72% of adults using the internet have social media accounts, 1.19 billion people actively use Facebook every month and 300,000 people are added to Twitter everyday.
Social media is an active part of customer lives and needs to be understood if businesses want to stand out. It’s not just retail, venues and restaurants that use Twitter and Facebook, many motor trade businesses utilise the medium to help sell their products and services and engage with their customers.
Why Should my Motor Trade Business use Social Media?
If you are running any business in the motor trade today, social media is an essential marketing and customer service tool. Social media can help you engage with your customers and construct valuable community and trust. You can educate them about your business and services, advertise offers and products, whilst also being able to instantly answer any of their questions or concerns.
If you’re a car dealer you can freely advertise your vehicles for sale, if you run a valet service you can promote your offers and it’s a simple way to quickly answer questions and queries from customers.
What Should I Share on Social Media?
Relative News and Content
It’s fine to talk about what’s going on in your garage or showroom every so often, but you don’t need to solely talk about your business on social media. You can also talk about subjects that are different but still relevant to your business. For example if you are a mechanic, you could talk about formula one, new cars being released soon or motoring television shows, they aren’t directly about your business, but people who are interested in you will be interested in similar subjects and will enjoy hearing news.
How To Articles
Revealing some tricks of the trade, car maintenance or vehicle cleaning techniques is a great method for getting your posts shared. If you can include your products or services in the ‘how to’ posts you’ll be even more engaging.
Social media is unsurprisingly a social environment, imagine it as a 24/7 networking event, with that in mind jump into conversations and engage with anyone who might be relevant to your motor trade business.
Community and Charity
Special events going on in your local community and anything that your business does voluntarily or for charity should be shouted about. Sharing things like this make your business more human and trustworthy to your customers.
Many job seekers are now scouring social media for work. If you have an opening and want to find the best candidate, why not increase your reach by sharing the job through social media accounts.
Guide to Facebook
After signing up with a Facebook account, you’ll want to start a Facebook Page, here you can upload all of your branding and imagery and start promoting your business.
As previously stated Facebook has 1.19 billion active users every month, and of course with a number like that, businesses and brands are flocking to use the site to advertise and post things on their pages.
Facebook uses algorithms that determine which posts are relevant to the individual users and should appear in their news feeds, and the more popular posts that receive likes, comments or even shares are the ones that last longer and keep popping up.
To make your motor trade business stand out try following in the footsteps of The Motor Trade Club who continually promote their site and engage their audience with funny and interactive posts. They post interesting content about the industry, run a hilarious weekly Caption Competition and a guess the car game called, The Fast and The Blurriest.
Here are some guidelines for creating a stand out Facebook post:
1. Follow our ‘What Should I Share on Social Media’ guidelines.
2. Slick Content
Ensure that the grammar and spelling is correct before clicking post and to engage more people be sure to notify any other pages or people you mention. You can do this by typing ‘@‘ and then their name them into the post. (@ing may not work if a user is private)
3. Always Post with an Image
Facebook is a much more visual platform than Twitter and images stand out much more than solely text based. Posts with a photograph, video or image get, on average, 39% more engagement.
4.Timing and Scheduling
Posts should be timed to go out when your Page’s ‘fans’ are most active. You can check this by looking at the insights section on your Page. So that you don’t miss the time slots and can do most of your promotion in one sitting, you can schedule posts in advance by clicking the arrow to the right of the ‘Post’ button. There’s no need to schedule all of your posts, spontaneity is part of social media’s charm, but scheduling some will save you a great deal of time.
5. Don’t Overdo it
Spamming your fans with post after post after post will not increase your reach. Too many posts filling up people’s News Feeds will actually put them off your page, and Facebook may penalise the posts as spam. With a small motor trade business, 1-2 posts a day is fine, unless you have something really special happening, then maybe post a few more.
Guide to Twitter
Twitter is perhaps one of the best platforms to gather new customers and engage your current customers. 100 million users actively use Twitter everyday and finding users who have similar interests to your business and relevant conversations to step into is just a search away.
With just 140 characters a post, tweeting can be tricky to get a handle on, but once you’ve cracked it you’ll see it’s a fantastic place to promote your business and find interesting relevant news sources.
We recommend looking at the style of The Ford Motor Company’s twitter account, who post consistently entertaining and newsworthy posts everyday.
1. Follow Like-Minded Businesses and Users
By following like minded businesses and users, maybe even a few competitors, you’ll find interesting news and information that you can pass onto your own followers. These are also the people that will follow you back and engage with what you have to say. Following users or celebrities that are not relevant to your business will not help you.
Suggestions: @Ford @think_ins @motorhappy @BBC_TopGear
2. Having more Followers than Follows is best
It is extremely difficult to start this way, but this is the level you want to achieve, this is why following irrelevant users is pointless. A twitter profile with less follows than followers looks more trustworthy than a user who follows hundreds more people than they are followed by, the latter just looks spammy.
3. First Impressions
Upon looking at your profile, Twitter users will generally give you one chance before they decide whether they follow you or not. You need to have a good profile picture, cover picture and snappy biography so people commit to the follow.
