Social Media became a major part of dealer’s marketing strategies in the last decade and continues to be a front and center part of everyone’s daily life. As Social Media evolves to maintain audience interests, so must advertisers to stay front and center. In this blog we’ll discuss the biggest changes in social media in 2020 and how to stay ahead of the curve and in front of your potential customers.
Facebook Algorithm Changes
Facebook’s algorithm changes in 2020 are focused on getting their user experience back to their roots of providing connections between family and friends. As Facebook grew and sought to expand revenue through heavy ad placements, news feeds were becoming so cluttered with brand activity that users were becoming frustrated by the lack of user generated content that they were there for in the first place. In 2019 Facebook implemented stories to help remedy this, and in 2020 they’re continuing their push by placing user generated content even more front and center in feeds.
As a dealer, this means you have more competition than ever for users to see your content. The posts with the most engagement will get through, and the best way to overcome that is reinforcing your organic strategy with a paid one.
This paid strategy could take on a variety of forms. We’ve found consistent success with precisely targeted lead ads set up to come directly to our clients’ CRMs. These ads typically get good levels of engagement to serve strong volumes of impressions, keeping your dealership in your customer’s news feeds.
Another strategy to consider is consistently boosting your organic posts with small budgets each day. A few dollars behind a post will push your message out to far more people than just trusting Facebook’s algorithm to distribute it. If those users engage with that post your post will get a leg up on the other organic competition and continue to spread. Eventually a consistent and well targeted boosting strategy like this will yield continuously stronger organic results and a more engaged audience.
Facebook and Instagram Stories
Facebook stories premiered in 2019, but their importance has increased tremendously when coupled with the above mentioned algorithm changes. Facebook and Instagram stories are designed to be short snippets of the user’s day. They capture everything from mundane DMV waits to extraordinary footage of unfolding events and broadcast it for the world to see in real time.
Dealers can tap into these stories by consistently posting happenings at the dealership. Videos and images of new car deliveries (with customer permission of course!), interesting vehicles in for service, dealership events, and day to day life at the dealership can keep you in customer story feeds. The key to these stories is consistency and relevancy. Don’t turn each one into a sales pitch, keep most of them lighthearted and as “slice of life” as possible. Consistently updating your story will help audience members forge a connection with you staff and your dealership, especially if you engage with them.
A Push toward Groups
If you’re personally active on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed a rise in people tagging groups related to posts and your interests. Facebook is continuing to foster the rise of groups based around people’s interests because it fosters the exact kind of interaction they want on their platform: meaningful conversation and content sharing between like-minded people.
To tap into this movement, employees and social media managers at your dealership should be involved in groups related to your brand, especially the local ones. Many car enthusiast groups receive hundreds of post interactions and comments per day, and they’re not just limited to performance and sports cars. There are local groups for almost every make and model, where your customers go to chat about your brand, offer and solicit mechanical advice for problems, and socialize with like-minded people who share a common interest. If you or your employee can become a trusted member and contributor in these groups, it positions your dealership as a thought leader and an authority within the community on anything and everything related to your products.
BUT don’t get carried away! Participation in these groups should not be an unsolicited sales pitch! People participate in these groups to get away from that sort of thing, and if you’re constantly pushing your sales your credibility and good will in the community will drop. The goal isn’t to directly advertise, but to become the go to person for any time someone asks a question directly related to your products or business. If someone asks where the best place to service their vehicle or the best place to buy a car you sell is, having someone in the community tag you or your dealership with a recommendation is worth vastly more than any advertisement, no matter how well timed and targeted. The more you honestly contribute to the community, the more you will get out of it. Facebook groups are truly a two-way street.
As social media evolves to give the user base what it craves, dealerships must evolve their strategies to fit into the new meta. As an automotive digital marketing agency, we see a lot of these changes happening before they necessarily hit the mainstream of social media. That gives us an advantage to take in the changes and pivot in the best direction for our dealerships. If you have any questions about your current social strategy and would like help adapting to the everchanging environment, reach out to one of our specialists. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and help your dealership socially thrive.
Michael is a Digital Marketing Strategist with over 7 years of experience implementing and managing digital media campaigns of all types and sizes. Over the course of his career, he has held a variety of certifications from Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook, Programmatic DSP’s and more.
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