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Part of my job as the Marketing Executive for TK Carsites is putting together our weekly webinar series to train dealers on the latest and greatest techniques being used in car dealer Internet marketing and other disciplines. With JD Rucker and other experts on our team, one would think that we get most of our data, particularly regarding social media, from various gurus and strategists that we talk to regularly.
If one thought that, they would be incorrect as our primary source for learning how best to position automotive social media is through you - the dealers in the field. Experience in the trenches is always more valuable than what can be learned theoretically in a classroom, from a white paper, or in a book.
Below, I've listed a few basic tips that one can learn from other dealers. The point here is that if you really, really want to understand how Facebook can work in the automotive industry, your best resource is other dealers. See what they're doing. Is it working? Can it spark unique ideas that you can implement?
We are compiling a list of good Facebook dealers right now. If you know anyone (yourself included) who is doing innovative things with Facebook and demonstrating success, please let us know. We'd love to feature you or them.
Now, on to the tips...
On Facebook, People Love Facebook
The only common thread that binds everyone who is active on Facebook is just that... they're active on Facebook. Talking ABOUT Facebook is an easy way to develop engagement in a non-threatening, universally acceptable manner.
This technique is especially effective for smaller pages with under 1000 people liking it as sharing Facebook data on Facebook itself can get a higher percentage of people involved.
Customize Your Landing Page
It cannot be said enough. When sending people who are not currently liking you to your Facebook page, they should land on a custom page. The chances that they'll "like" your page (become a fan) is nearly double than when you send them to the default wall.
Focus on Your Manufacturer's Brands
You have to assume that most of the people who like your page are local and interested in the manufacturers you represent. Become their resource for both local content as well as national manufacturer content.
There is an opportunity here to keep people coming back for more and (perhaps more importantly) sharing your page with their friends. Be interesting, informative, and a resource for your customers.
Great Banners and Avatars
There are few things more annoying than spending time, money, or both on an excellent banner for your Facebook page, only to realize that the avatar (which pulls from a portion of the banner) doesn't look right.
In the example above, the banner extends well below with more information about the dealership, but a nicely proportioned square section of the banner fits nicely within the avatar area as well.
Ask Universal Questions
Perhaps the most challenging thing for many business owners to understand is the reasoning behind going "off topic" with their questions and comments on their wall. While most engagement should have some relevance to your business, brand, or geography, it doesn't hurt to ask universal questions every now and then.
Don't forget that in many cases people can see when their friends are interacting somewhere. Having the opportunity to pull in these friends to visit your page is quick, easy, and can at times be (gulp) fun.
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We will post more tips soon, but don't forget to check out other Facebook pages as well. Our list is just getting started but it already has plenty of automotive-related Facebook pages from which you can draw inspiration.