If you own or run a business one thing that you should be doing is using social media to tell your story. Tell your story, tell your businesses story, tell your employees story. Doing this can give your customers an inside look at your business. They will feel more of a connection and this builds trust.
This is actually the first thing I do when we start working on a new social media marketing campaign for our clients. Step one of the process is to get a good profile of the company and find out what their story is, and why their customers should care about their story. This is an important step that we take to ensure that we can give our clients the absolute best way to use social media so that their customers can relate.
Without a story it’s hard to show your customers why they should care about your business. Years back it was not that common to really tell a story about a business. Most businesses would just buy T.V., newspaper, billboard, and magazine ads and just push their products. Today’s marketing is much different. If you just push products constantly now people will ignore you. Why? Because you are not adding any value to the relationship. You should give value first before expecting to ask for someones business.
Telling your story is a great way to add value by building a connection with your customers. When they need what you sell they will think of you because of the connection and familiarity you have build with them through your story.
Telling your story will also help build authority in your industry. Give great advice to people when they ask. Write a blog to keep them educated and informed about your niche.
Why Should They Care?
Your story should be interesting to get people to care. Tell your audience why you started the business. Let them know some of the challenges you are facing. Show them why your products or services are worth their attention. Most of all be FUN! Get them involved some way by asking your followers and customers for their feedback.
Keep Them Updated
As you are making progress with your business keep your followers and customers up to date on what is going on. People love transparency and transparency helps build trust. Be a transparent business and you will get much more engagement on social media.
Don’t just be boring and post basic stuff on social media. Let your audience in on your story. Be transparent so that they can follow along with your business story. Bring attention to the employees and management. Don’t hide behind a logo and expect people will connect with you on a personal level. Go out today and tell your story on social media!
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The next article in our “Your Business Series” is on how to use social media if you own a car dealership. Owning or running a car dealership is tough and competitive. Social media marketing can greatly benefit a car dealership if it is done right.
Your Business Series Article #4 – How To Use Social Media If You Own A Car Dealership
So you own a car dealership or maybe you manage one and you are wondering how you can use social media to bring in more business to your car dealership and sell more cars don’t worry we got you covered!
If you own or manage a car dealership live video is a great social media tool to use. You have the power to instantly let your customers see what you have going on at the car dealership. Some ways you could use live video are;
Product Demos: Show your automobiles in action, show off the great benefits of certain vehicles. Do this live and give demonstrations to show why they should buy that vehicle. If they can see the benefits live it might peak their interest more!
Sales Events: If you are having a big sales event going on, put that on live video. Give a tour of the building and car lot and show off the sale prices! Tell your live audience of other things going on during the sales event like free food, drinks, etc.
Introduce Sales Staff and Management: Use live video to show off your staff and have them do a “take over” for a day so that they can show off their personality to potential customers.
Repair Shop: If your car dealership has a repair shop attached, do a live video and talk about the benefits of why your repair shop is a good place to bring a vehicle for repairs. Also let customers see some of the prices of basic repairs and specials so that they have an idea. Use the live video to tell them about any awards you may have won for the repair shop.
Answer Questions: If you get a decent sized audience for your live videos you will have people who ask questions and leave comments. This is a great way to instantly connect and maybe even make a sale that very day! Make sure to answer back during the live broadcast.
A lot of car dealerships do this and it’s a good thing. Showing happy people standing by a car they just bought is good for business. The mistake I see a lot is that too many car dealerships ONLY do this. Don’t believe me look up a local car dealership and chances are most of their posts are people standing by a car they just bought. There is way more to social media marketing than just posting a generic picture of the same thing over and over.
Don’t get me wrong this is a great way to show off some happy customers and you should do this, but don’t get stuck in the rut of only showing customers by their new car purchase. Expand your horizons and change it up a bit.
Updates On New Inventory
The car industry is always changing with new and improved vehicles and features. Use social media to tell your customers about the new inventory that you have or will be getting.
Community Events and Charities
If your car dealership is heavily involved in the community (and it should be) social media is a great way to show others what you care about. Talk about the charities you support. Show off pictures of teams or events that you sponsor. Give people that sense that you do care about the local community. Don’t do it to brag, just post things to show others that you care and to maybe even get more support for the local charities and events.
Updates and Improvements
If you have some new updates and improvements happening to the building you can show your customers what is happening on social media. Post pictures and videos of the improvements as they happen! Bring your customers along for the ride (no pun intended) on the improvements you are making to the business and the building. Tell them how the new improvements will help with the overall customer experience! Invite them down to come check out the new improvements or promote a Grand Opening.
