One of the questions we’re asked frequently at SOCIALDEALER centers on the basics of a good Facebook strategy. Dealerships are interested in how often to post, what type of content needs to be delivered and how to measure success against goals.
The most important thing we stress to dealerships when beginning a Facebook content strategy is to understand the difference between number of fans and engagement of those fans. For instance, a dealership with 100,000 fans on Facebook due to promotions and games seems to be doing a terrific job of gaining influence. However, if you look at the engagement of those fans, or the actions taken by users, you find that the people participating in the games are not sharing content or communicating with the dealership in any way. They just want to win an iPad.
If you compare the 100,000 fans with a dealership that has 10,000 engaged fans, you find that often the dealership with less fans has more engagement; up to triple the amount. Why? Two related reasons. First is that the fans built from iPad giveaways are not local. Local fans equal valuable fans because they are the ones who will be buying from your dealership. And the second reason the dealership with less fans has higher engagement is they are more than likely posting relevant, valuable, content that promotes sharing and widens their reach, even with one tenth the fans. Don’t just look at your fan count, look at the quality of your fans and whether fans are sharing your content, responding to content and participating with you in a way that encourages further discussion. (For more on what determines a “valuable fan”, look to my previous post, “Back to school with social media.”)
So how does a dealership increase reach?
We encourage our dealerships to build upon the three Es: Educate Entertain and Engage.
- You own a dealership, the information on your Facebook page should be almost all automotive based.
- How-to’s do well on Facebook pages, things like “how to jumpstart a car” and “how to install Bluetooth devices for hands-free driving. “
- Give your fans valuable information, not just promotions.
- Ensure you fill in department gaps. You need balanced posts between car-related, service-related, OEM-related and even community-related news.
- You should do contests; however, it needs to be one part of your overall content strategy.
- When putting together a contest, make it auto-centric. For instance, rather than giving away an iPad, offer oil changes to the first ten people who respond with their favorite vehicle.
- Other ways to entertain fans include posting pictures of old cars or links to videos. We’ve found that videos and pictures are the content that is shared most often.
- Focus on fun questions and interesting photos.
- One of the quickest ways to engage fans is by asking open-ended questions. For instance, “What is the longest road trip you’ve ever taken and where were you going?” Questions like these start a conversation, versus “yes or no” answers.
- Stick to one promotion a week and fill the rest of the week with entertaining and educational posts for the best engagement.
- Add a mixture of photos, videos, links and text.
If you post once a day and ensure you follow the three Es above you should see both your fan count and your reach increase with each week. Now that we’ve touched on the things to have in a solid Facebook strategy, stay tuned for my next post on the don’ts for Facebook content and posting.