Real-Time Engagement: Differentiating Your Dealership Through Your Social Marketing Plan

social marketing plan

Real-Time Engagement: Differentiating Your Dealership Through Your Social Marketing Plan

Apr. 11, 2018

You know social media is important. It’s important for your business, for your personal brand, and it’s a way to stay connected with trends and consumer insights. And because of that, you’ve done what you need to do; you’ve gotten yourself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and probably a few others along the way. So are you done with your social media marketing? Do you just get to sit back and watch the insights roll in? No way; and I’m going to tell you why.

Once you’ve put yourself out there as a brand that’s active on social media—and once you start to grow your audience and get followers—they’re going to want to talk to you. They want to have conversations, and they want you to interact, share opinions, and give them information regarding what’s going on from your side of things. It makes sense when you think about it. You wouldn’t want to have a conversation with a brick wall. This means it’s going to take ongoing effort on your part to engage people in your online circles in order to get them to share with you. When you share great things about what’s going on at your dealership, brand insights, and relevant material your followers will find interesting, they’ll be more likely to speak up and share with you.

Today’s shoppers are accustomed to personalized experiences everywhere they go, and what they expect from your dealership is no exception. Both online and in your brick and mortar locations, consumers want customized interactions that make them feel valued throughout their buying journey. When you begin by building quality relationships via your online social platforms, you’ll build lasting connections that will carry over into the dealership.

Differentiate Your Dealership

The easiest part is to recognize that the marketplace is crowded; we all know that. The tough part is finding a way to differentiate yourself as a dealership. Businesses and marketers everywhere are looking for a solution to combat this, and here it is: Build relationships with your consumers, stay connected, and let them know they are valued. You’ll stand apart from the crowd when you demonstrate your presence to your online followers and when you begin to actively participate and engage in their conversations.

The days of shoppers sending an email to businesses and waiting a day or two for a response are long gone. Now, consumers want instant contact and communication, and if you’re not present to answer their questions, respond to their requests, or reply when they give feedback, another dealership will likely pique their interest fairly quickly. When you think about it, our digital lifestyles have caused the customer experience to shift dramatically, effectively making it necessary for businesses to market to consumers well before they ever set foot in their brick and mortar locations. It’s highly likely the first impression shoppers will have of your dealership will be an online impression—either on a social platform or your website—and that means you’ll need to think about how to be in the moment with consumers before you ever meet them face-to-face.

Consider various ways to make your dealership stand out and catch consumer attention, but whatever you do, be sure to interact and engage with online shoppers in a way that lets them know you recognize their need for immediacy and communication. Check out some of the following tips for effective car dealership communication:

Periscope. Take advantage of consumers’ affinity for visual content, as well as their need for immediate connection with this app. You’re sure to grow your following and reach an even larger audience when you include visual formats.

Blab. Go big with visual content by creating live chats that generate plenty of engagement. You’ll be able to ask and answer questions, as well as get consumer insights, and as you share quality content, you’ll emerge as a thought leader in your industry.

Instant messaging. Emails are slow and often get deleted. Today’s consumers respond to instant communication and will often interact if you’re able to engage them with useful and relevant content.

Text. Your dealership can send out surveys, quick how-tos, and answer customer questions via text. It’s real-time, it’s mobile, and it’s in nearly every consumer’s pocket.

Live chat. Exactly as it sounds, this feature lets your dealership chat and interact with customers on your website in real-time, cutting down on the possibility of shoppers leaving your site when they can’t find answers they need.

However you decide to engage your followers, it’s important to carry on conversations regularly. Consumers will come to expect you on the platforms where you post and interact, so consistency is key to maintaining and growing your social media audience. Remember, those who follow you, share your posts, and interact with you are looking forward to hearing what you have to say—so it’s important you maintain a social presence and respond to them quickly in order to win in a fast-paced marketplace.