You have perfected your social media strategy for your auto dealership, right? If you have a sale, you post a promotional message on Facebook. New service deal? Post another message.
It seems like a solid plan. After all, 74 percent of all customers rely on social networks to guide their purchase decisions, according to Trueship Research.
What's more, Facebook reports that the average American spends 40 minutes on their account.
However, you may not realize that you're doing the bare minimum to engage with your fans or followers.
A sales-driven, one-way message will not turn past customers into loyal advocates for your business.
Posting is one part of the strategy, but if you’re not effectively monitoring your messages and responding to fans, then you’re missing out on the opportunity to create more long-term customers.
It’s time to retire your stale social strategy. Here are four best practices to improve engagement.
Encourage a Dialogue
The social media experience is a two-way street. Users shouldn't just receive information, they should provide it as well.
Build trust by giving your past customers a forum to discuss their experience and tell you what they think. Encourage them to respond to your posts. Ask them questions in your messages.
For example, ask: “Is the information helpful?” or “How can we improve the customer experience at our dealership?”
Share and Boost Customer Stories
Share and promote your most compelling customer success stories to reach new prospects and amplify local awareness.
Use positive reviews as testimonials in social ads. Or, you can capture a special moment with a customer, such as buying a car for the first time, and share the photo with him via email or a social post. Then, let your customer do the talking for you.
This is a great way to engage with your current customers and show them how much you value them.
Respond Quickly But Thoughtfully – Even for Positive Reviews
If a customer posts a negative comment, don’t remove it unless it’s inappropriate or violates community guidelines.
When it comes to a complaint about your dealership, let the customer know that you’ve seen the post and will address the issue.
Do what you can to resolve the issue as fast as possible and then post a reply stating what action has been taken.
Even positive feedback should be handled carefully. Thank the customer for the post. Don’t offer a reward for a positive comment. A promise of a reward could potentially compromise the credibility of positive feedback.
Use a Mix of Content – Don’t Just Promote
Your employees have valuable information about the car-buying experience — information customers want to know. Consider posting a series of messages about the experience, such as what to look for when buying a car and how the buying experience has changed locally.
Add value with useful, interesting content targeted to the needs of customers, written in straightforward, error-free language. Avoid sales talk.
The messages don’t have to be long. They can cover one point each time. Including photos or graphics can enhance the visual appeal.
You can also post messages about what your employees are doing to better the local community. The messages can demonstrate that your dealership is more than just a business. It’s also a good neighbor with the community in mind.
In addition, you can be a source of industry news. An Online Reputation Management platform can help you quickly and easily find local or national stories to repost from industry sites, without the headache of sorting through the sites. The platform will bring the stories to you.