AKRON (Aug. 4, 2014) — After researching social trend after trend and how they could work for the tire industry, sometimes it is helpful to take a step back and see what is going on right now.
Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Brittney Meier, director of marketing for Best One Tire & Service, at Net Driven’s dealer conference in Scranton, Pa.
We got to talking about what Best One is doing in terms of social media. One thing I found interesting is they do not have corporate level social media sites because they want to focus on local outlets, with individual pages for the individual stores in its system. Corporate does gives its dealers tools to succeed on social media, and will help out with some locations if they do not have staff to do it.
I followed up with Brittney after the event to see what kind of tips she had for social media.
Here are four of her top tips:
- Social media is always changing:
“The No. 1 trend in social media moving forward is change,” she said.
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were huge a few years ago, and they still are, but there are other platforms on the rise. Google+, Instagram, Vine and SnapChat are becoming big names, especially with younger demographics. Brittney advices that although there are a lot of different sites, and that can be overwhelming, it’s important to pick what is going to work for you. Not all social media sites are going to work for the industry and you don’t want to spread yourself too thin.
“So, the goal is to really pick one, two or three different platforms that work for you and focus on them — just remember not to get too attached because those platforms might not be the platforms that work for you in a couple years,” Brittney said.
“To dig a little deeper, we really want to be where the masses are, so I continue to see Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ being successful social media channels for tire dealers in the coming year or so.”
She added that YouTube and other visual sites may be great for the industry because so much of the tire and auto care industry is very technical, “so it’s not always easy to paint a picture with words for the average customer.”
- It’s all about local:
One of the reasons why Best One encourages its dealers to be on social media is because it wants to appear authentic and be part of the community.
Social media is all about building a relationship, Brittney said, and being a part of the community is a great way to do that. Some successful social media campaigns Best One dealers have had include giveaways, supporting local sports team and putting the spotlight on staff members. Giveaways can work well because you are giving a reason for your local community to come into your store, or interact with you online.
Additionally, if you show support to the local high school, etc. the business is not just one a customer needs to go to when it needs an oil change or a new set of tires, but is a part of their community.
Indy Tire Centers, a Best One affiliate,uses this approach with its Twitter page and is getting a great response, Brittney said. Indy Tire Centers is always retweeting posts about local sports teams, community initiatives, local weather, etc.
“Let’s say you recently posted something about how you’re making a difference in your local community,” she said.
“Well, by doing that you’re starting to create loyalty because of who you are as a business, and that loyalty and those relationships will turn into paying customers.”
Brittney said some locations will do “Manager Monday,” where they highlight a manager at the location. This helps give a name and a face to your customers and potential customers before even walking into the store.
- Social media is a two-way street
One of the most important keys for a successful social media presence is that a business must not only regularly post new content, but respond when necessary to followers’ posts.
“I think of social media as a two-way street,” Brittney said.
“When you post something to your social media account, you want your customers to share, retweet, comment or like your posting. They want the same from you.”
If someone posted a question or comment on one of your social media sites, they are reaching out to you.
Brittney advises having someone at your store check your social media pages for this type of interaction at a minimum of once per day to ensure you are responding in a timely manner.
One of the worst things you can do on social media is to work to get the followers and then stop engaging them.
“It communicates to your followers that they are no longer valuable to you and not worth your time,” she said.
“So before you jump in with both feet, make sure that you’re committed. But, if you are committed…it will be rewarding.”
You want to have engagement on the site; you want to be posting about things that your customers will appreciate. Brittney said the posts that talk about your services don’t typically get the most engagement, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
You can use similar posts across the board on social media, Brittney said, but you may have to tweak it depending on the medium. Especially with Twitter’s character limit, you may have to adjust how you package the information.
- Building your brand on social media
So you know you need to be on social media and you understand what to post, but how do you get the people to listen?
The first thing to note here is that it may take some time to grow your following.
Brittney said that honing in on that local aspect might help with this. If you are connecting with other businesses in the community and maybe even partnering on a campaign with another local business, this can help grow your following because you will be sharing each other’s posts.
For instance, say there was some kind of charity event hosted by another local business. If you donate a free service as a gift in a silent auction, you could promote that on your social media pages.
Other local businesses will be involved and you can communicate with them on social media and their followers can see.
Additionally, Brittney said she has seen some dealers have luck using hashtags—especially if it is something to do with a local community event or a holiday. If you are participating, sponsoring or even just attending a local event, check to see if the event has a hashtag. That way, anyone following the hashtag will be able to see your posts and you may get engagement that way.
Need to see it live? Brittney referenced some of Best One’s Facebook and Twitter sites if dealers want some ideas on how to do things efficiently on social media:
Where can you expect to see the most growth in 2019?
45% (34 votes)
|General automotive service||
15% (11 votes)
|Brakes, shocks and other undercar services||
7% (5 votes)
15% (11 votes)
|Anywhere we can get it.||
19% (14 votes)
|Total votes: 75|