It is not really a community unless you have people talking and connecting with one another. The hardest part is getting your dealership’s community engaged, so here are some very simple things that you can do to get your social groups talking regardless of the platform.
Listen to the group
How will you know what your audience wants if you do not listen to them? Read the comments that you see on your Facebook page. Go to Twitter and see who shared your posts. Set up a hashtag through social media publishing software like Hootsuite. You can even use Google to set up news alerts for your dealership name.
You might find that the members want to talk more about safety features than the newest colors. This is a chance for you to learn what it is important to them and tailor your content to meet those needs.
Start a conversation by either asking or answering a question. Make sure that you use open-ended questions to keep the dialog moving. Instead of asking if they prefer their new car in burgundy or white, ask them what feature is the most important to them.
Make sure that you do not use a bot to answer questions. People want to talk to real people, and while bots may be a cute way to answer specific questions, ultimately, they will fail and people will notice.
A real person will engage using thoughtful responses and asking more probing questions.
Regardless of the subject matter, keep the conversation upbeat and light. This does not mean that you cannot tackle controversial topics. Just make sure that your responses are always drawing people back into a positive discussion.
For example, if the discussion about vehicle’s fuel consumption turns towards a discussion about fracking, you need to turn it back around or run the risk of alienating members.
Turn it over to your members
If you have members who are well versed in subjects that your group is interested in, then ask them to lead a discussion. Treat Facebook like a convention center where you can book guests and hold events without the overhead.
Maybe one of your local insurance agents could sit in your group and do a Q & A session regarding types of auto insurance.
You could book this as an event on the Facebook event page, ask for your members to R.S.V.P., and then hold the event inside your Facebook group.
Your agent could have a list of predetermined questions to get it started, or you could ask a couple of your members to come up with some of their own. The point is to start a dialog and have everyone participate. Even a silent participant comes away with information that they got from YOUR dealership, which makes YOU the expert on the subject.
Use more than one social network
Every social network can be used to start conversations, so use all that you can comfortably manage.
Since they are all different, use them for different reasons.
Facebook is a good place to have conversations and share things like demo or testimonial videos. Did you know that Facebook and Twitter users are heavy video watchers? They engage with them, as well.
Twitter is a great place to broadcast quick messages. "Don't forget! Saturday at 1 p.m., free hotdogs in front of the showroom. Bring friends!" All under 140 characters. Monitor your feed for re-tweets and responses.
Blog posts offer places to add comments, and this platform is less about real-time conversations and more about education. Teach your members about how to change their oil or the exciting plans that your manufacturer has for the next year's models.
The goal is to have a community that is willing to talk to you and share your content with their friends. By engaging them in meaningful conversations, you show that you value them as members and want to hear what they have to say. This is advertising that you cannot buy.
If you need help with the automotive blogging opportunity of your dealership don’t hesitate to call the automotive marketing experts of Turbo Marketing Solutions. Just call every weekday from 7am to 6pm EST 1-800-262-0081
Melissa Cadieux is the Social Media Manager at Turbo Marketing Solutions and you can email her here or reach her at Turbo Marketing.