Share Relevant Information
There is always something new to talk about in the automotive industry. Find good articles that you think your customers will like to read and share them on your social media. Are there new safety regulations taking effect? Share an article or video about it. Keep your customers educated and up to date and they will remember you when they are thinking about buying there next car.
If you sell cars and you know that there is a massive recall on a certain model post about it on your social media pages. When you post about it tell them how they can take the next step to get their vehicle fixed. Be proactive to show your customers that you care about them and their safety.
There are so many ways to be fun and effective on social media if you own a car dealership. Don’t fall into the trap of just posting the same old stuff over and over again. Get creative to keep your customers and fans engaged. If you can do that you can create loyal customers who are happy that they follow you. Keeping your social media fun will only have your customers looking forward to your next post!
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If you don’t have goals you really have no plan. You will need to put together some real goals that you hope to accomplish with your social media marketing campaign. Without goals you will not know which direction to head, how much to spend, how much time it will take, what kind of return on investment (ROI) you will get out of it, etc. You will be like a ship with no direction.
I’ve worked with businesses that really had no clear cut goals for their marketing. I’m not just talking about social media marketing all marketing needs to be clearly defined!
Start With The Budget
Always start with the budget because you will need to know how much resources you will have to work with. This includes cash and time. I suggest that you start with a yearly budget and plan it out over the 12 months.
When dividing the budget into 12 months you will want to consider your busiest months and slowest months and figure out how much to put into those months. There is no one answer you can look at it different ways.
Busy Months: If you put more marketing efforts in at this time you may make a lot more or you can put less money and save that money for the slow months.
Slow Months: If you put more marketing efforts in at this time you may get a little more business during the slow times or you could just save that money and put it into the busy months to generate more revenue to make up for the slow months.
A lot of how you plan out your marketing budget will depend on your industry, location, money available, size of your company, and products/services.
Pro Tip: A good way to figure out a budget is to plan 70% and leave 30% open for adding to other marketing, or to current marketing that has been effective. Always leave some room to work with.
Where You Want To Invest Your Marketing Dollars
I always suggest that if you’re new or limited on resources start with only one or two social media platforms. This will give you time to get familiar with these social media platforms and to get good at them.
This also works really good for your budget planning. Try not to spread your money too thin by advertising on a lot of social media platforms. Stick with one or two and you will have more money and time to invest in those one or two social media platforms.
Let’s say you have $10,000 to invest in social media marketing for the year. If you are advertising only on Facebook you can make that $10,000 go a long way. If you were going to use that $10,000 on four social media platforms you only have $2,500 to invest on each.
If you can attack one social media platform with more resources you will be much better off than spreading your resources thin on multiple social media platforms. Pick the one social media platform that works best for your business and really crush it.
Pro Tip: Not sure which social media platform to start with? My suggestion is to pick the two that you think are best for reaching your demographic. Spend some time building an audience and learn which one gives you the best engagements.
Figure Out The Main Goal
Why are you doing social media marketing? Are you using it to get more leads, get more sales, build brand awareness, to connect with customers? You will need to figure out exactly why you are doing social media marketing in the first place.
Once you know your reason you can decide which platform is best to hit your goals. Don’t start a social media marketing campaign without knowing what you want out of it. Just remember that social media marketing is a marathon so don’t expect major ROI from the get go. (unless you have a huge marketing budget) If it were that easy everyone would be millionaires from using social media.
If fast sales are what you are looking for it probably won’t happen until you nurture relationships on social media. This can take time, but sales will come you just need to be patient. If you know this going into a social media marketing campaign it will reduce a lot of stress.
Define Engagement Numbers
A good way to tell if your social media marketing is going well is by engagements. If you are getting some good engagements that means your customers and followers are finding some value from what you are posting.
When defining your goals you will want to clearly define how many engagements you want per day, per week, or per month. When defining engagement numbers remember your budget and how much time you have to commit to social media. Keep your numbers reasonable so that you have a realistic goal to hit.
Remember also that organic reach is is dropping and getting free engagements is getting harder. You may have to pay for a big percentage of engagements through some advertising. This is something to consider when you define your engagement numbers.
Customer engagements are a way of building relationships with your customers online. That’s why I said not to expect a quick ROI on social media. Use engagements as a gateway to promote down the road as customers and followers look forward to your content.
If you are getting a good number of customer engagements you can use that trust you’ve built to promote your products and services. Just do it sparingly or give away free stuff to build an email list to generate leads.
What should my engagement goal be? A lot will depend on two things your budget and your time. If you have a person who handles your social media for you I’m sure that time is built into the budget. If you don’t have someone who handles your social media you need to factor in the time you have to commit to social media.
