It shouldn’t be this way, but for some businesses, customer retention takes precedence over customer acquisition. When you analyze a company’s behavior on Facebook, the content they share, the amount of ad campaigns they run, and their engagement and follower growth rates tells a lot about what their social media marketing strategy is. You’ll sometimes notice that businesses use social media platforms as if they’re personal accounts, being friendly and trying to retain already existing customers, rather than actively searching for new consumers to increase sales. This strategy is evident in the automotive industry, as car dealerships spend very little time seeking new customers, and would rather stand pat with the number of followers they have on their social media pages.
Car dealerships’ Facebook pages for the most part lack every important characteristic of a healthy business that sees sales through social media efforts. There’s no growth in likes or engagement, no ad promotions, lazy content curation, and a troubling lack of commitment and consistency to their social media accounts. The content that is shared is geared more towards current customers who already purchased a car recently, as opposed to potential car buyers who haven’t made a decision on which vehicle they’ll purchase next. When all put together, these ingredients create a perception that sales for car dealerships on social media is impossible, which is not the case as dealerships refuse to stick to or find a strategy that works for the clientele they’re marketing to.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with customer retention as customer equity is key to the long term survival and success of the dealership. The problem however is the fact that most car buyers aren’t likely to trade in for newer models until two or three years down the road at the earliest, so you’re banking on your content to retain the attention of your customers to your brand so they do return. How about creating content and ad campaigns that achieve both customer retention and customer acquisition? You’ll be appealing to more than one type of consumer, and while you’re drawing in clientele, you’re also retaining the customers who recently purchased a car from your dealership.
How can you change up your social media marketing strategy to see results in 2017? Create digital media, whether it be photos or videos of the cars you sell, and use ad campaigns to reach new people. Seeing as though Facebook and other social media platforms have changed their algorithms, organic reach has been limited, which means it’s a must to either boost your posts with $5 – $10 per day or create weekly ad campaigns to grow and expand your content’s reach and influence.
Dealerships primarily share non-native content, usually sharing links to car magazines or news organizations that review the brand’s vehicles, or news related to the cars that the dealership sells. This form of content isn’t effective and it’s quite clear when you look at the lack of engagement. Instead, post pictures and videos that provide value to consumers such as specifications of the car, safety features, fuel efficiency, while also displaying your vehicles in a good light. Car magazines aren’t biased, which means their reviews could lead customers to rival brands. It’s your job to sell potential car buyers on the cars you sell, not the magazine’s.
Ad campaigns then reach people who are in the market for a car if you advertise effectively and know your target audience. Sales can not be generated without marketing, and even though dealerships have been accustomed to marketing themselves on television and radio rather than the cars they’re selling, on social media both have to be the center of attention to acquire new customers on Facebook or other platforms.
A majority of car dealerships try retaining customers, and they’re failing at it. Be proactive and start actively searching for new car buyers. You cannot see any growth on social media by sporadically posting content on your accounts, and being uncommitted to this form of marketing. Social media marketing hasn’t been seen as a legitimate form of online sales, not because it doesn’t work, but car dealerships only stick to what they know best; television, newspapers, and radio ads. It’s time to market in the year that we’re living in, and treat social media the same way you do with traditional advertising. The time to increasing car sales is now, so change up your strategy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and start seeing results today.