Social media is one of the leading networking tools business owners utilize to connect with customers. As one of the most widely used applications on the Internet today, social media serves a dual purpose: selling and branding.
We often receive a lot of social media requests from our clients. However, we found that clients benefit more from social media if they are in control of their content and messaging.
For more insight on how social media works for small businesses, such as auto repair shops, we turn to our Associate Director of Client Services, Caitlyn Williams.
Caitlyn has prior experience in social media marketing for restaurants. In her current role, Caitlyn leads the marketing team in managing their client’s marketing initiatives and ongoing campaigns.
Q: What are some of the best ways to use social media to attract new customers?
I found that sharing unique content that highlights your business’ unique qualities is more likely to generate Likes and Follows. This, in turn, can help generate new customers and referrals for your shop.
The key on social media is to market your business as trusted experts in your community. For example, promoting your business by highlighting 5 star reviews, new and competitive specials, and relevant pictures of the shop. Allowing honest testimonials from loyal customers and offering value elements can spur repeat buying action from your already trusted customers or fans.
Our Marketing Success Platform enables automatic 5-star review posts to our clients Facebook wall. This in turn allows our clients to extend customer service beyond their shop. Many use this feature to post a reply to reviews or customer inquiries. It’s a wonderful engagement tool.
Q: How do you get more Likes or Follows on Social Media?
By using the marketing tools available to you, such as email retention campaigns or Thank You notes.
For my clients, I always recommend placing your logo, with links to social platforms, in the footer of your emails to customers as well as in the footer of your website. This way, they are reminded to visit your social pages and follow if they have not already.
As for getting Likes, share news related to your business. We love when shops post team photos, interesting projects they are working on, car care tips, videos, etc.
One of my clients, Douglas Automotive, does a great job of keeping their content varied, relevant, and share worthy. They share some great videos that share the value of their shop while also being funny!
With anything on social media, consistency is key so share often and keep the content varied.
Q: What are the advantages of creating your own content to share on social media?
It’s your voice! Nothing is more unique than your shops’ personality and message. Original content is the most important thing that can be shared on social media. It’s genuine and that genuine interaction and content is what’s going to keep businesses on top of mind for customers.
Social media is best for building stronger relationships with existing customers. They might share your content with their friends and get you a referral. However, don’t expect to get much traction with new customers from Facebook campaigns especially retargeting ads on Facebook.
While boosting posts and getting impressions may get you more likes, those are vanity metrics. You want to capture people exactly when they are searching for auto repair. This is why AdWords works so well for capturing new customers. Not many people go to Facebook in search for a new auto repair facility. However being active on Facebook is important for staying top of mind with your existing fans.
Q: What are some social media marketing ideas you recommend to your clients?
My client Bill’s Auto Electric did a cool thing where he gave away free fair tickets when customers received a service in his shop when the fair was in town. He also boosted this social media campaign by enabling an email blast to go out to his existing customers.
Working with your community and local events is not only incredibly cool, it also promotes local consumption which is key for small business owners.
Here’s a great article on marketing ideas to increase word of mouth.
Q: What is your favorite tool to track social media ROI?
I love our Facebook integration within the Marketing Success Platform. Our email retention campaign tracking also makes it a no brainer. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing customer replies, reviews, and increase in followers for my clients. More importantly, having data to support and improve upon their marketing is key. The Marketing Success Platform truly captures marketing ROI. It’s also super easy to use! Perfect for when you’re on the go.