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Facebook Marketing Tips for Car Dealers and Automotive Social Marketers

Michael Tyman of Professional Success, Inc. is a leading consultant who works directly with car dealers to help improve their sales and marketing processes. He views Facebook as a huge marketing sphere for engaging people and building a loyal fan base.

 

Facebook offers a unique opportunity to engage people on a personal level. More than just a “social network”, it is a direct channel for communication between your dealership and your potential customers. A magnetic Facebook page with plenty of fans can often result in an effective online presence that boosts the credibility of your business.

 

However, simply having a Facebook page with fans and updating it regularly is not enough. Jennifer Schrader at Automotive Digital Marketing believes that there are three strategies every auto dealer needs to practice when it comes to Facebook marketing.

  1. Use your existing fan base – Ask your employees to become fans of your dealership’s page, and encourage them to engage their friends and families. This creates a strong foundation for your dealership in the Facebook community.
  2. Focus on building lasting relationships – Go beyond merely increasing fan counts and create trusting relationships with your customers. Instead of sending out generic spiels, connect with your audience using personalized messages.
  3. Listen to feedback – Communication is a two-way street. Use Facebook as a forum to listen to and respond to feedback. It’s not just a “PA system” to broadcast news about your business.

While Jennifer offers key points in engaging with your Facebook audience, you can always do more to boost the number of fans you have. Car dealerships need to be creative with their Facebook marketing so customers are encouraged to return to the page, as well as invite their friends to become fans. Valuable incentives and special giveaways for checking in are among the many things you can offer to your Facebook audience. The more value you give to your fans, the more they give back in the form of positive reviews and referrals. Take a step away from traditional marketing methods, and build your presence on Facebook with regular customer interaction and creative deals, so your fans are more likely to stay loyal to your dealership.

For more information about Michael Tyman and Professional Success, Inc. visit his company website, LinkedIn profile and Facebook page by following the links in the first paragraph.


Official Facebook Marketing and Advertising for Car Dealers; Tips, Tools and Resources
Facebook's new education resource for car dealers  
    We're excited to announce our new resource center, Facebook for Car Dealers. Here, you'll learn how Facebook products can be used together to grow your business and community of customers. You'll also find step-by-step best practices for creating Pages, Ads, Sponsored Stories, and more.  
 
  Reach the right customers with new targeting options  
    ZIP code targeting allows you to target your ads and Sponsored Stories based on people's ZIP codes. When you select the U.S. as your target country in Ads Manager, you'll see "ZIP Codes" as an option alongside the "State" and "City" radio buttons. Topic targeting combines overlapping Likes and Interests to enable easier targeting. For example, the "#Lady Gaga" topic will enable you to reach people with related interests such as "Lady Gaga," "Lady Gaga Fans" and "Lady Gaga Music." Topics are available in the "Precise Interests" selection box.  
  Tips on connecting your online and offline worlds  
    For beauty retailer Sephora and family restaurant chain Applebee's, Facebook is much more than a Web destination. Watch our latest Marketing Talks webinar for three tips on how you can connect with your business's community on Facebook every day in your store.  
 
FACEBOOK CASE STUDY
 
  Luxury Link: Customers of high-end hotels website Luxury Link travel all over the world. And then many go on Facebook to discuss their experiences with their friends. By running Facebook Ads, the company has seen an increase in revenue, and traffic to its site from Facebook has doubled. As of mid-August 2011, the Luxury Link Facebook page had reached nearly 28,000 fans. For the full story, read the case study.  
  RESOURCES  
 


TIP OF THE MONTH

Want to increase your reach and drive word of mouth for your business? Consider running Page Like and Page Post Like Sponsored Stories to reach the friends of your fans. You can create a Sponsored Story in Ads Manager.


Go to your Ads Manager



WEBINAR CENTER

Become an expert with the Facebook Ads Webinar Center
Our Webinar Center provides you with on-demand tutorials to help you develop successful Facebook Ads for your business.



Visit the Webinar Center

IN THE NEWS

More than a third of small businesses are on Facebook
Scribbal reports that 35 percent of small businesses have a presence on Facebook.

Facebook's new ZIP code targeting could help small businesses
Internet Retailer reports that the ability of marketers to select one or multiple ZIP codes to target on Facebook will be an advantage for small businesses.

More car dealers are turning to social media for marketing
USA Today reports that more than 40 percent of local car dealers now have Facebook Pages.
  For more tips, case studies and product updates, please visit
Facebook for Car Dealers.

