Automotive social media advice from the WMS Group

Navigating the social media matrix

Social media has become one of the most powerful customer care tools available to businesses, but how can you ensure that your strategy is heading in the right direction?

With the rapid advancements in modern technology, many firms find themselves constantly being told the importance of social media, and how without it they are missing out on a tremendous range of reputational and commercial benefits. It may seem like a daunting prospect but for those of you serious about creating further communication channels, the following guide may prove invaluable.

All successful marketing campaigns seem to share the same basic formula – a strategic vision, large pinch of creativity and a desire to understand and assist the audience. As the well-known saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail and this is no truer than in the burning spotlight of social media. Begin by redefining your end goal – would you like more followers? Greater engagement? To improve SEO? Increased sales? Whatever your objective, it needs to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time scaled).

An integrated approach

Social media should not be a separate arm of your marketing activity but rather the platform to encompass your wider strategy. For you as a dealership it can be used to promote stock, highlight special offers, conduct polls or collect valuable market insights, plan events, launch new products, complete a special handover and even showcase staff. If used correctly, social can provide the coverage you want when you need it most.

Facebook and Twitter extend the perfect opportunity to generate new leads and build relationships with existing customers, whereas Google+ could provide you with that extra SEO boost. For business-to-business marketing try LinkedIn and MotorTradeBook to communicate with other dealerships and suppliers, discuss industry news, find lucrative partnership opportunities and share tips and advice.

Your social media pages should be an extension of your website so ensure that they look professional with a clear, grammatically-correct description and beautifully designed imagery. Highlight the services and products you offer and include your contact details, links back to your website and stock feeds where possible. Integrate the icons onto your website and link them through to the applicable social media pages. Embed your Twitter feed onto the key landing pages of your website, and if it’s relevant, incorporate a link to your latest blog article within a corresponding social media post.

Power to the people

The better performing campaigns tend to incorporate regular engaging, topical or even quirky content with a splash of humour. Don’t be afraid to share your opinions but steer clear of controversial subjects such as politics or religion.

There are also a number of fantastic free widgets that can be embedded onto your web pages to make it easy for customers to share content with their peers, whereas analytical tools are essential for monitoring post performance, traffic sources and page views which can help to refine your strategy.

In a nutshell, social media is an extremely effective and FREE way of communicating with the target audiences which can increase your overall reach, strengthen relationships and lead to an increase in sales and profits – but the strategy must be watertight and convey shareable content in order to get noticed. You may also be interested to know that the WMS Group have achieved a combined online audience growth of over 400% since June through organic growth and small PPC campaigns, with a staggering retention rate of 99%+ and month-on-month record engagement levels.

We are proud to be able to offer our dealerships a new range of exclusive benefits, offers and support through a network of carefully selected partners. If your business requires an increased social presence or a helping hand with content and the technical side of getting started, please email dealers@wmsgroupuk.com quoting promo code SOCIAL to arrange a free consultation, and we will help get your brand out there!