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 no 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 website, 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.