: As recently as 2018, auto marketers invested more on average in the consideration stage than any other.
- Facebook: Nearly half (46 percent) of Facebook budgets
- Twitter: Far more than half (64 percent) of Twitter budgets
- Instagram Trends: As for Instagram, spending was split across all three stages with an emphasis on awareness with 40 percent. However, conversion spending moved up 14 points between 2017 and 2019. Is this to say social media companies will continue to spread out their budgets across all three stages? Studies seem to think so.
- A Gap to Fill: Data also shows that auto advertisers spend less on sites like Pinterest and Snapchat, topping out at just 1 to 2 percent of their automotive social media marketing budgets. This showcases a gap in dynamic marketing efforts, one that may benefit you to fill.
It’s in these numbers that Stream finds your unique strategy. With our automotive social media campaigns, we see what your competitors are doing. We learn what’s working, but more importantly, what’s not working. We then use that mixture of information to tailor a unique plan to your dealership. What you get is a one-of-a-kind digital automotive marketing strategy that gives you the results you want.
Data Rides Shotgun:
Your Social Strategy
Every business can benefit from social media accounts, and the automotive industry is no exception.
Early 2019 data shows automotive social media ad spending didn’t stop at awareness. It continued to be evenly distributed across consideration and conversion as well, indicating that social media plays an influential role in every step of the car buyer’s journey.
However, you still need to stand out. To earn the best returns on the money and time you put into social media posts and ads, you need to manage these accounts. It’s truly the best way to stand out!
Compelling Creative & Detailed Data: A Dynamic Social Duo
At Stream Companies, we do this with data-inspired creativity. Creativity will always be our superpower, the engine driving our captivating content. But data is the roadmap that guides us from Point A to Point B.
Our process is built on over a decade’s worth of compiling user information from leading social media platforms. We then harvest this data to help you market more efficiently, personalizing plans to meet the unique needs of your automotive business.
While other marketing and advertising agencies will only target large groups and dynamics, Stream is all about people-based marketing. With our innovative technologies, we’re able to drill down to a more granular approach.
By gaining as much information as possible, we dive deeper than the rest. Details on user purchasing behaviors, occupations, educational backgrounds, locations, and so much more help you identify the people most likely to buy, not just the groups. This adds a personal touch to your automotive marketing strategy that really makes the shoppers feel seen by the dealership.
Then, it’s just a matter of speaking their language!
Capture Content from the Dealer Floor
What does it mean to have a social “community”? Healthy communities shine a light on every member, and that starts with your people on the front lines.
As a collaborative marketing agency, Stream takes pride in being able to provide the tools you need to take automotive social media marketing to the next level. One of these handy tools is Capture.
Capture by FullThrottle lets anyone on your staff—from sales to service—upload videos and photos from the dealership floor. It could be a snapshot of your inventory, a photo of a satisfied customer celebrating a new car, or even a backstage look at the camaraderie of your team.
You can caption and tag your content to your liking as well. Let us know who bought the car, the make, model, and color for sale, and the story behind the image. You call the shots! Then, you can easily post your content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media outlets—the power’s in your hands.
“Social” Means No Silos: Integrated Digital
As any popular social media influencer will tell you, it’s all about building an audience. When you choose an integrated advertising partner like Stream, that game becomes a whole lot easier.
Our social media specialists work closely with Pay Per Click (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts to pinpoint prospective customers and draw them in. PPC and SEO are great for getting your dealership noticed. Let’s take a look:
- Pay Per Click (PPC): Every time a PPC ad is clicked, a visitor is sent to your social media page, but at a price. Along with your organically raised consumer base, this adds on more opportunities to reach people you may not have before, especially on social media.
A lot goes into building a PPC campaign. From selecting the right keywords and organizing them correctly to building pages just for conversions, this method perfectly complements your social media and results in more hits, likes, followers, and sales.
- Search Engine Optimization: A key feature in any marketing strategy is SEO. This increases your quality (and quantity) of traffic to your social media pages through organic search engine results.
By optimizing keywords that are unique to your dealership, but are what people are actively searching for as well, more traffic comes through your social media pages. This leads to more people visiting your website, ready to start the buying journey with your dealership.
However, social media sparks continual engagement—and thus, return service and sales. With all your digital stars aligned, you can stay on message across media and provide a seamless user experience. It makes marketing more efficient on your end and drives real, measurable results.
Stream’s Experts Are There Every Step of the Way
How does Stream Companies manage such a large order and deliver on it? With experts at every level! Our team of social media and digital marketing pros are always working in concert with your dealership. All of our fine-tuned strategies work in tandem, combining the insight of our experts with the unique goals of your dealership.
At Stream, partnership and collaboration is vital. Here, the left hand always knows what the right hand is doing.
Our assistance doesn’t end there. Along with helping you manage your automotive social media marketing campaign together, we’re always available to provide insights for your dealership as well.
Social media can garner immediate responses, and if you have any urgent questions along the way, a social media expert at Stream will be able to answer them for you quickly. As we all know, a quick response equals a quick turnaround!
Engaging Through Social Media: Reputation Management
BrightLocal, marketing experts who focus on local businesses, conducted a recent study that shows 90 percent of consumers used the internet to find local businesses in 2019.1 But that’s not the most interesting fact in their study. Their statistics also stated:
- 82 percent of those consumers read online reviews for local businesses.
- The average shopper will read 10 reviews before “trusting the business”.
- Only 48 percent of people would consider a business with fewer than 4 stars.
Online reviews on social media hold a lot of weight–whether they’re true or not. What matters even more is that if your dealership has fewer than 4 stars, more than half who read aren’t going to give you the time of day. Luckily, Stream Companies can help you reap the beneficial side of these stats.
Engaging with your customers is vital whether they leave a good review or a bad review. It builds your customer base further through social media platforms and increases the rate of repeat customers (or those customers telling their friends and family about you).
Reacting to good reviews lets your loyal customers feel like they got the attention they deserve. Newcomers to your social media pages will see your personalized comments, enticing them to turn to your business as well. Just with a simple comment, you can increase sales and build a better relationship with your followers.
Responses to not-so-ideal reviews are equally important. This shows your social media followers that you care deeply about your customer’s issues. Mistakes happen, and letting your clients know you’ll work hard to turn things around will help you gain more likes and people following your pages. The result? More sales.
Sell More Cars with Automotive Social Media
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to selling cars and auto service with social media. Your business is unique, and to craft a tailored plan that works for you and your staff, we need you by our side. We want to hear your goals and mission first. After that’s been outlined, we’ll build your strategy around them.
At Stream, we have our social media processes down to a science. From picking a perfect time to post your content to choosing great pieces of inventory to feature, everything is focused on what makes your dealership unique. By crafting stories that resonate with your audience in just a few short words, you’ll see your customer base grow and thrive.
Reach out to the social media dream team at Stream Companies and set your automotive social media strategy to sales. We look forward to taking this journey with you!