More Followers

Victoria Dillabough

Tips for growing social media accounts with REAL, local based followers? 

Dane Saville

Hi, Victoria!

That's a great question, and I have a few suggestions that you could try:

(1) Twitter -- Use the search function to look for keywords that are relevant to your area and use the "Top" and "Latest" functions. Try the names of local restaurants, golf courses, bars, or even the name of the town that you're in. Are there conversations that you could authentically add some insights to. Your conversations don't have to be automotive-based or sales-based. Be authentic. Does the local steakhouse have really great garlic mashed potatoes? "Listen up, Raleigh! If you haven't tried Fleming's garlic mashed potatoes, you are missing out. Be sure to add them as your side item the next time that you visit." Or does the local golf course have a tricky hole 12? "Our colleague, Dane Saville, recently played at The Meadows. If you haven't noticed, hole 12, just before the hole, has a slant to the left. Be sure that if you're chipping just outside the green from the fairway to aim just right of the flag."

Twitter is about conversations, so have them -- about anything that you can, with authenticity, add.

(2) Instagram -- It's a visual platform. Take pictures of the exterior and interior of your inventory: close-ups and panoramics of the most stunning features, like leather stitching, the infotainment center, the digital display, the taillights. Think about what your most compelling features are of your vehicles and take great photos. You can also take photos with car buyers holding the keys to their new vehicle. You can take photos of your showroom, business center, service center. Make the photos relevant to your dealership but also compelling to look at. When you go to use some hashtags, try many variations of your locations. For Raleigh, there are a number: #raleigh, #raleighnc, #raleighurham, #downtownraleigh, #raleighinfluencers, #raleighsmallbusiness, #visitraleigh -- that equal to over 3,000,000 posts currently on Instagram, meaning that people are using and seeing those hashtags. There are other variations like #rdu and #thetriangle and #thetriad for outside of Raleigh but still close enough for people to drive to Raleigh.

There might be other hashtags relevant to where you are, so investigate. Pop onto Instagram and just test things. If your dealership uses any platforms like Sprout, you can expedite discovering what local hashtags exist -- but it's been a long time since I used them.

(3) LinkedIn -- This is a bit more tricky, but you can also use locally based hashtags in your post. The deal here would be to connect with as many local people who are on LinkedIn as possible. Then you want to provide helpful content on your page, whether that's How-To articles, walk-around videos, car buying tidbits, and even thoughts on good business culture and other thought leadership pieces that can help people. Also engage with the posts and conversations your connections are having. Then, when you've established a good rapport with them, go ahead and ask them to follow your dealership. "Hey, guys! I hope you've been enjoying my content. My dealership actually has even more fun, engaging, and informative, pieces, and I'd love it if you took a second to follow." 

(4) Facebook -- Similar to LinkedIn, but instead of just connecting with a bunch of people because you may want your Facebook to be private, join some local groups. Do the same process as LinkedIn -- value, value, value. Then ask them for a follow with a link to the profile. And, on your profile, when you get those pictures with customers who just bought, create a post and tag them in it -- that will organically reach their network. 

The most important parts are consistency and frequency. Be consistent on when you post and post frequently on all of those platforms. Yes, it does take time each day, and it won't be overnight that you grow that following.

Let me know if you have any thoughts or feedback. I'd be happy to get more specifics about your situation (where you're located, etc) to offer some personalized thoughts if you like my response here.

Cheers,

Dane

Dave Ludwig

We partnered with a local marketing agency(Black Street Marketing). The success seems to be in getting testimonials, hashtags, tagging, share-worthy content. 

also boosting here and there wouldn't hurt. 

Are you referring to a personal account or dealership account?

Bart Wilson

Great question Dave.  What should be the strategy here?  Dealership or personal account?

Martins Ville

Dane has good points. And Victoria, look beyond AUTOMOTIVE channels for insight into social marketing, in addition to it. And if you produce a unique branding image, people will find you more than you getting them - that's the trick.

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