One of the most common questions we get when discussing social media strategy with a car dealer is, how do we get more Facebook likes? This is a loaded question and I’m going to explain why.
By now I think it’s fair to say that you probably have some (or maybe way too much) experience using Facebook as an individual. If you have no experience it’s time to jump in and make a Facebook page immediately!
A business using Facebook is different in that the bulk of your engagement happens on your business Facebook page. The first thing you want to make sure you have done is grabbed your vanity URL. After you have a handful of people that like your new Facebook page you can create a shorter URL version of it by going here. It’s the difference of telling people to visit www.facebook.com/pages/the-name-you-chose/some -random-numbers and telling them to visit www.facebook.com/YourBusinessName. It’s better for branding and it’s easier to advertise. Most of you have probably done this, but you would be amazed if I told you how many dealerships still have not.
Now that you have a page with some likes and a shortened vanity URL, it’s time to start engaging! This is where the troubles really begin. Social marketing is really foreign to most internet people at car dealerships. Maybe you have been doing a good job of posting some pictures of your customers with their new cars. Maybe you have been posting some pictures of your own inventory. Those are great! But it’s probably not really helping you grow your social community online.
The initial question we told you about was “how do I get more likes on my page”. Ok, we understand that the number of likes is both visible and track able. In all fairness it seems like a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your social media strategy. The problem is that not all likes are equal.
You have probably heard about companies that can provide you with X amount of likes within X amount of days. Seems like a great deal! The problem is that those likes are really of almost no value to your business or your social marketing goals. Sure you can purchase 1,000 likes and have them on your Facebook page within three days, but what do those 1,000 people really do for you? Are they even within driving distance from your dealership? Will they ever be a good candidate to purchase a car from your dealership? Will anyone they know likely be living within the vicinity of your dealership if they aren’t?
As you can see the type of Facebook community you want to build is very specific. You want people to like your page that are living within driving distance of your dealership. These are the type of people that will give you a chance of actually converting into a sale if you do a good job cultivating your relationship with not only them, but all of their family, friends, and working associates. The sheer number alone is very unlikely to convince anyone to buy a car from your dealership. Seeing lots of activity from local people engaging on your page however, is proven to increase conversions for dealers!
This is the real question that you should be asking. It’s not about the number of likes, but how do you get real people in your local area that are going to actually talk about your dealership? The answer is not an easy one. I have tried lots of different methods over the past couple of years but I am about to share the most effective one that we use to really grow a following a boost engagement.
Many companies do the “iPad giveaway” right? You’ve seen it… like our pages and be registered to win an iPad. Sounds great, but it doesn’t work that well, mainly because it’s boring, overdone, and just not engaging.
Let me give you an example of a much more engaging and effective way to implement this same concept. Contact a local sports team. Maybe it’s a baseball or football team and let them know that you are going to do a promotion offering free tickets to their games. You will find an organization that is willing to accept this free advertising. Make sure you let them know that you are going to make a very big promotion out of this and the only thing you ask in return is that they post a graphic on their website linking to your promotional page on your dealership Facebook page. Now you just got yourself some awesome exposure for your business and your page for only the cost of some tickets, chances are you can even get them to throw in some tickets for your promotion.
Now you have to make sure you have a great landing page setup on our Facebook page that will be the center of your entire promotion. We utilize a Facebook app that allows us to setup a custom page on your Facebook page that has a graphic about the event, a textual explanation of the event, and a simple form that allows people to enter it. This is the page you will promote on your online and offline marketing.
What happens when people go to this page is that you will invite them to register for a weekly drawing for tickets to said sports event. Registration will automatically also enter them for some grand prize (maybe that is your iPad giveaway or maybe it’s tickets for them and their family to get box seating at the final game of the season!). It’s a simple process so someone that is local to you, that is a sports fan (something you both have in common) give you their name, email, and phone number. It also informs them that that they must click the like button to send you their registration. It takes milliseconds for them to click the like button; of course they’ll do it!
Congratulation you now have a physical lead you can follow up on as well as a new fan of your business page which you can market to daily! But why stop there? After registration our app will show the person a thank you for entering page which provides them with a shortened URL. We explain to them that if they choose to, they can promote the event on their social profiles, email, or via their own personal Facebook page. Anyone that registers for this event using their special link will provide them with another entry into the weekly and grand prize drawings.
You just turned one success into a chance to have a local, relevant potential customer advertising your dealership’s Facebook fan page for you, for free! Every time someone registers they are getting the same opportunity to help you market your page. This is the power of viral marketing.
Every week you are notifying a winner to come by the dealership where you are going to take pictures or video tape you awarding them your prize. You’re tagging them in these pictures and photos which helps make sure their friends and family will come and check out their five minutes of fame and celebrity on your fan page. Now you’re doing organic viral social media marketing!
At the end of a couple of months of marketing and promotion combined with social media promotion of your weekly and grand prize winners, what you wind up with is hundreds or even thousands of local fans of your dealership’s business page. These are people IN YOUR BACKYARD that you can continue to try to entertain and market to daily!
I hope our example has awakened your desire to take your social media marketing campaign to the next level. Don’t just settle for buying fake likes or only doing daily boring posts that doesn’t generate real engagement or growth for you. Think outside the box. With a little creativity and hard work, you will be the king of your local market online.
Visit us at Drive Digital Group for more information