There was a time when advertising a car dealership meant putting up billboards and running radio ads. As the technology evolved, however, promotional strategies became far more complex. One area that typically causes the most confusion is social media strategies for car dealerships. With just a little hard work, though, it’s easy to excel in this area.
Why is this important? It’s because social media is now the number-one way businesses connect with consumers. Unfortunately, about half of brands say the top social platforms are only “somewhat effective” for promoting their business. This doesn’t mean social media strategies for car dealerships aren’t adequate — it simply means many dealers need guidance.
This guide provides exactly that. Whether you’re trying to improve sales or beef up your inventory acquisition program, the best social media marketing strategies for car dealerships can help.
The best social media platforms for car dealerships
Do you know the best social media platforms for car dealers? If you ask some dealers, they’d answer “all of them.” This is certainly a bold and motivated position, but there are more than 250 social platforms currently in existence. Even if you only focused on the most popular, you’d still be wasting resources with some social media strategies for car dealerships.
This is because not every platform is ideal for every type of auto marketing. TikTok may not be effective at improving inventory acquisition by getting customers to trade in their vehicles — and Twitter might not be ideal for short-form videos (yet). Because of this reality, it’s best to focus on the following platforms when building social media strategies for car dealerships.
Facebook for wide reach
Facebook boasts over 2.8 billion users around the world. This makes it one of the best social media platforms for car dealerships. Whether your focus is bringing in new inventory, getting clients to schedule service or unloading all your fall inventory — most of the folks you’re targeting are on Facebook.
This platform is great for just about every form of content and the audience targeting tools make it easy to market to specific demographics. You’ll also have access to data that can improve your marketing endeavors.
View the Data First guide on Kelley Blue Book to see how this can help.
Twitter to share useful content
While Facebook may hold the top spot for deploying social media strategies for car dealerships, Twitter isn’t far behind. The latest research on this platform found that it contributes to more than $700 million in yearly auto sales. Use Twitter to share blogs, articles and visual content geared toward the car buying experience.
Instagram to connect with younger audiences
Millennials are leaving Facebook in droves for Instagram. While the latter platform isn’t at the top of the social mountain, it does offer a great chance to reach young adults. Pictures and videos are the name of the game on Instagram.
Sharing images of cars in beautiful destinations will appeal to the adventurous. Conversely, videos of customers getting a check for a trade-in will make the “hustle generation” take notice — especially if you include a caption explaining how easy the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program makes the process. There’s no shortage of great Instagram social media strategies for car dealerships.
YouTube to showcase video content
YouTube is one of the best social platforms for selling vehicles. This is where you should put all your video content. Those in the market to buy cars will want videos that discuss safety features, comparisons and connected devices. Walkarounds are also vital tools to appeal to customers. And while folks are gaining insight from your videos, it doesn’t hurt to announce a trade-in offer to help with inventory acquisition.
LinkedIn to reach a professional audience
You can share any type of content on LinkedIn, but it’s best if you’re targeting potential fleet customers or a professional audience. Most people use this platform for business purposes, but if you offer luxury vehicles or fleet services, you can find your audience on LinkedIn.
Pinterest to further expand reach
Many people don’t think of Pinterest when considering social media strategies for car dealerships. This is a mistake. This platform centers mostly on visual content, but it can also boost your search ranking if you include links to blogs, landing pages and inventory photos.
This is also a great opportunity to utilize specific marketing tactics that target females, as they make up most of the users on Instagram — and they’re also involved in 85 percent of all car-buying decisions.
Best social media strategies for car dealerships
Recognizing which platforms to use for specific marketing strategies is a great start. Unfortunately, this isn’t all you need to know. After all, simplifying trade-in deals with the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program and knowing the best platform to promote it doesn’t magically mean your content will appeal to potential clients.
The following strategies are how you accomplish this. You can use these across all social media platforms for car dealers. This means that—even if you’re using sites not mentioned on this list—these tips can help you appeal to those in the market to buy, sell, trade-in or even those who just need an oil change.
1. Automate social media strategies
There are many things you can’t automate—ranging from auto service and repair to pre-delivery inspections—but posting to social media platforms for car dealers isn’t one of them. The following automation tools will help you schedule your posts well in advance so your marketing strategies don’t falter when you have a particularly busy day:
- Zoho Social
- You can automate nearly all of your dealership’s social media tasks. Check out our Inventory Acquisition page to see how you can automate even seemingly complex processes.
2. Tell stories on social media platforms
Whether a marketer is promoting a breakout pop star or crafting new social media strategies for car dealerships, they’ll often swear by the phrase, “content is king.” This is very true. People seek out valuable and engaging content, but storytelling has also become an integral part of any effective promotional endeavor.
By including storytelling in addition to typical marketing tactics, you’ll humanize your brand and build a connection with potential customers. Share images of your employees taking part in charitable events or post videos of your staff conversing with clients.
Anything you can do to show real people work at your dealership will appeal to viewers.
3. Include customers in your social media posts
Any business can claim that they take customer support seriously. If you can show consumers real examples of this, however, they’ll know it’s more than just talk on your part. Consider posting videos and images of your customers — with their permission, of course — to drive up engagement.
There are many ways you can do this. For instance, improve your inventory acquisition marketing with a video testimonial from an excited customer who just received their check. You could also post an image along with a customer’s unique story of why they chose to buy from you.
The possibilities are endless.
4. Engage your followers
Even the most effective social media strategies for car dealerships can falter without engagement. Sure, this means posting engaging content is a top priority. Unfortunately, that’s not quite enough. You also need to engage your followers after the fact.
How do you do this? It’s simple: respond and converse. Don’t let a comment on your post go by without a response. Don’t make a customer who posted to your wall feel unappreciated by not commenting. It takes a bit of work, but keeping the conversation going increases your visibility.
5. Provide content that offers value
Your social media profiles need to remain active and up to date. It’s important to remember, though, that simply posting isn’t enough. You need to share content that provides value to succeed.
This means providing your followers with something they can use. A blog centered on car buying tips is a great idea. A how-to video on getting an offer through the Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer program is another prime example. Even a photo gallery of new vehicles in your inventory provides value to someone.
The simple fact is this: you will get no value on social media platforms for car dealerships if you’re not offering value to those who see it.
Now’s the time to put social media strategies to work
Whether you’re actively seeking new inventory or simply trying to take advantage of high demand, social media is key to helping your dealership succeed. While this may seem like a major investment upfront, there’s no denying that effective marketing on social platforms offers a great return on investment. It all comes down to persistence and making the right decisions.