Start with a monthly goal and go from there. You can always adjust the goal after a couple of months. I like to keep things simple because a lot of people over complicate things. Just start with a monthly goal and you will be able to clearly define your engagements as you go.
Setting goals for social media marketing is very important. You need to know why you are doing it in the first place. There is no reason just to do random posts here and there because you think it will be good for business. Most likely you would be wasting your time without clear cut goals.
Would you like even more information about how to set goals for your social media? Get the FREE Cheat Sheet Here it has 6 pages plus a worksheet to help you really define your social media marketing goals!
Do you have any suggestions for setting goals for social media marketing? Add a comment below!
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Anytime you post stuff on social media it gets you seen. Depending on how many followers you have and how you use your hashtags you can be seen by a lot of people on every post. This applies to any social media type of post; pins, snaps, tweets, etc. the more people you can get in front of the better. In this article I compare how social media posts can relate to a huge billboard in terms of marketing.
Each Post Is Like A Billboard
Think about it each person that sees your post is like a car going by a billboard. If you have a good social media presence it’s like your billboard is on a super busy road and lots people are seeing it! If you don’t have a good social media presence or a very small audience it is like a billboard on a slow backstreet. Every time you post people will see it. What you decide to put on your billboard (your post) is up to you.
Make It Eye Catching
Because like a billboard on a busy road people are cruising through their social media to find interesting stuff. If it doesn’t catch their attention they will keep cruising and not even pay attention. Make sure that when you post a video, picture, graphic, etc that it will really GRAB their attention!
I know it’s impossible to have every single post be so great that people stop dead in their tracks to look at it and care. The ideal is to do it enough times that it makes an impact. Not every post has to be amazing.
Create some content that will get people talking and engaging. Don’t promote too much.I stick to the 90/10 rule, 90% good helpful and fun content, 10% promoted posts. Sometimes I don’t even promote my site or social media marketing services for a week or two. I just put out the best content I possibly can. I would rather build an audience and build relationships than promote. I think it is more effective in the long run.
Impressions Are The Cars Going By
Each car that goes by a billboard are the views it may receive. That’s why it costs more to put a billboard on a busy road because the potential for more views is there.
Same thing with social media posts, the more impressions the better. You want your post to get in front of as many people as possible. That’s why it is important to build your social media presence! The bigger your audience the bigger your reach. Remember just because there are lots of impressions on a post doesn’t mean all those people really payed attention. It’s just a stat to show you how many people may have seen your post.
“Likes” Are The Actual People Looking At Your Billboard
Think about it, when people like your post they are really paying attention to what you just posted on social media. Like a billboard it’s pretty much like someone driving in a car looking up at your billboard and saying “Cool I like that!” They acknowledged your post and that is very awesome!!
“Comments” Are Them Telling You How Much They Liked Your Billboard
When someone comments they are telling you that they really payed attention to your post. They will let you know what they thought about it or add something to the post with a comment. They might even have something negative to say or disagree. Either way they were intrigued enough to stop and leave a comment!
When people comment it’s like they took the time to email you or call you about your billboard. That means that they really liked it, hated it, or wanted to add to it. All good things because you got their attention!
“Shares” Are Like People Taking Pictures Of Your Billboard And Showing Their Friends
When someone shares your post they really, really like it! They like it so much that they shared it to show others. How cool is that!! I love when people share my posts because for one it will reach more people, and second that means it was good enough to get people to share and that means I added some great value or entertainment for them on that post.
When you apply this to the concept of a billboard it’s like they snapped a picture of your billboard and sent it to their friends to show them the cool billboard they just seen! When they do that people who wouldn’t have seen the billboard before now will get to see it!
Posts and Billboards Are Pretty Similar
They are similar in the fact of how people see your business. I used to pay attention to billboards and think to myself I wonder if the businesses who pay to put those billboards up actually get any results? Some do some don’t I assume.
The point of this article was to show you how social media can be applied to how old school offline marketing was or is. About 15 years ago that was one of the few ways to reach a big audience. Today with social media we can reach big audiences with the click of a mouse and with still very low cost.
We Are Living In A Great Age For Marketing!
Social media has made it so much better and easier to reach large audiences that I think a lot of people don’t realize how lucky we are now. Our capacity to get creative and gain great exposure for business is so much more attainable these days.
A billboard will cost over $1,000 per month in most cities plus set up fees. With social media you can get that same kind or better exposure for free! This goes to show the power of social media in today’s business world.
Work hard and build your social media through posting great content, engaging with your audience, and answering customer questions and you will have some great marketing power right at your fingertips!
Thanks for reading! How have you built your social media presence? Do you have any tips for our readers? Let us know in the comments below.
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