Build a presence with Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages let you connect with potential customers and drive traffic to your business
Step 1: Build your Page
Once you’ve created your Page, the next step is to make it represent your products and business’s mission.
  • Photo: Use an eye-catching, recognizable photo of your business's name, storefront or popular product
  • Location: Claim your Place and be sure to provide a location on your Page so people know where to find you
  • Info: Write a short blurb that clearly describes what your business is, and include helpful links and contact information
  • Apps: Enhance your Page with custom apps that can let you share your menu, stream video, and more
  • Wall posts: Add updates, photos, videos and links about your business to your Wall - these will show up in News Feed, where your fans and their friends can comment and share

Step 2: Talk to your customers
Post Regularly and develop deeper relationships with your customers and create an engaging community.
Give your Page an authentic and consistent voice, and encourage people to like and share your posts.
  • Share exclusive content: Post photos, videos, menus or other "sneak peaks" about new products and events
  • Ask questions: Simple questions allow customers to easily engage and provide feedback on a product or service
  • Create an event: Celebrate a launch, holiday, or anniversary and promote it to your loyal customers
  • Check your page daily: Set aside 5-10 minutes each day to post updates and respond to comments
  • Create a Conversation Calendar: This will help you remember when, where and what to post
Responding to Wall posts from your customers and updating your Page on a timely basis allows you to keep in touch with customers just as you would when they're visiting your physical store location...
Step 3: Expand your reach
There are a number of ways to increase awareness and bring more people to your Page.
  • Tell in-store customers: Add calls to action such as “Like us on Facebook” on in-store signs, emails and business cards
  • Promote your URL: Add your Facebook Page link to your business cards, flyers, or receipts
  • Get the Like button on your website: Make it easy for people to like your page, even when they're not on Facebook
  • Run Sponsored Stories and Facebook Ads: Reach your ideal audience, as well as their friends, to drive word of mouth marketing at scale
  • Set up Check-in Deals: Reward loyal customers with discounts and other special offers to build valuable relationships that help drive awareness for your business
Step 4: Learn and Grow
Set some goals to shape your Page posts and ensure they are useful and relevant. Then check the metrics on your Page Insights Dashboard regularly to learn:
  • Who your customers are
  • What day of the week most people visit
  • How often people comment
  • Which posts are most engaging
  • How to improve your Page strategy
Update your Page at times when fans are most engaged, and encourage participation with weekly features and other regular content that receive the most comments
Additional: Why Create a Conversation Calendar?
Think of your Page like a well-planned magazine with consistent, targeted content:
  • Post updates when fans are most engaged (this data can be found in Page Insights)
  • Offer weekly features and other regular content
Learn how to make a simple Conversation Calendar
Want to Improve Your Pages?

BONUS: 6 More Facebook Marketing Tips for Managing Your Dealership's Facebook Page...

Wondering what works and what doesn’t for your car dealership's Facebook page?

Overwhelmed with all the Facebook tactics listed above, as well as others you've read about?

No matter how long your dealership has had a Facebook page, it’s good to review some of the basics for making a Facebook page effective for your dealership.

Shown below are six more easily executed tactics that will make you a more effective admin and make your dealership's Facebook page more professional...

So, why not implement these fundamental Facebook page management activities today?

   

#1: Check Your Wall-posting Preferences

Does your page get a lot of, ahem, critical commentary on its timeline? Or maybe just more than you have time to deal with easily? If so, it might be time to set your page’s Posting Ability tab so that only your page admins can post.

   

Here’s how: Choose Edit Page from your Admin panel. Then choose Edit Settings.

You can add/remove admins directly from the Admin panel.

From there, edit the Posting Ability tab and decide if you want everyone to be able to post on your page, or if you want to allow only your page admins to post.

You can adjust the posting ability to fit your page’s needs.

   

While I normally advocate allowing open access to a page, and even leaving negative posts up so your customers and future customers can see how you deal with criticism, for some businesses it’s just simpler to let people message you privately if they have an issue. Setting to “Posts by Page Only” also prevents Facebook users from spamming you.

You’re able to choose to allow everyone to post to your page or limit posting.

    

#2: Use Insights to Determine What’s Working for Your Page

There are two basic types of Facebook page admins: Those who post based on hunches as to what motivates engagement, and those who look at Facebook’s Insights to see whatactually drives engagement.

   

Checking Facebook Insights will help you give your fans what they want. For example, if you notice that the posts with images have better reach and engagement than those that are text only, try removing the images to see what happens.

   

Since Facebook is always messing with EdgeRank, it can seem like just when you have figured out the formula for engagement, something changes. Checking Insights will help you stay on track, no matter what algorithmic changes Facebook throws your way.

   

A few months back, Facebook did a complete overhaul of Facebook Insights and Jon Loomer wrote a nice article for Social Media Examiner that walks you through the latest features.

Facebook Insights provide valuable information about the actions of your fans that can enhance your Facebook presence.
   

