Automotive Industry Social Media Marketing Gets Personal

Automotive industry social media marketing trends are constantly changing, and this year they are centering around advancing technology that allows a greater level of personal interfacing. The internet continues to grow in importance in our daily lives, and is becoming more and more interactive as it does so. Consumers have learned to expect a more personalized experience driven by artificial intelligence through successful social media marketing strategies. BHPH dealerships should take note and many may need to change the way they approach marketing on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Methods that worked well a few years ago now leave something to be desired as marketing online becomes less like the relationship between presenter and audience, and more like a conversation. Is your social media marketing offering enough personal touches? How can you tell and what can you improve? Offering customers a feeling of one-on-one interaction may be easier than you think with these automotive industry social media marketing trends for 2019.

Social media is still one of the largest arenas for communicating with potential customers on the internet, but it’s also one of the most competitive. After all, you’re not only competing with other BHPH dealers or industry vendors, but also with other the content posted by consumer’s friends and family (and let’s face it, Aunt Edna’s tap dancing cat video is hard to ignore). That’s why current automotive industry social media marketing trends lean toward interactive posts that capture customers’ interest. Stop and ask yourself: what do your social media posts currently look like? Do you post advertisements showcasing your current inventory or latest sale, or are you engaging customers on a more personal level? How many likes and comments do your posts usually get?

If the answer to that last question is few or none, that’s a good indication that your social media marketing strategy is not working or needs some help. The 2019 automotive industry social media marketing trends are focused on building a more personal connection by being more interactive. One of the best things you can do is to ask questions. Facebook offers a survey function which is an excellent way to engage customers. It can also help you with your market research. Ask customers how likely they would be to buy from a BHPH dealer, what features are most important to them in a used car, or what sort of vehicle they would be most interested in. People like to share their opinions, and you’ll be more likely to engage customers by letting them know their feedback matters. Data from these surveys has the added bonus of offering you a guide to better understanding your local market. Of course, not all questions have to appear in the form of a survey. Asking consumers to comment with opinions is another perfectly legitimate way to increase engagement. You can even invite them to ask questions about vehicles or deals that you post on social media. When you do this, it is vital that you not only respond to questions and comments, but that you respond quickly. This is called social listening and is extremely important. Response times to questions or comments should not exceed 48 hours and should preferably be within 24 hours for most impact – make no mistake, faster response times are always better where automotive industry social media marketing is concerned. Consumers expect to hear from you quickly– for example, data shows that 78 percent of Twitter users expect companies to respond to complaints in an hour or less– and the quicker you reply to a customer the more they will feel they’re important to you. That personal one-on-one experience is, after all, the entire point of social listening. Remember that this should function like a conversation, and should provide a feeling of personal attention. That can only work if customers understand that you and everyone at your BHPH dealership cares about what they have to say.

If that sounds like a tall order, don’t worry. This can be made a part of your social media selling strategy. Encourage sales associates to engage customers on social media, answer questions, and try to convert interest into leads. If you have an Internet Sales division, you may consider making this a part of their daily routine. If you don’t or if you find managing social media demands too much of your team’s time, there is another option. To ensure no potential leads are missed, you can also answer via Facebook Messenger and with the right technology, that can be integrated into a fully-staffed live chat system. Magnum Contact Marketing, a partner of BHPH Marketplace, is rolling out an updated live chat platform that will bridge Magnum Chat and Facebook Messenger, allowing customers to chat with a professional staff via the most popular social media site in the world. That will allow your BHPH dealership to capture the maximum number of leads with minimal effort, and those leads will come directly to you!

Another great way to make social media interaction with customers feel more personal is to frame content as a social media “story,” rather than merely posting on your feed. This is called Ephemeral Content. Stories are growing at an impressive 15 times faster than feed posts, making them more likely to attract attention. Beyond that, however, there is something more personal about sharing video content and posts as a part of your dealership’s story, and that makes potential customers feel that you are sharing something important to you.

Of course, there are some things about automotive industry social media marketing that haven’t changed. Engaging and relevant content is still vital and visual content still helps to grab customers’ attention. Any visual content, such as photos or graphics, can help your posts stand out, while video is proving to be the most successful way of all to capture consumers interest. In fact, our recent look at video advertising trends found that 45 percent of all people watch Facebook and YouTube videos for at least one hour per day, and YouTube is growing at a rate of 100 percent per year. However, a post with any sort of visual content is likely to be more attention-grabbing than one with none at all.

The world of automotive industry social media marketing may be changing, but with the right strategy you can still be successful in the remainder of 2019. By engaging consumers with questions, offering prompt responses, and using new technology like Magnum Contact’s live chat Facebook Messenger function, your BHPH Dealership can turn social media marketing into a personal experience that customers will love. So take a good look at your BHPH dealership social media account(s) and apply these methods to stop simply advertising and start initiating a conversation.

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