Automotive social media marketing spans far beyond your dealership’s Facebook business page. Thanks to the rise in social media, many people now feel compelled to constantly share their every waking thought, feeling, and meal with their network of friends on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and more. Aside from simply being concerning, this attention-seeking behavior also poses serious risks to the selfie generations’ employers. We all need to take a moment to think before were post, this applies to both individuals and businesses. From the moment you make the conscious decision to start adding clients or customers as friends on your personal social media accounts, you immediately identify yourself a representative of your business. This presents a world of potential issues that could either enhance or detract from your company’s image. While most of what we post on social media is protected by the first amendment, there are still things we, as professionals, should avoid posting online for clients and customers to see.
Professionalism is key: Before you make a post, pause and consider how it will reflect on your own reputation and that of your business. Are you positioning yourself as a friendly, knowledgeable, intelligent, funny person with whom potential automotive clients would be lucky to do business? Or, are you sharing crude memes and barroom brawl videos?
What to avoid: Avoid topics that could potentially devolve into a heated debate. Remain the illusion of being unbiased about all touchy subjects. Politics, religion, sexuality, etc. can bring about some anger-fueled comments that you do NOT want to get involved with. If you are posting anything remotely political on your personal or business account, remember that you are potentially alienating half of your potential client base. Don’t bad mouth your boss, your dealership, your co-workers, or (and this one may surprise you) your competitors. Never alienate your social media connections by insulting a vehicle brand they may drive, instead focus on building up your brand, your dealership, and your own appeal as an automotive professional. While you are absolutely allowed to post whatever you want, always stop and think if it is a good idea for you or the dealership to declare a stance.
What to post: Keep it light. Positivity is key. Focus on your customers. People like hopping onto Facebook and seeing some good news, as opposed to the constant stream of hate, war, and anger. On your personal accounts, post about yourself, your family, your personal branding, and demonstrate your unique talent – helping with the automotive needs of your friends and their friends and family. On your business page, stick to the three pillars of automotive social media marketing: Local, dealership, and brand. These topic umbrellas have proven effective at elevating car dealership’s social media presence and engagement. By focusing on what is important to a potential customer you increase your opportunity to build relationships and earn sales.
Legality and Social Media Policy: Social media and personal branding work hand in hand. It is imperative that your dealership has a social media policy and a promotional clause as part of your employment agreements. Employers should invest in carefully tailored social media policies that prohibit employees from posting derogatory language, volatile content, and anything else which could sully the dealership’s reputation.
The key to navigating social media as a professional or on behalf of a dealership is simple: think before you post. You are your brand. Once you begin including clients in your personal social networks you are, to those people at least, the face of your dealership. Do not add clients or customers to your personal networks if you don’t intend to portray a professional persona with every post, like, comment, and share. Success is a choice, and so is how you represent yourself and your dealership online.
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Published Author. Digital Marketing Strategist. 10+ years automotive experience.