Social Media Best Practices Car Dealership

5 Things Car Dealerships Do Wrong on Social Media

Not everyone is a social media expert. Indeed, the rate of change and new platforms is so fast in social media that without a singular focus on the industry, it’s virtually guaranteed that one won’t be able to keep up. Car dealers face a few unique challenges in their use of social media, not the least of which is a general lack of training on best practices, so here are a few pitfalls to look out for if you’re a dealer or up-and-coming social media manager for an auto dealership.

Using Links In Instagram Posts

We have to go ahead and get this one out of the way right at the top:

YOU CAN’T USE LINKS IN INSTAGRAM!

Well, let us clarify: technically, one can post links on Instagram, but they won’t be clickable. So, you can post them, but no one will be able to click on them and be taken to a URL in a browser. It’s a conscious business decision on Instagram’s part to disable all links, and it actually keeps a lot of spam off the platform, so we can’t really fault them for the logic, but people still do it, car dealers included.

Dealership Instagram Account

Posting Irrelevant Content

Frequency of posts is an important metric in staying relevant and top of mind with engaged consumers, however relevance of content is even more important. Why? Because in order for content to get engagement in the form of likes, shares, and comments, it must be relevant to the audience that sees it. Car dealers are around beautiful machines all day and they represent brands that have a loyal following and fanbase, so there’s no excuse for posting irrelevant content that doesn’t take advantage of their proximity to products that people love.

Posting Links without UTM Codes

“What’s a UTM code,” you ask? UTM codes are short lines of text that are added to website links that enable marketers and social media managers to see which specific links are driving site traffic. Common UTM values include “source,” “medium,” and “campaign.” for example, adding variables to these values will tell Google Analytics that “this website visit came from a sponsored post on Facebook for the 2019 Prius sales campaign.” UTM codes are essential to tracking website performance, and every link that a car dealership posts on social media should include a UTM code. Build your own UTM-enabled links here. Just don’t post them on Instagram.

Ignoring Twitter

According to Nielsen data, nearly 50% of all US car buyers were on Twitter in 2016. That’s a social media audience of many millions that any car dealer simply can’t afford to ignore. Moreover, Twitter users spend an average of 40% on their vehicle purchase, so they are a relatively-affluent market as well. On a platform that is more “stream of consciousness” than “digital scrapbook of my life,” car dealerships have an opportunity to start conversations with potential buyers while they’re engaged and “in the moment” of purchase consideration. So, ignore Twitter at your own peril, car dealers. There are car buyers on Twitter, they’re most likely mobile right now, and 8 out of 10 of them want to see your information.

Not Responding to Comments

This is perhaps the biggest mistake that car dealerships make on social media. Comments from followers are one of the most important interactions in all of social media. Why? Because a comment is a follower giving your car dealership explicit permission to start a conversation with them, and the more engagement a post has, the further its organic reach to both additional and new followers. Not responding to a comment – good or bad – is akin to being home while someone is knocking on the door and choosing not to answer it. Now, it could very well be a solicitor peddling solar panels, but it could also be Publishers’ Clearing House with a $10,000,000 prize waiting at your door, but the point is you don’t know unless you answer the door. In fact, if your car dealership is not responding to comments and messages on social media, go ahead and delete your accounts right now because you are wasting your followers’ time and creating a bad brand impression from the very first interaction.

Car dealerships have a great opportunity to use their ever-changing inventory to start new conversations on social media and follow those through to sale. By avoiding some of these mistakes, you will be well on your way to effectively managing your dealership’s social media channels in a way that provides a positive digital experience which can lead to long-term relationships with your customers.

Mercedes-Benz Social Media Management

Top 10 Mercedes-Benz Dealership Instagram Channels

Instagram is a force to be reckoned with in the automotive world. Not only is there a tremendous amount of car-related content on the mobile platform, but that content is often spread far and wide and difficult to keep up with in terms of best practices, trends, and stories that disappear if you don’t watch them.

Car dealerships that understand social media management and have a sound Instagram strategy know that there is both an art and a science to success on Instagram. The science comes down to knowing when to post, the art is in what you post, what you say and how you engage with your audience.

Here are ten Mercedes-Benz dealerships that are killing the Instagram game one photo, video and story at a time.

