Social Media Savvy

Nov. 15, 2023
How to convey your shop’s brand and personality through social media so you can post with purpose.
If you live in or near Des Moines, Iowa, and are active on social media, you may have stumbled across a post where the owner of an automotive repair shop is being pelted with water balloons. Or, maybe you’ve seen a post celebrating National Cupcake Day where the owner threw cupcakes at his staff. You may also have seen videos of the staff talking about its various services and how it will go above and beyond to take care of its customers' vehicles. If you have seen any of these, chances are you’re looking at Honest Wrenches’ social media pages.  

These posts aren’t random. They are carefully thought-out and planned months in advance to help send a message about its identity, which is all about culture, according to co-owner and CEO Travis Troy.  

“I’ll be walking through a convenience store and I’ll have someone grab me that follows me on social media and say, ‘You guys have so much fun!,’ That there shows that we’re being watched and seen.”  

This well-crafted brand didn’t happen overnight. Troy shares what he’s learned about creating a meaningful identity for his shop through social media.  


Troy, who owns locations in Ankeny and West Des Moines, shares that his social media pages weren’t always as focused as they are right now. 

“In the beginning, you don’t know what you don’t know,” Troy says. “You take classes that say that you have to be on social media and you don’t know what to post.”  


For a while, Troy was doing the posting himself and he used marketing companies that would do Facebook posts as add-ons with the other services that he used them for. The shop’s social media had no clear focus or message.  

“It just seemed all over the place,” Troy says.  


Roughly three years ago, Troy decided to get serious about creating a clear brand message for his shop through his marketing and hired Nexus 6, a marketing agency that specializes in storytelling. One of the most effective and impressive things that Nexus 6 did, according to Troy, was a brand workshop. For half a day, Nexus 6 interviewed leaders in the Honest Wrenches organization to gauge what the brand meant to them. Then, they worked together to make sure the entire organization saw the brand the same way. Luckily, Troy says his staff was pretty much on the same page when it came to what the Honest Wrenches brand was all about.  

“From there, you can get the outside world to see your brand the way you see it,” Troy says.  

After the workshop, Nexus 6 created a brand book for Honest Wrench, which included incredibly helpful tools for the company. Nexus 6 holds this workshop every three years to ensure the brand identity remains intact.  

Identifying a clear brand identity helped Troy and the rest of the Honest Wrenches team figure out what message it should be sending through all of its marketing, including social media. It’s all about culture.  

Once a quarter, Troy and members of the Honest Wrenches staff meet to come up with all the creative for social media and they set a shoot day. The shoot day is where all of the videos that will be posted and pictures are shot. Then, the team at Nexus 6 beautifies it and then creates a draft for Troy to review. He then makes any adjustments that he would like and then the post is ready and scheduled to post. Troy says it's a great partnership because Nexus 6 brings all the fun, creative angles and Troy has insider industry knowledge. For example, Troy told Nexus 6 about Brakes for Breasts and they were able to make a post about that.  


Troy says his entire team gets excited for the creative shoot day and that it really comes through in the content that they create.  

“You see the smiling faces and the fun that we have,” Troy says.  

Working with an outside agency is an investment, but for Troy, it’s paid off. Honest Wrenches has a strong brand and he wanted to make the community aware of that.  

“You know you’re getting a good ROI when you get people that reach out to you in the community and people make comments to you in public,” Troy says.  


Troy that the brand workbook was a powerful tool for his company because it helped his staff define who Honest Wrenches was as a company, where it was going and why they do what they do. He can share the workbook with new hires during onboarding and make sure they’re on the same page as the rest of the staff. Having a third party helped give him a new perspective of the message that Honest Wrenches was sending the outside world. 

“You have blinders on, other people see what you don’t see,” Troy says of working with an outside agency.  

For owners that aren’t on social media or don’t put a lot of effort into what they post, Troy says that’s fine, but there’s going to be a point in time where if you want to reach more people you’re going to have to pivot your way of thinking.  

“Sometimes when you’re forced to get out of your comfort zone, you end up really enjoying what you’re doing,” Troy says of his experience with the process. “Do what you want, but know that if you’re looking for more you might have to think outside of the box.”  

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Resources for Shops Like Yours

View insights, research and solutions curated specifically for shops like yours.

Restore & Protect: The Powerful Revenue and Profit Accelerator for Your Business

Restore & Protect is a major business opportunity for Valvoline installers with positive impact on profit growth as well as customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Deliver a First-Class Guest Experience

Our dedicated Valvoline Trusted Advisor Sales and Support Team provides hands-on classroom and targeted in-store coaching to help your employees become more skilled at selling...

Promote Growth on Two Fronts: Existing and New Customers

Increase Sales and Customer Traffic To Your Store(s).