Step Up Your Social Media Game
Last month, we talked about why it’s good to have a social media presence. Businesses need to be where their potential customers are. You’d be amazed by how many people ask their Facebook friends for recommendations. I’ve scrolled past status updates that say things like:
“I’m treating myself to a movie tonight! What should I watch?”
“I’m visiting New York City for the first time! Where should I eat?”
“I’m stuck with a flat on 5th Avenue! Who knows a good auto shop nearby?”
The responses typically pour in quickly, because people love to help their friends in a moment of need. It’s efficient to ask for help on Facebook. Instead of sending a text to 10 different people, you can type a status that’s seen by hundreds or thousands of people in an instant. Powerful stuff!
Want to step up your social media game? OK! Follow these four steps:
1. Be consistent (but also be human).
People have short attention spans. If you want them to remember you are excellent at fixing cars, then you need to demonstrate your expertise consistently. Post a weekly status update with a car care tip. Here are a few short examples to get your wheels turning (feel free to use these as templates):
“Auto repair is not a want. It’s a need. Responsible vehicle owners are prepared to invest in their safety whenever it’s necessary. If you can’t afford a repair, then you can’t afford to drive.”
“Did you know your car can talk to you? It doesn’t speak English, but it communicates in other ways. Keep an eye out for strange smells, sounds, or sensations that could indicate a problem.”
“Make sure to check your fluids before a road trip. Motor oil isn’t the only one. Check your coolant, brake fluid and transmission fluid. Not sure how? Swing by my shop. I’d be happy to show you!”
Consistency is important, but don’t go overboard. People want to know who you are on a human level. You don’t have to bare your soul on social media—and definitely don’t bring up politics or religion—but share a fun fact about yourself every now and then. People will feel more connected to you.
2. Don’t be afraid to borrow content from other auto professionals.
Plenty of people in the auto industry are already sharing outstanding information. Find an article on Ratchet+Wrench (or your favorite automotive website). Copy/paste the sentence that resonated most. Give credit to the author. Add another sentence or two explaining why you liked it. Boom, you’re done!
3. Don’t sweat the outcome. Focus on creating an easily repeatable process.
It’s hard to measure the ROI of social media. Don’t get caught up in how many likes or leads you want. Instead, focus on the process. If you share a weekly tip that’s tailored to your ideal customers for a year, then it will pay off. Even if you don’t see it, know that the impact of social media runs deep!
4. Share photos and videos of your staff/customers to build a personal connection.
Highlight one of your employees in a status every month. Provide a photo plus some info about why they love cars, how they got into the auto industry, where they studied, and what they do in their spare time.
Be ready to film testimonials from customers at any moment (hint: these are more persuasive than any ad you’ll ever buy). Don’t be afraid to ask. Believe it or not, most people want to help you succeed!
Consider your audience before you publish content on social media. They haven’t spent years working on cars like you and I have. Most of the lingo we use on a daily basis sounds like a foreign language to them. Avoid technical terms (unless you’re able to explain the definition in 50 words or less). Use analogies (for example, mechanics are like doctors for cars because they improve a vehicle’s health and longevity). Read every status out loud before posting to make sure it makes sense and sounds conversational (if not, fix it).
If you combine these best practices with a consistent process and willingness to adapt, you’ll go far. Don’t expect immediate results. Social media is a long game. It’s about earning trust, sharing advice, and building a connection with potential customers. You can’t force these things to happen overnight; but if you stick with it, brand awareness (and the referrals that come with it) will go through the roof.