September 29, 2015

Posted By: Scotty Spielman

[caption id="attachment_3565" align="aligncenter" width="509"]Using social media to support your auto shop isn't as easy as you'd think. Using social media to support your auto shop isn't as easy as you'd think.[/caption]

By now you know that using social media for business purposes isn’t all fun and games.

It takes a little bit of effort to convert your social media presence into sales at your auto shop, but don’t worry: you are not alone. Social selling is as common a challenge in the auto repair industry as it is anywhere else.

Here are some refresher tips:

Get involved! Don’t forget the social part of social media. Don’t expect to put up messages and wait for customers to roll in. Social business is about building relationships with customers and potential customers and the key to building lasting relationships is engagement. Make conversation the bridge between you and your audience. If they talk, answer. If they like a post, thank them!

Be you. Avoid jargon and other industry language. Use straightforward language and be descriptive. Talk the way you’d normally talk.

Post as a person, not your business. Use your own photo or your photos of members of your staff – or better yet, both. People connect with people, not a logo. Make it easy to see who you are at a glance. If you’re uncomfortable with getting your picture taken, have a professional take one. It’ll be worth the cash.

Create content that offers value and is clear in its intent. It helps potential customers get “un-stuck” during purchase decisions. Don’t make them hunt for the meaning—or the promotion or giveaway.

Use video. You don’t need fancy equipment or a studio anymore, thanks to the smart phone and available video editing apps. Video is the single best way to build rapport, establish expertise and instill trust in your business. It also helps show the real you.

Highlight your expertise. Yes, it’s okay to brag. Specifically share how you can help solve a problem, maybe by describing a particularly tough piece of diagnostic work that had stumped your competitors. Share your story.

Use hashtags. Sure, some of the kids make fun of them nowadays, but remember, when you use hashtags, you reach into a previously untapped market. Also, once a word or phrase is hashtagged, anyone can see it and search it.

Leverage twitter. Short, compelling tweets invoke interest in your auto repair business and inspire action within your audience. Use them to direct customers to your blog, web site or other social media feed. Be visual, too: tweets with images get 18 more more clicks, 89 percent more favorites about 1.5 times as many retweets—which means an even bigger audience for you.

Get visual! Images including quotes, data, infographics about how regular oil changes will improve your mileage or other information can extend your message further than you thought possible.

There are many ways to boost sales through the power of social media, not every one is right for your business. Make sure you know your audience, and when they’re most likely to be out web surfing in the first place.

Do you have any other ideas? Let us know in the comments!