Social media has become a huge part of the car buying experience in recent years. A quarter of all U.S. car buyers reportedly use social media as a resource to discuss or communicate about their recent purchase experience. More than half of consumers looking to buy a car are doing their research primarily online. Three-quarters of car buyers said that social media and review sites were the most helpful resource in choosing a car dealership. And when it comes to Facebook, a whopping 84% of auto buyers are active on the platform.
Clearly, the car shoppers are on social media. And that means the car business needs to be there, too.
From dealers, to manufacturers, to parts and service companies, social media offers and unprecedented opportunity to reach out to, interact with, and engage with customers.
Know Your Platform
One of the most important things to understand about social media is that not every platform is the same. Users of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and so on are looking for different experiences from each of these platforms. They have different expectations of what content looks like and how they are prone to interact with it. Twitter, for instance, is well-suited for breaking news, reactions, and quick trends. “Live Tweeting” events is a common practice, as well as weighing in on relevant current events. Instagram, on the other hand, is all about visual content. The Instagram feed is an endless scroll of pictures and videos which users only stop when a post is compelling enough to grab them for a like, share or comment. Getting the most out of each platform will rely on an understanding of what the best content is to suit user expectations.
It has been well documented that images on social media receive far more likes, shares, and comments than text alone. So, utilizing photo and image content whenever possible is a great strategy. But, much of social media is overloaded with images already, especially when you are looking at platforms like Instagram and Pinterest which are entirely image and video-based. That means you can’t just post photos, you have to post great photos. Fortunately, as those in the auto industry, you should never struggle for subject matter to post pictures of. Beautiful, high-quality shots of cars, engines, showrooms, races, etc., are a sure-fire way to get social media users interested.
Videos can add even more intrigue and creativity to your visual content. This could be through footage of cars on the move, walk-around videos of vehicles, peeks under the hood – you can even take advantage of some of the fun and captivating apps that Instagram makes to help users create great videos, like Boomerang (1-second videos played forward, then reversed) and Hyperlapse (intuitive smartphone-based time-lapse videos). Whatever social media platforms you participate in though, a YouTube presence is a must for auto industry businesses, since 84% of car shoppers say that they plan to watch auto videos before making a purchase.
One thing that encourages users to engage on social media is when you engage back. Remember, social media is not a one-way channel. This is two-way communication. So, when users like, comment, or ask questions make sure you respond promptly and thoughtfully. This will help build a sense of community around your social media channels and humanize your business.
Want to learn more about outcome social media can have on your audience, chat with 10twelve today to see where you can improve your social media engagement.