Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Photos spark an emotional connection in a way that text cannot. How many of you remember your family’s old photo album? It either lived on your living room table or resided on a shelf next to some other forgotten books, but always seemed to make an appearance on holidays or special occasions.
Do you remember how your Mother or Grandmother would fumble through the album recounting the good old days when you were a child or when your parents were children? Do you remember how emotional she would get when she would pull out a photo and pass it around for everyone to relive that forgotten memory? Odds are you know what I am talking about and by now you are probably gazing over the photos that are on your desk or the photos that are saved in your smart phone, which in-turn has sparked your own emotional response.
The point that I am getting at is that photos are powerful and if used with your social media can spark an emotional connection with your dealership. Photos can make your dealership and your dealerships brand more relatable and lets not forget how fun taking photos are and how those photos can engage your customers on your social media outlets.
In the past few months we have seen the emergence of a new photo sharing, platform with the introduction of Instagram. The Instagram platform has become immensely popular over the last few months garnering a user base of over 100 million users and these users love sharing their photos with their friends and followers, because Instagram gives them the option of altering their photos with special effects and cool filters.
Your dealership can start using this new type of social media photo sharing as a way to market your dealership and use side by side with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to build upon the following you already have. People love strong visual photos, so posting photos of your dealership, your vehicles, your employees, and customers will make your followers feel closer to you, as if they are apart of your dealerships family photo album. Ultimately, its photo sharing marketing that will help your dealership build brand awareness and have a social media program that is engaging.
How can your dealership use Instagram for marketing?
With one of Instagram’s latest updates, your dealership now has the option to tag a specific location with their images, which are saved to a personal photomap. These can be shared with your followers. This is great because your dealership has a physical location and say your dealership is having an off-site sale, or some of your employees have volunteered to do work for the community, then you can snap a photo and tag your location to let your followers know where you can be found.
The meat and potatoes of social media is sharing. Your fans and followers are giving your dealership a chance to reach them on a more personal level so make sure your dealership is reciprocating. Take pictures of your sales staff in the dealership. Take photos of upcoming vehicles to give them a sneak peak. If you’re on the road promoting your dealership, or volunteering to do community service, take photos along the way and share with your followers. Give your fans and followers a real sense of how things are behind the scenes at your dealership and help them to feel apart of the family.
If your dealership uses Twitter, then you probably know how effective hash tags can be when sharing content. You can use the same hash tags on your Instagram photos. Use hash tags that are relevant to your dealership and the auto industry as a whole to make it easier for people to find you. For example, if you have a Ford dealership you could use hash tags like #ford, #newmustang, #fusion, and #focus.
Encourage Fans and Followers to Post Images
Fans and followers who have already purchased a vehicle, purchased parts from your parts department, or gotten their vehicle serviced at your service department should be encouraged to take a photo of themselves with their new vehicle, or at your parts and service departments and tag it with one of your hash tags. This will introduce their friends to your dealership and show them how happy they are with your dealership. This is powerful!
Hold A Contest
Everyone loves a chance to win a prize and using Instagram to hold a photo contest is a fantastic way to give people what they want and to create some buzz about your dealership. You can ask your fans and followers to send in their best picture of them with their new car or a picture of them at your parts department or service department. Have them not only post to your social media pages, but to their own as well. Then the photo that receives the most comments and likes will win the prize. This is a great way to not only create buzz for your dealership, but to encourage engagement on your social media outlets.
If your dealership has not signed up with Instagram yet, there is no time like the present to get started. It’s very easy and I promise your employees will want to take part by taking photos and uploading them.