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18 May Can Your Dealership Sell Cars Via Instagram? Yes.

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A picture is worth a thousand words. And thousands of dollars, if you use it effectively.

Using Instagram, for example, is a great way to share photos of happy customers and their cars and feature inventory. Are you inspired to buy a car from a glossy stock photo? Perhaps not. But if you were following a car dealer on Instagram and saw a great photo of a car that caught your interest, and it’s near where you live, the option is tantalizingly closer than the one in that catalog from the manufacturer.

Here are the basic steps to post successful content, once you establish an Instagram account:

1)  Take a picture. Make sure the light is not in front of you, which places the car in the shadows. Angle your photo so that the light is shining on the subject and not in the lens of your phone or camera.

2)  Label it. Make, model, and year, of course, but think of descriptive words that are like eye candy for a buyer. Is the color called “Deep Persian Blue”? List it. Think about the potential demographic for that type of car and tell that audience what they want to know. Is it a sports car? Talk horsepower and torque. Is it a minivan? Use words like “comfortable” and “drop-down screens” and “plenty of cargo space”.

3)  Hashtag it.  Integrating common hashtags works like keyword placement on an Instagram post, and others looking for photos of cars will find you. Tags like #cars or #car have millions of similar pieces of content and will drive casual browsers to your account. Using your city hashtag earns bonus points for more pinpointed relevance.

4)  Interact. When someone starts a conversation with you, talk back to them. That means use the @ sign and their handle to tag them and respond. It builds your brand and gets followers to come back.

Experiment with posting times; there is not one formula that works best for everyone, but there are definite times particular buyers may be scrolling through Instagram. Nine-to-five office workers may be active at lunch, or in the late afternoon. College students and self-employed entrepreneurs and parents may be more active at night.

Don’t forget to promote your specials! For every new promotion, run a few Instagram posts to tell your followers about it.

Lastly, make sure your customers know that you have an Instagram account. Post the icon and link to your web site, and add it to your email signature. Send out a message to your customer database and ask them to follow you – you might even consider a contest for the first 100 followers or so and offer a prize to get it kicked off. Many of your customers will be visually driven and when they see your account scroll by, they’ll stop and look, and hopefully, buy from you again.

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25 Apr How to successfully leverage Instagram with the help of employees.

While many brands and businesses are trying to figure out how to successfully leverage every single social media platform available in order to increase sales and awareness, Instagram remains untapped by many dealerships.

There is no such thing as a one-size fits-all social media strategy and often, cross platform promotion is not the best approach. Nevertheless, creating a simple Instagram presence involving a dealership’s employees, can result in a surprising ROI.

Let’s start from the beginning. As a dealership, the first step to take is to get employees actively involved.  Help them become familiar with how the social media tool works, and the creative ways they can help the business increase awareness starting with their own communities.

The following infographic illustrates how to get started with Instagram and some fun, creative ways to encourage employees to become active on the platform.

infographic

If some employees have not joined Instagram yet it is usually because they don’t have the time or they don’t know how to use it. Try to show them how easy and fun it is, rather than bore them with uninteresting reasons! Encourage any employees who are already Instagram savy to help get things started and, of course, get employees to follow the company page.

Talk about moments they can share such as a group lunch, a funny anecdote during work, a great deal they want to share because they see the value in it, an “Employee of the Month” celebration, or any other moment they feel connects the dealership to potential customers. Remember to mention the company using the “@” symbol so the social media manager can enter the conversation on behalf of the company’s IG account.

One of the first things to do is to start following other similar pages and profiles. But there is a limit, the focus should be on following whoever follows you first. You may follow other pages that relate to the industry as a way to connect, but always expect to be followed back.

Instagram is all about moments. For example, when you go on a trip with your family, instead of collapsing images of the trip and the family all in one picture, you can focus on the moment when Uncle Rob fell off the fishing boat, or post the photo of the sunny morning while having breakfast. It’s the captioning of simple moments that makes for the most engaging posts.

Instagram is meant to be a fun social tool, and keeping the conversation going is part of the fun. Make sure your employees remember that “social” means interaction is vital, so try to keep your followers active by responding to comments and tagging other people on their posts.

Teaching the importance of  social media  to  dealership employees adds value to the workforce, increases the positive atmosphere in the workplace, and allows the company to connect to the community though their employees, because in the end, they are part of that community which your business is trying to capture.

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