Instagram holds a ton of possibility for your used car dealer marketing—learn how to leverage this popular social platform
Still clinging to the idea that Facebook is the only used car dealer marketing strategy you need to establish a solid social media presence? If so, it’s time to get outside your digital comfort zone.
The top social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—all dominate in certain ways. But if you’re a business trying to get your name out there, Instagram is proving to be the most effective platform for brands. User engagement on Instagram is ten times higher than on Facebook, 54 times greater than on Twitter, and about 50% of Instagram users follow brands—more than any other platform.
Instagram is also the ideal platform to engage with the tech-savvy millennial generation. In the past, you may have struggled with how to position your used car dealer marketing to attract these hyper-connected young people, but you don’t have to wonder when it comes to Instagram.
Of U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 24, 59% are active Instagram users; 54% of those aged 25 to 34 are also on the platform on a regular basis. As of April 2016, millennials have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation — so if you can get your Instagram strategy right, there’s no reason you shouldn’t see business pick up.
Instagram tips and tricks for your used car dealer marketing
1. Take your time making your profile.
Setting up an Instagram profile for your auto dealership seems easy enough—you need a username, profile picture, blurb about your business, and a link (usually to your dealership’s website). Don’t just breeze through the process, though; give it some thought.
Your username should be as close to your dealership name as possible and the same or remarkably similar to your username on Facebook or Twitter. Same goes for your profile picture—it should be the same across all social media platforms to build brand recognition and ensure consistency.
Hint: Most brands use their logos for profile pictures. Your business bio should be short and sweet, but adequately communicate who you are and what makes your dealership special.
2. Always be testing.
At the beginning of incorporating Instagram into your used car dealer marketing strategy, you may be overwhelmed with questions. How often should we post? What should we post about? What calls to action are the most effective?
Social media experts have a variety of different answers to these questions—and it just depends. So start by posting once a day and just analyze and take note of how people respond and what works versus what doesn’t work. Take your cues from your users and over time, you’re going to gain a better understanding of what your Instagram strategy needs to look like.
3. Get on board with hashtags.
On Instagram, hashtags are how your content gets found. Needless to say, they are essential for businesses to use. When determining the appropriate hashtags for your posts, think about what the post is promoting, who you’re trying to attract, and the local area in which you operate.
It’s fun to get the attention of folks who love your brand, but if you don’t also include a hashtag for your area—like #orlando or #boston—you may never be found by the people who will be buying from you.
4. Keep your eye on your DMs.
Your DMs (or direct messages) are where you can shift public conversations into a more private space. If someone comments on a 2014 Honda CR-V that you just posted a photo of and asks questions about the specs or price, you can comment back “Great questions! We’ll DM you with more info.”
This allows you to engage with users one-on-one to develop a relationship. You also need to check your DMs regularly, just in case someone has already reached out.
5. Experiment with photos.
We’re not going to tell you never to use the manufacturer’s professional photos, but use them sparingly if you must. Your followers can easily Google manufacturer pictures of cars they’re interested in, but any photos you take at your dealership are unique and new.
Try different angles and filters, create graphics with customer reviews, and don’t be afraid to get a little “artsy” once in a while. Instagram is all about the photos, so make sure yours stand out.
6. Proactively follow others.
You know those hashtags you’re using to attract followers? Use those same hashtags to find people who may be interested in your dealership, and follow them first. Many times, people will automatically follow you back, which makes it much easier for you to gain a following than to sit, wait, and hope people find your profile.
7. Budget for advertising.
Instagram has an excellent advertising platform that allows you to target particular demographics and geographies. For example, if you’re trying to sell a cool Jeep Wrangler and you want to appeal to the young, off-roading crowd, you can select the age group, location, gender, and other factors for the individuals you want to see this particular ad. Targeting ensures your advertising dollars go much further and are spent on the specific customers you’re trying to convert.
Instagram is the perfect social platform to give your used car dealer marketing efforts a little boost. Download the app, create your dealership’s profile, and get started!