Establishing a good social media presence is an easy win for improving your workshop’s digital marketing.
Posting on social media is a great way to keep your customers engaged. It’s a softer approach too, with no need for the kind of hard sell that is off-putting to many people. You don’t have to be self-promotional, just helpful, relevant, or even funny.
If you can build a social media presence that’s casual and engaging, you’ll be developing something that’s valuable – an everyday relationship between your workshop and your customers.
This can be financially very rewarding as next time they need a repair the first workshop they think of is yours.
45% of customers read online comments to make purchase decisions
According to a recent survey by multinational professional services network Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 45% of global respondents said that reading reviews, comments, and feedback influences their shopping behaviour.
Here are some simple tips that can make managing social media more efficient and effective for your workshop.
Facebook is still the world’s largest social network and the platform that many consumers are influenced by when searching for goods and services. According to the software and marketing research firm Vision Critical, nearly a third of Facebook users have purchased a product or service from a given business after sharing, liking or commenting on it via the social media platform. This makes Facebook the social media channel most likely to drive sales for your workshop. If you want to take your Facebook campaign further, you can pay to boost your Facebook posts so that they are seen by more people.
2. Post on Quora
On this platform, users can ask questions, tag them by self-defined categories, and choose to follow the best answers from the most qualified people. It’s a great way to promote yourself to customers because by answering Quora questions related to your industry, you can demonstrate your expertise.
3. Use Yelp (if popular in your country)
Millions of people are now using Yelp to look up businesses, so it’s a good idea to post on this site too. What’s more, if you earn positive reviews on this site you can boost sales further: a survey from Dimensional Research found that 90 percent of consumers claimed that positive reviews influenced their buying decisions.
Whether it’s something entertaining, or something informative like a ‘How to’ video, posting on YouTube will keep your workshop in the minds of customers and potential customers. It will also boost your search rankings and you can also share your YouTube video on Facebook (you can also post your videos directly within Facebook).
Try promoting your workshop and building your business by establishing your online presence in the Twitter world. For example, you could use your Twitter account to promote discounts or special deals to your followers.
About 80 percent of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram, which provides an excellent opportunity to interact directly with customers. Instagram offers the option to purchase ads that will be placed on viewer’s feeds across Instagram, but there are also many ways to promote your auto shop at no cost, such as promoting deals, or using hashtags like #autoshop and #carrepair.
7. Create a daily, weekly or monthly series
If you have time and you want to drive engagement even further, you could create a series of posts on the same theme. If your post is, for example, a useful tip and your followers read it, they’ll be even more likely to read a series of future tips and to stay engaged with your social media channel. If this begins to work for you, you could consider enhancing it by using YouTube or Facebook live streaming.
8. Run a simple giveaway contest
Everyone loves a freebie. Running a contest is one of the most impactful social media ideas when it comes to building engagement. According to data from analytics and marketing organisation Tailwind, social media accounts that run contests on a regular basis grow 70% faster than those that don’t.
9. Reshare and retweet
Let your followers do your marketing for you. One of the great benefits of social media engagement is that not all the content has to be something you’ve taken time to create yourself. It doesn't matter what you share as long as it’s something useful or of interest to your customers (and of which you approve!).
10. Give customers the spotlight
A great way to show your customers that you really appreciate their loyalty is to thank them on social media. Make sure you retweet people who mention your workshop, thanking them for doing so. You could also go one step further and (with the customer's permission) feature them as ‘Customer of the Month’, giving them a shout-out and maybe even a prize too. Keep an eye out for Google and other social media reviews. See our blog on How to deal with negative comments on social media if the comments aren’t positive.
11. Talk about cars
The kind of customers who follow their local garage on social media might well be the kind who love cars, so posting about classic cars, motor racing, festivals, new models etc might be of interest to them. And for those followers who are not passionately interested in cars, the message they will take away from these posts is that you are committed to automotive, care about cars and take pride in your work.
12. Shout about success
Finally, celebrate successes with your followers and show them you’re an ambitious, happy workshop that’s proud to be professional, successful and the best you can be. For example, if your workshop has been featured in a local newspaper or trade magazine; or reached a new milestone (maybe you’ve reached the 10th anniversary of the business or served your 10,000th customer) let your followers know.
All of these are relatively easy things to do and will help engage your audience, build your brand and create a positive image of your workshop. Creating these posts need not consume huge amounts of your time and the benefits for your business can be significant.
You don’t need to do everything - pick one or two of the above ideas you think you can achieve and focus on delivering them well.