Make the profile or cover image relevant to your business and branding. Images of your staff, a sparkling clean car or your tools/equipment would be perfect to represent your motor trade business.
4. Hashtags and Searches
Putting a hash before a word like this, #cars, creates a hashtag. Hashtags are easy ways of discovering relevant users and users discovering you. In the motor trade you might want to try simple hashtags like #motoring and then during events or live industry news try and search more niche hashtags.
Try these to get started: #motorhappy #cardealer #cdx15 #motorhour
Another interesting way of getting users to notice you and also give yourself interesting things to share is by favouriting and retweeting other user’s tweets. If someone endorses you in a tweet it is polite to favourite it, and if it’s a really good endorsement you should retweet it to show other users your service is fantastic!
Also if someone says something interesting about a subject relevant to your business, a favourite may be enough to make them interested in you.
Posting content on twitter is limited to just 140 characters, which means you have to be creative in getting your point across. To stand out on twitter at first can be difficult, as finding your 140 character voice is something that takes time, but with our Tweet guidelines the process will hopefully be much easier.
1.Think About Your Voice
As we said, your voice will take time to develop, but at all times you need to be aware of what you are writing and whether your audience will appreciate your tweets.
2. Follow our ‘What Should I Share on Social Media’ guidelines
3. @mentions and #hashtags
Engage with existing users and become more discoverable to new users by @ mentioning and making use of popular hashtags. If you are talking about another twitter user, be polite and mention them by including their twitter profile, for example @Think_Ins. If you are talking about a subject see if there’s a hashtag you could use, users may search for the same thing and find you.
4. Use Pictures and Videos
Its not necessary for all of your tweets to have images as text based tweets can be just as engaging, but a picture or video here and there does make your profile much more interesting.
5. Don’t Spam
Same as Facebook, don’t overdo it. Too many tweets in people’s news feeds will put them off you, also if you are @ mentioning and hashtagging too many times within one tweet people will unfollow you. Around 5 tweets a day should be enough to entertain your followers, though this doesn’t have to be so strict.
6. Times and Scheduling
Your Facebook insights will be similar to your tweet times, so use that to calculate your best times to tweet. Twitter won’t allow you to schedule tweets through its own site, but you can use sites like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule tweets when you want to.
Guide to LinkedIn
LinkedIn is social media designed for the business world. Where Twitter and Facebook were designed for shared social interests and interaction between friends, LinkedIn was made to bring businesses, clients and new employees together.
LinkedIn gets 78 million unique visits to it site everyday, as well as customers, many of the visitors to your page will be like minded businesses and business people. It is also the best social media platform for seeking new employees, you can advertise the job and also see the employment history and qualifications of prospective candidates.
cars.com have a very successful LinkedIn page with over 10,000 followers, they regularly post interesting content and advertise jobs. Though they are a large company, they have the type of profile you should be aspiring for.
How to Make Interact and Make Connections
Encourage Employee Interaction
Once you have set up your business page, you should encourage your employees to sign up too and tell the rest of LinkedIn where they work, this way your business can be advertised to all of their current and future connections.
Join Groups and Interact
On LinkedIn you can join business groups, which can inform you of current news in your field and may lead to new opportunities.
To make the most of LinkedIn you should try to post, or get involved in, relevant discussions regularly and update what’s happening within your business so people are aware of you. If people in the group find you interesting you will make more connections and your business will get noticed.
Some motor trade groups you may wish to join:
Motor Trader / Motor Trade Jobs and Discussion / Mobile Car Wash Owners & Other Similar Mobile Businesses / Mechanical Engineers Network
Recommendations are what makes LinkedIn stand out, they allow you to highlight a skill or talent of a connection to other users, in return your connection might do the same for you.
You shouldn’t ever do recommendations for people you don’t know, it’s just not appropriate and your recommendation won’t mean anything, especially if they are not good at something you say they are. Recommend people you know and are confident in endorsing.
You can also request that your connections recommend you, but if you do this, let them know why you would like the recommendation and don’t be too pushy about it, you don’t want to put them off!
When interacting with new people on LinkedIn, be yourself and not just an automated business card for your company. If you send standard unpersonalised messages when connecting with new people they will likely ignore you, or worse, they might mark you as spam.
Picking a subject that they might find interesting and creating a personalised message will show them that you care about them and are interested in what they are doing.
For example: “Hi Steve, Hope you’re well. Like you, I’m also a car dealer and I used to work at Jaguar Land Rover too. It’d be great to join your LinkedIn Network. All the best, Tina”
Never let the reason you are getting in touch with someone be purely commercial, they won’t trust you and won’t be interested in what you are selling.
Think Insurance have worked closely with the Motor Trade for many years and are experts at creating policies that suit our customers. We are on all the social media sites, so if you have found this piece interesting go ahead and give us a follow, like or connection!
https://www.facebook.com/thinkins / https://twitter.com/think_ins / https://www.linkedin.com/company/think-insurance