The biggest tip we can give you is to use your social media pages for community building and brand awareness. By brand awareness, we don’t mean your latest promotional offer on cars, we mean what your dealership or brand is doing in the community. Have you got staff involved in events like the World’s Biggest Morning Tea or Relay for Life? Perhaps you sponsor the local sports team, or a local event coming up?
By sharing news about this support on social media, you are doing two important things:
- Firstly, you are creating an emotional personality of your brand and showing you are about more than just car sales.
- And secondly, you are opening your brand up to new circles in the community. Jane Smith might start following you because her son is in the local team you sponsor, or Granny May might like the fact you supported Relay for Life.
You never know where your new brand supporters will come from. By only showing sales and promotional posts on social media, you will miss out on those who might not be in the market for a car right now. By showing community news and information, you will have followers that are interested in your posts, who later on might come to you as first choice when buying a car, or refer someone to you as they now trust y our brand.
A digital agency in Australia that specialises in social media and ads for car dealers was recently telling dealers that social media is not about likes and followers, rather its about lead generation. Quite frankly, this is WRONG and not the way to approach it. We have dealers that are pushing over 10k in followers who interact with posts about community events and dealership news. These followers may not buy now, but they have unknowingly become a volunteer marketing army for the brand. They will refer people, as well as share content, and when that magic moment of buying a new car comes along….. you can bet that brand is up at the top of the list.
So what type of content should you share?
- Staff photos and updates like birthdays, anniversaries, and events.
- Local community events like Relay for Life that the dealership or staff may be taking part in.
- Sporting news from groups that the dealership supports.
- New features of a car that people might not realise exists.
- Videos in first person views of your dealership, departments and car models. Walk around videos work great for new models.
- Manufacturer news about your brand, and global initiatives they are involved in.
- Special promotions and events. Use the event feature on Facebook and promote it to a larger audience by demographic.
These are just a few ideas. Think outside the square when it comes to content. Sharing the same content as everyone else won’t allow your brand to stand out.
Now that you are sharing community news on your social media pages, be sure to tie this in with your offline advertising. If you are promoting an event or the fact that you support a particular sports group, maybe mention this in your next newspaper or radio advert.
Some dealers use radio and newspapers to get people into the dealership to pick up something for an event they are sponsoring. Not only does this help promote the event, you are getting people who may not usually come to your dealership, in the gates.
Bus advertising is also good for brand awareness. As with billboards and digital ads, be sure to push a distinct point of difference. If your manufacturer’s brand is pushing a current promotion of Red Corolla Hatches, don’t go and do the same. Most people will link this advert with the manufacturer and not your local brand, and it can be wasted advertising space.
For example, a client of ours, Burton Automotive, sponsors the international surfing event Surfest every year. They make sure their branding is on surfboards, rashies, and signage in the area. The images used are also tailored to appeal to this particular audience, even the car signage for the event is tailored to maximise exposure.
Although many dealerships are finding that common advertising mediums like television and radio can be very expensive and return a lower return on investment than comparable digital marketing, it can actually work very well when tied in together with digital platforms.
Make sure you make a connection between your online and offline marketing, don’t let the advertising look like two different campaigns.