#3: Assign Admin Roles

Facebook allows five different administrator roles: manager, content creator, moderator, advertiser and insights analyst. Each role has different capabilities—only managers have the ability to change each admin’s role. Facebook makes all admins managers by default.

Each admin level has different capabilities for a Facebook page.

  

You can have as many admins on a page as you want. To add an admingo to Edit Page on your timeline and then click Admin RolesScroll down and select Add Another Admin.

Note: To make someone an admin of your page, the person must have liked the page.

   

To prevent conflict among your employees and before you assign your Facebook page’s admin roles, establish some company-wide guidelines. Some things to consider:

  • Have a quarterly Facebook training session. Discuss roles and address etiquette and expectations for employees who manage the page. At the quarterly meeting, discuss new Facebook features, address concerns about previous posts and talk about new tactics that you’d like to implement.
       
  • Define the voice of your page. Each individual has a unique voice, but when representing a business or brand on a Facebook page, the page admins should work together to form a consistent voice. Make sure that your page admins understand the established voice and that they are expected to use that voice when communicating with users and fans online.
       
  • Keep a shareable document (e.g., a Google doc) that outlines company social media policies. Employees should refer to the document at any time when they need to know what to post—and what not to post. This document should also include recommendations about how to interact with your Facebook fan base.
       
  • Keep admins to a minimum. Don’t give just anyone admin rights to the Facebook page. The fewer people managing a page, the better. Two or three admins actively updating, responding to inquiries and managing the page are plenty.
       
  • Keep communication between admins open. “If you’re not sure, ask!” is an elementary concept, yet it’s an important one. Whether responding to a particularly difficult user comment or sharing an article on the timeline, establish a rule of thumb that if any admin is unsure about whether something is appropriate, s/he should ask another admin for an opinion. Encouraging page admins to have open communication with one another will help reduce mistakes.

Adding new admins is easy as long as the person has liked your page.

   

#4: Choose Your Featured Likes 

Liking other business pages helps you build connections (and when they reciprocate, gives you added exposure), but you might not want certain pages to be among the first things visitors to your page see. Luckily, you can control which of the pages you’ve liked appear on your timeline.

  

Five of these likes are displayed at any one time, and the five that appear randomly change each time the visitor to your page refreshes—unless you edit which pages appear.

  

Why would you want to do this? You might want to feature pages that are related to your business. Or perhaps you want to feature pages that you think will be relevant to your readers. (If you pick more than five, they will rotate randomly.)

   

To choose featured likesgo to your Admin panelchoose Edit Page, then Edit Settings. Next, click More and then select Featured. From there you can edit your featured likes.

Try choosing featured pages that are relevant to your business that you think your fans would like.

   

#5: Bookmark Facebook’s Page Guidelines and Reacquaint Yourself With What’s Changed Recently

Facebook changes its terms of service…often. And unless you follow the company’s blog or frequently check their Page Guidelines, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s allowed—or not—during a given month.

Of course reading social media blogs like Social Media Examiner will help you stay in the know, but page admins should still bookmark Facebook’s Page Guidelines and read the document at least once a quarter.

The constant changes of Facebook’s Page Guidelines require businesses to read and reference them often.

   

#6: Use Facebook as a Page Instead of as Yourself

Chances are if you’re the admin of a page, you simply head over to your business page and when you comment or post, you act as the business. But did you know that you can actually change your profile so that you are on Facebook as a page and not just as a personal profile acting as an admin on the page?

Why would you want to do this? If you happen to own or work for a B2B company, it’s a good way to build alliances with other businesses that are in your same industry (but aren’t competitors).

Let’s say you own a restaurant. You’d want to interact with hotels nearby so that when people check out the hotel’s page, they see your (positive and helpful) comments and are motivated to check out your business. Of course there’s a fine line—you don’t want to post too often or be so complimentary that your posts appear insincere, spammy or otherwise annoying. But posting as a page is a great way to network with similar businesses and leverage the marketing power of Facebook.

To act as a page on Facebook, click on the Settings icon in the top right corner of your Facebook profile and you’ll see an option to Use Facebook as” with a list of the pages for which you’re an admin. When you choose to Use Facebook as a Page,” you are able not only to post and comment as that page, but also your news feed contains the updates from the businesses your page follows instead of your personal friends and page likes.

Using Facebook as a page offers a variety of benefits to automotive suppliers and dealers who target business and commercial sales.

Hope you find these tips helpful as you look for new ways to invigorate your Facebook presence!

What do you think? Do you have any Facebook tips to share? Please share your comments below.

Views: 681

Tags: Car, Dealers, Facebook, Marketing, Tips, content marketing, social media

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