2020 is well underway, and if you haven’t revamped your social media strategy for the new year, don’t sweat it — there’s still time to get caught up!
Between meeting sales goals, creating marketing strategies, preparing budgets, and managing a full team, I understand that social media is often put in the back seat. But, dealerships that see social media as an optional marketing channel are missing out on a powerful method of connecting with their community. The dealerships that properly use social media are seeing the results, and when it comes to creating the list of pros and cons of social media, the benefits outweigh the time commitment.
Adjusting your social media plan for the new year doesn’t have to be hard. And because I know you’re busy, instead of giving you ten things you can do to optimize your social strategy and making you figure out which ones are most impactful, I thought it made more sense to share with you one simple yet powerful formula that will help you make the most out of your organic social efforts this year.
RIGHT AUDIENCE + ENGAGING CONTENT = WINNING
There was a time in automotive social marketing where all dealer’s focused on was getting as many likes and followers for their social pages as possible so they had the biggest audience to broadcast their mostly sales-related messages to.
This shouldn’t come as a shock (but just in case #SpoilerAlert) today it’s not about how many people like or follow your page, it’s about how you can have meaningful engagement with the most important ones who do — your local customer base.
For decades, dealerships have been the foundation of small businesses in the communities they do business in. They are leaders in the community and typically are some of the most philanthropic entities in their respective regions. Think of all the grassroots marketing initiatives your dealership has led or participated in over the years. What was the purpose of all those efforts? Obviously to make a real impact in your community, but additionally to build goodwill and positive sentiment about your dealership’s brand with local residents.
You can take that exact same mindset and apply it to drive the organic social media presence for your dealership as well. Become the online community resource for not just all things cars, but for the topics and causes that residents in your area genuinely care about.
The relevance of your content to your local audience is kind of a big deal thanks to the social algorithms that decide which content people do, and don’t, see in their newsfeeds. So understanding that the people who live and work in the surrounding area of your dealership are your core audience is great, keep in mind it’s only one part of the formula for social success.
USE GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO DISCOVER RELEVANT TOPICS
By tailoring your organic social content to align with the interests of your local audience, you can help your drive that same kind of connection between your dealership and the community at-large that your grassroots marketing efforts always have.
So how do you figure out what’s important to your local audience? Well you could personally ask everyone who contacts or visits your dealership, but that’d probably be fairly awkward and not the best use of your time.
There’s a much simpler way to acquire the actionable intelligence needed to create highly relevant social posts (and blog content for our bloggers out there) right inside of Google Analytics!
I know what you’re thinking, “Wait…what? I thought we were talking about a social media formula, how’d we end up on Google Analytics?” just stay with me dear reader, and it’ll all become clear. Promise!
You see, Google Analytics (GA) can tell you a lot more about your website users than which pages they viewed and what actions they took. It can also tell you about the users themselves and what else they’re interested in besides shopping for or servicing a vehicle.
By looking at the Affinity Categories report in GA, you’re able to see what people in your area have been interested in lately as they travel the web. You can get even more granular by adding a secondary dimension such as Age or Location to really dial into the interests of a more relevant subset of users.
A quick view of your Affinity Categories report should give you a ton of ideas for future social content. Here, look at the screenshot from GA, these are just ideas that popped into my head without having to give it much thought:
- The 10 Best Places for Type of Food in Your City
- You Don’t Need to Wait Until Black Friday to Score This Hot Deal
- The Best Cars for Pets AND People
- Amazon Alexa in Your Car…Love It or Hate It?
- Can You Guess How Many Bags of Mulch Fit Into the Back of This SUV?
- Friday Night Lights: Final Scores & Highlights
The great thing about these topics is that they’re flexible enough to be a simple standalone organic social post that drives action and engagement, but often times the topics can be expanded upon and published as a detailed blog post on your website. Not only does this open that piece of content up to being discovered by your website users or those via search, but it also gives you a new piece of content to share on your social channels #circlecomplete.
SNACK ON THIS
Creating content that is relevant to the right (local) audience is half the equation. The other half is matching up that content with a proper medium prior to publishing. The attention span of your average
human being social media user is not very long, so to avoid being scrolled past in a flash, you want to capture the user’s attention with quick, snackable content that gets right to the main point.
snack·a·ble con·tent — social content that is short, delicious and keeps ’em coming back for more!
Snackable Content is great for capturing attention and generating engagement, you can add on another layer of deliciousness by utilizing video content in your organic postings. According to WordStream, 55% of people watch videos online every day, and social media videos generate up to 1200% more shares than texts and images combined.
In our opinion, video makes everything better and it really is the best way to tell a compelling story that generates action. With the tech we have literally at our fingertips today, videos are not only effective, but they’re shockingly do-able without the need of an expansive team of creatives (although if you need creative help, we’re here for ya!)
As you’re putting together your social posts, ask yourself which medium would best serve your content to make it the most snackable? Photos are great, videos are better, but don’t dismiss the link or text based posts as well. When done right, they too can drive plenty of traffic to your website in addition to social engagement with your brand.
So there ya go, that’s the now not-so-secret formula for social success. Content targeted toward your local audience, that’s relevant to their interests and presented in a snackable format. Pretty simple, isn’t it?