“Why isn’t our Facebook page taking off? We need more fans!” This phrase is something I hear on a regular basis from dealers. Growing a community on Facebook is an elusive task for some dealerships. We used to advertise and the community would come to us…now we need to go to them, attract them and engage them before they step on the lot. Is achieving consistent engagement on Facebook a struggle for your store? Here’s a list of eight reasons why your Facebook page is not growing as fast as you’d like it to:
1. You’re not posting regularly. Facebook’s algorithms are set to foster and reward engagement. If you’re not posting one to two times per day, you won’t have built enough momentum to appear on the your fans’ newsfeed.
2. You’re not promoting your Facebook page on other media. A few months ago I did a mini-market study to see how many dealerships in the Orange County, CA area had icons for their Facebook page on their website. I’m sorry to say, the results were dismal; about 35% had a link on their site. If you promote Facebook and offer the “Like” button in all your other media, then your customer doesn’t even have to leave your site to give you that coveted “Like”.
3. Your posts look counterfeit. Social media cannot be automated. It must have an authenticity to it or people won’t engage. Are you “broadcasting” (posting cars for sale or benign info from the manufacturer)? That’s a quick way to get unliked. Is your provider’s branding apparent on your posts? Does it look like someone other than you is doing the work? I see these types of posts everyday on dealers’ pages and they get zero engagement. You have real people behind your dealership’s brand—your customers and your staff—so let them shine through in your content.
4. You’re not posting quality content. Your fans need a trusted resource when they or someone in their network needs to buy or service a car. My motto is, “Share or solve, don’t shill”. Think about what attracts you to reading or watching something. You connect emotionally or curiosity drives you to take action. The same goes for your Facebook community. It has to be relevant to your audience or they won’t engage.
5. You’re not engaging your fans. Evoking emotion or playing into the natural human tendencies of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain can work to your advantage. Ask questions like, “What car would you drive to your ex-wife’s wedding?” or “What’s the most embarrassing place your cell phone has gone off?” The deeper you go with marketing strategy, the better your engagement. Monitor your page at least four times a day. When someone responds to your post, respond quickly. It’s a social medium and leads can happen in an instant.
6. Leverage your already-established presence
- Customer database: E-mail marketing to your existing customers for specific social media campaigns can deliver great results.
- Traditional advertising: Remind people you’re on social platforms so they can connect with you.
- Newsletters: Share valuable posts that got a lot of engagement. Spotlight a Facebook “Fan of the Week”.
- Website: Make sure social icons appear and links are in working order. Make it effortless to get the “like.”
- Causes: Cross-promote with your community leaders and the causes you endorse. Promote your events on Facebook and share photos.
7. You’re not taking advantage of cheap, effective Facebook ads. With the introduction of Timeline for Brand Pages in March, Facebook advertising is the best way to drive traffic to your page. These ads are different: they’re social (your fans and their network know who has liked your page) and you can laser-target many specific demographics. Creating and managing Facebook ads takes skill, time and effort, but the rewards are so worth it.
8. You’re not paying attention to your analytics. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Most stores don’t spend time looking at their results on Facebook. As a Facebook marketer, Insights is your best friend. It allows you to see what content got the most interaction, to see what you did right and what didn’t work so well. Very soon, Insights will be in “real time” meaning you can tell instantly what level of engagement you’re getting and how to improve. Spend a few minutes each day getting to know your fans better with Insights. You’ll deliver a better experience for them and make better decisions on your content.