Snapchat Customizable Geofilters, Facebook Instant Video to Messenger, & More!
News for the Week of September 6
Snapchat Customizable Templates for Geofilters
Snapchat just made things a lot easier for those looking to create customized on-demand geofilters. With its launch of templates that users can now customize directly through its website, Snapchat is now able to offer a quick, easy solution that eliminates the need for image editing software like Photoshop. Without the hassle of having to completely design a filter, users can choose from Snapchat’s filter templates, select a theme, select a design, then customize text and colors. On-demand geofilters were launched in February, and the latest updates now allow users to stylize with even more options like italics, bolding, underling, and animation. Additionally, users can now more quickly apply lenses by tapping once on face images. Part of its latest update, Snapchat has also made it possible for public stories to be previewed on the stories page before adding someone as a friend. Dealerships, if you’re not on Snapchat, start taking advantage of it now and get involved in a platform that has immense social impact. It’s catching on with consumers everywhere—and to top that off, 76% of Snapchat users say they purchase products online. It’s good to be seen by those who are searching and shopping via social!
Facebook’s What Friends Are Talking About
Facebook is testing a brand-new feature called What Friends Are Talking About, which highlights posts in a special section of a user’s News Feed. A collection of content posted from a cross-section of friends, this feature offers a snapshot of what’s been going on recently and entices users to connect more frequently with friends. Facebook frequently tests features such as this before rolling them out to all users, and this one was recently seen in the Android Facebook mobile app. Other users can keep their fingers crossed for future updates. Dealerships, continue to focus on Facebook as a top social priority. Facebook continues to grow, with 5 new profiles created every second. Your potential social audience—and customer base—is growing at an extremely fast pace, and it’s important for your business to reach out to customers where they’re interacting and researching.
Facebook Instant Video to Messenger
Facebook released a brand-new way for users to share video in real time. Instant Video on Messenger offers a way to share and chat in a more personal way, allowing users to instantly bring quick conversations to life with anyone. For optimal functionality, both users must have the latest version of Messenger for iOS or Android. Then, simply tap on the video icon while you’re both in an open Messenger conversation. (Remember, audio is off by default, but it can be easily turned on.) Once a user has tapped the video icon, video will float over the active text conversation—meaning you can continue to text while video chatting. Recipients can watch the video and share a video back via Messenger. Dealerships, get creative in the ways you interact with customers and answer questions, reply to concerns, and even start conversations. Check out Instant Video to Messenger and have fun with consumers who are tech savvy and interested in hearing from you via social.
Instagram Introduces Stories Recommendations
Some users are seeing a bar of Stories on top of the Explore tab, offering options of accounts to follow—Instagram’s way of differentiating itself from Snapchat by offering suggestions of accounts to follow. While it doesn’t go so far as to “recommend” accounts, for fear of appearing heavy-handed, Instagram is offering personalized suggestions based on algorithms that define who users are likely to follow and topics they’re likely to be interested in. Rolling out to all users soon, Instagram says Stories seem to be catching on quickly. Dealerships, consider connecting with consumers via Instagram Stories to share multiple photos and videos. Your followers will see noteworthy updates, and it will keep you top of mind when it’s time to shop. Over 91% of Instagram posts are photos, so it’s time to get into the habit of capturing memorable images at your dealership and sharing them with your social audience!
Twitter Expands Video Creator Revenue Program
Now, via the Amplify Publisher program, Twitter is offering all publishers the ability to monetize content, allowing them to generate revenue. This most recent expansion of Twitter’s program offers a wider variety of ways to utilize video, including longer formats. When utilizing Amplify Publisher, users simply check a box before Tweeting, which allows pre-roll ads to run against their content. A portion of the ad revenue is then shared back to the video creator. Benefits include complete opt-in control and flexibility for users, as well as the ability to monetize on Twitter and on other platforms. Dealerships, keep your eyes on creative new ways to utilize video to boost brand recognition among consumers. More and more, your audience is turning to video to shop and research, and when you take advantage of new platforms and opportunities to reach customers, you’ll increase your opportunities.
Tip of the Week—Always Add Value
Your followers notice if you’re present on social media. They know if you’re interacting or if you’re ignoring their posts. They know if you respond to questions or if you let them fall by the wayside. It’s not enough to simply be on social media. In order to make an impact on consumers and entice them to trust you, and ultimately shop with you, it’s important to continuously add value to your interactions. Here’s how:
- Show up. It’s important to create a schedule—a pattern your followers can count on. People will want to know when they can expect you to post, answer, and interact on various platforms, so once you set your schedule, do your best to stick to it. Your followers will quickly learn where you’ll be and when. Long, dry spells on social media won’t help you build presence or top-of-mind awareness.
- Share great content. We all know content can be tough to come up with sometimes. After all, you’ve got a business to run, employees to manage, and cars to sell. But the thing to remember is that content doesn’t have to be long and tedious, it doesn’t always have to be original, and it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Great content can come from sources you trust (be sure to give credit!) or repurposed content you’ve previously used. Get your entire team involved and focus on taking pictures and short video, because your social followers will love to see great images!
- Respond to questions and concerns. Social media is a place where consumers feel they can interact and be close to the brands they trust. When you react to questions and concerns by offering answers and positive solutions, you’ll show your entire audience you’re a trustworthy dealership that cares about meeting shopper needs.
- Show off your expertise. You’re working toward building relationships with shoppers that will ultimately bring them in to your dealership, so it stands to reason you’d share your product knowledge. Let your online followers know about new makes and models, new updates, and even market trends shoppers are looking for. When you take the latest information to shoppers, they’ll know you have their best interests at heart, and they’ll turn to you when it’s time to shop.
- Invite and share. Utilize your social connections to invite followers in to the dealership to either visit during an open house event, attend a learning seminar, or be a part of a fundraising event. Consider community service events you could hold at your dealership that might entice visitors to swing by. By reaching out and sharing your interest and investment in what’s going on locally, you’ll be showing your dealership is a part of the community—a place consumers want to shop.
- Call out your fans. If you’ve got stand-out online supporters and brand advocates, be sure to give them a shout-out every now and then. By calling attention to those who support your dealership, you’ll not only be affirming your online presence, but you’ll be spreading positive vibes—and they’ll be more likely to share your brand with even more friends and acquaintances.
There are plenty of individuals and businesses that create social accounts and don’t interact with their followers, however, they’re not likely enjoying a high level of success when it comes to brand recognition and growth on those same platforms. It takes time, effort, and diligence in order to be successful in reaching and building relationships with consumers via social media, and your dealership can do exactly that by implementing a few simple strategies. By having a steady presence and inviting open interaction and dialogue with your online followers, you’ll go a long way toward building relationships that lead shoppers directly to your showroom floor.
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.