#10 @mbtemecula

Temecula is a picturesque community in the hills of south Riverside County in southern California. Mercedes-Benz of Temecula’s Instagram channel wins points for their use of original content, and also for their use of color themes which create a strong impact upon landing on their page.

MB Ft Mitchell Social Media

#9 @mbftmitchell

Kentucky isn’t necessarily the first state that comes to mind when you think of luxury cars, but Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell lands their dealership at slot number nine for their frequency of posting. With over 2,000 Instagram posts to date – most of which are taken right on their lot – the @mbftmitchell gang keep pumping out huge doses of Mercedes-Benz content.

Mercedes-Benz Portland Maine

#8 @primemotorcars

Representing the far northeast way up in Scarborough, ME, Prime Motor Cars is a small car dealer who’s using exclusive, original content to build their social media presence. While it can be challenging to shoot original content in extreme climates such as Maine’s, Prime takes advantage of the world-class showroom facilities at their disposal.

Mercedes-Benz of Minneapolis

#7 @feldmannimports

From the central region of the United States come Feldmann Imports in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This dealership makes the list of top Instagram social media management thanks to their relentless creation of local, original content that isn’t afraid to brave the elements and showcase their location, even when it’s buried under several inches of snow.

Mount Pleasant Social Media

#6 @mercedesbenzmtp

Mercedes-Benz of Mount Pleasant (just outside of Charleston, SC) understands that Instagram was made for beautiful photographs. To that end, there is not a single person in the more than 125 posts on their channel – just one hundred percent pure, Mercedes-Benz content.

Mercedes-Benz of Ontario Instagram

#5 @mbontario

Mercedes-Benz of Ontario is part of the Fletcher Jones company which is also home to the largest Mercedes-Benz dealers in the country. They have their own corporate content team which produces great content and manages their social media and Instagram accounts. @mbontario makes the list thanks to their original content themes which let visitors know they will get frequent value out of their following of the channel.

Instagram Mercedes-Benz

#4 @mbsouthorlando

Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando makes the list for their unique approach to their Instagram channel. Rather than relying completely on beauty shots, they make every middle photo of their channel’s grid a shoutout to their team or customers. For the other two of three they use stock photos provided by Mercedes-Benz corporate, but MB South Orlando is a great example of being resourceful in light of the fact that social media content can be challenging for car dealerships to produce on a regular basis.

Kansas City Mercedes Instagram

#3 @mercedesbenzkc

Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City ranks high on this list for two reasons. The first reason is that they are prolific, with close to 500 posts to their Instagram channel. The second and equally-important reason for their bronze finish here is that their content is local. They take cars out into their community and photograph them against local backdrops and landmarks which means that their local audience is more likely to engage with their channel.

Mercedes Benz Social Media Management

#2 @biemondvanwijk

One of only two non-US dealerships in this list, Biemond van Wijk is a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Aalmsmeer, The Netherlands. One look at their Instagram, and it’s obvious why they’re here in the almost-top spot. A combination of original and and expertly-edited stock photography and renderings, their channel is bursting with color and originality in every post.

Mercedes Benz Social Media Management

#1 @mboakville

The second non-US dealership in this list also takes the top spot. Mercedes-Benz of Oakville in Ontario, Canada, has created an Instagram channel that is a masterclass in creativity and output. Photos that are seasonal – but would look at home in life size on any wall in the office or man cave – are the hallmark of MB Oakville’s channel. With over 2,800 posts to date, and an Instagram strategy that is laser-focused on the excitement and luxury that are the Mercedes-Benz brand, it is no wonder that @mboakville is now playing to an audience of over 180,000 on Instagram.

With over 380 Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the US alone, it’s possible we overlooked some great Instagram channels.

Did we miss a great Mercedes-Benz dealership’s Instagram? Let us know in the comments below.

Mercedes-Benz

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There are several keys to social media success, but one of the major factors in keeping your profiles visible and discoverable is frequency, or, how often you post. While the act of posting is itself a simple task, the question of “what” to post is a daunting one considering how difficult it is to create content, let alone at a scale that will positively impact your social media ranking. car.media solves your dealership’s content problems by delivering a constant stream of timely, relevant and interesting content that will start conversations with your audiences and lead to increased engagement on your dealership’s social media profiles. This increased engagement will further improve your algorithmic ranking on the major social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

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