Over the past few years we’ve written a number of articles about auto repair shop marketing, including social media marketing, but one thing that should always be reiterated is that activity on social media is what gets results. Effort is, of course, important for all types of marketing. If you don’t advertise, either via traditional channels like TV, radio, and newspapers, direct mail marketing, or online options, many potential customers will never be aware your business is there. The fact is, plenty of people out there have no particularly loyalty to any one auto repair shop. They just want to get their cars repaired well and quickly and for a reasonable price if they have a problem or an accident.
For social media to work right, your company has to be social. As the saying goes, “Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.” You want your customer base to not only be aware of your business, but also intrigued or otherwise interested in it. Here are some ideas on how to accomplish that:
Update regularly – It’s true that no one likes being spammed by companies they don’t know about or don’t care about, but the followers on your social media channels are there by choice. This means that they must have at least some interest in your business or what you do. So share anything that is of general interest. If you have car clinics, specials, or open houses, tell them. If your employees do a charity drive or a walk for a cause, tweet a picture of them together. You want to be familiar to your followers. This builds trust.
Cooperate with other businesses on social media – This will work best for you if those other businesses aren’t direct competitors, but exchanging tweets or links or even having a fun and healthy rivalry with another business increases your chances of getting noticed.
Get to know your customers online – If any of your customers have personal or business accounts on social media, interact with them. Again, you might get new eyes on your auto repair shop by promoting the business next door or commenting on a customer’s success.
Don’t be afraid to state opinions or post articles with a point of view – Don’t tweet about politics or religion, of course. But if you have opinions about what constitutes good service or a better product, share it in a respectful way. Your customers want to know you know your own business and have a passion for how things should be done. Even if you get people disagreeing with your opinions, chances are that person is drawing more eyeballs to your social media. Handling conflict gracefully is another way of showing you know how to do your job.
Put someone social in charge of your social media – The person you assign to your social media should, at the bare minimum, like talking to other people and know how to behave online. The best person is someone who gets excited to showcase your business online and can think different ways to get people’s attention.
There is no one right way to do social media. A good strategy depends entirely on who you are trying to reach, but frequency and interest building are vital for any social media endeavor. If you’re not doing the above with your social media, take another look at how well what you are doing is working for your company. You might be surprised.