Master Social Videos
A 6-minute video filmed of himself building a transmission earned him 10,000 likes on Facebook (bit.ly/transmissionrebuild).
Ten thousand likes.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Rodifer enjoys doing this work, so he figured he’d film one and then post the video (sped up, of course) but he had no idea how well it would do. But, looking back now, it makes sense. The way he sees it, customers who spend a few thousand on a transmission repair appreciate being able to see all of the work that goes into it, and helps them put their trust in his shop, Mr. Transmission in Johnson City, Tenn.
“As of two years ago, we were the No. 1 liked auto repair shop on Facebook,” Rodifer says, and is quick to apologize to anyone that’s overtaken them, although he doesn’t believe anyone has.
Mike Maleski, owner of PSK Performance and PSK Auto Repair in the Pittsburgh-area has also gained a following in his area through his social media videos. Maleski has over 1,500 followers on Instagram and already has 1,000 likes for his TikTok channel.
That type of notoriety doesn’t come overnight, but it actually hasn’t been that difficult for either shop owner, once they figured out exactly to what type of content their audiences reacted positively. Maleski and Rodifer share the dos and don’ts of creating video content for social media.
Do: Know your platforms and their respective audiences.
“Each platform is for a different need and a different type of customer,” Maleski says.
For example, he says that the average age of his clientele on Facebook is 35 and over and his Instagram posts attract a much younger generation. This is all information that you need to consider when creating content [See Sidebar: “Post What, Where?”].
Don’t: Be on a platform for the sake of saying you’re on the platform.
Be honest, some of you reading are thinking to yourself, “What’s TikTok?”and that’s OK.
Maleski and Rodifer have both gained quite a following on the more well-established channels, like YouTube, Facebook and Linkedin, so they’re challenging themselves by creating content for this newer, short-form video sharing platform. That doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. If you’re already doing a great job with your Facebook videos, this is worth looking into. If not, first master a platform you’re more comfortable with and already have a built-in following.
Do: Keep it short.
It depends on the platform—TikTok, for example, showcases 6 to 15 second videos—but when it comes to length of a video, Rodifer says the shorter, the better, in this short-attention spanned society. 3 minutes is what he recommends. Longer is fine, but he warns not to be surprised if there’s a large drop-off at this mark. Think about the type of videos you watch—shorter is typically more appealing.
Don’t: Push your own agenda.
“My business is not a platform for my own personal thoughts,” Rodifer says.
This should go without saying, but stay away from politics and anything that may offend someone. Rodifer carefully monitors what he posts on his page to make sure that it’s agreeable to the community and will not upset anyone that could potentially come into the shop. This is a business page, not your own personal account, so remember that.
Do: Balance sales and educational content.
“Providing valuable content and education is important,” Maleski says. “If we provide valuable content to our customers, they will appreciate us and watch out content if they have something to gain from us.”
Maleski says his customers respond much better to “how to” videos than when he pushes state inspections.
That being said, there is a way to tease upcoming sales you’re having at your shop. For example, if you’re doing a brake special, you can post videos on the different kinds of brakes or what a bad brake versus a good brake looks like, Maleski says. This way, when you do post about the sale, the customer isn’t blindsighted by the sales pitch and there’s a connection there.
Don’t: Overthink It.
For those of you that haven’t created video content for social because you don’t think you can spend the money on video equipment, Rodifer and Maleski have news for you: It doesn’t need to be a huge monetary investment.
“A big production, it’s trying to make it more than it is,” Rodifer says.
Maleski has a few videos that have been professionally produced by a friend of his, but both he and Rodifer agree that sometimes the best and most relatable videos are shot with cell phones. Rodifer says with how technologically advanced cell phones are, the quality of the videos that he shoots with his are quite good.
Do: Be relatable.
Rather than spending on equipment, use your best asset—your people. Both Maleski and Rodifer are in their own videos, as are other people that work in their shops. This creates transparency and helps the customers feel more at home when and if they do decide to come in. It makes you more approachable. Plus, if the person in the video has a large Facebook following, there’s a chance that the video will reach more people.
“I have a 27-year-old that works for me that’s always sending out Facebook requests,” Rodifer says. “He’s got 2,000–3,000 friends.”
That’s a lot of potential new customers.