Auto dealers are missing the boat if they aren’t actively and strategically using Instagram to visually tell the story of their dealership and inventory. Check out these 3 Instagram tips to make the most of your Instagram account.
by Lee Brogden Culberson, Certified Inbound Marketer, ProfessionalMojo.com
Walt Disney said, “Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.”
I love that quote because it still rings true. Instagram, the online photo sharing and social platform, continues to show that Walt Disney was right with over 89.4 million Americans logging on at least once a month, representing over 34% of mobile phone users. By 2017, that number is to surpass 50%.* Not surprisingly, the most visual generation, and arguably the most sought after, the millennials, are strong users of Instagram.
What does this mean for auto dealers?
- Millennials will become the largest consumers of our cars: AP delivered that news this year: Millennials — especially the oldest ones — are these days buying cars in big numbers. They just had a late start. Now the largest generation in the U.S., millennials bought 4 million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year, second only to the baby boomers, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network, which defines millennials as those between 21 and 38 in 2015. Millennials’ share of the new car market jumped to 28 percent. In the country’s biggest car market, California, millennials outpaced boomers for the first time.
- Crafting authentic visual content, using Instagram and other networks, will be more important than every before.
3 Tips to Raise Your Auto Dealership’s Instagram Game
- Use video to show and tell: Instagram was born as a way to share photos, but it has quickly embraced video. Over the last 6 months, video views have increased by 40% according to the platform and early results show that videos, when strategically coupled with photos, drives higher engagement. Videos don’t need to be slick or expensive. They should be fun and authentic. Here are a few ideas:
- Stage photos of your SUV or truck in a tailgating scenario
- Video packing out the vehicle for a weekend-getaway
- Show photos of the various goodies on the car and then follow up with a video of you showing the car driving on the lot
- Create short videos of the inspection process
- Develop a video a week that highlights a staff, sales or service member
- Hashtag it: Hashtags, which look #likethis, offer Instagram users a way to organize conversations and search for meaningful posts. I love hashtags because they allow me to filter through thousands of posts and see only what I want to see. The good news is that it helps you reach the right audience for your vehicles. The bad news is that savvy Instagrammers use the hashtags to weed out the noise.
- Know what hashtags work. Do your research and use hashtags that are meaningful to your audience. Look at the hashtags your followers are using. Does your dealership sponsor a local sports team? Visit that team’s social media accounts and use similar hashtags. Follow local or regional events, concerts and more, comment on them and look at their hashtags. These things bring potential buyers to your door.
- Don’t stuff with meaningless hashtags. Make sure they are relevant to the post.
- Don’t try to be super cute with your hashtags. Often, the humor is lost and you just get into trouble.
- Start your research with hashtags.org, trendsmap.com or hashtagify.me (one of my favorites).
- Post during peak traffic times: Posting without a strategy is akin to throwing that paint on the side of the wall and hoping some of it creates a meaningful picture. Post your valuable content when the most eyes are likely to see it. Your own analytics will help you figure that out, but here are the general rules of thumb:
- Mornings between 6:30a and 9a
- Lunch time from 11a to 2p
- Evenings from 5:30 to 8p
We know you have only a million other things to do at your dealership, but Instagram is growing and it won’t be ignored. You can sell more vehicles by telling your dealership’s story. Up your game today. #success starts with you.
About Lee Brogden Culberson and Professional Mojo
Professional Mojo is a full service marketing agency serving the automotive industry with creative content, social media management, web, pay per click, graphics, print and more. Lee is a classic muscle car owner/lover, hot sauce aficionado, national speaker, musician, animal rescuer and certified inbound lead generator. You can email her at Lee@ProfessionalMojo.com.