Unless you’ve been living completely off the grid for the last decade, you already know how important social media can be to your marketing mix. Folks are tweeting, pinning, snapping and posting to walls all over the world and at record rates. Did you know that more than 75% of all adults using the internet of things today also uses some form of social media? WOW!
With so many platforms and audiences out there, how do you determine which one to use? Granted, getting started with social can be a little intimidating; particularly to small business owners who already wear one too many hats. But it doesn’t have to be. Social media can propel your profits if leveraged properly. But how?
Your first task is to determine your audience. Who do you want to speak to? Is your average buyer in their mid-twenties? Thirties? Forties? Older? Taking a closer look at who your buyers are will help you select the best channel to transmit your messaging. Social media platforms take their users seriously and have collected a tremendous amount of information about them. Their data mining can help guide you to your pot of gold as well as the right channel to use in marketing your business online.
Next… how do you want to speak to your audience and how often? Do you prefer to post text only messages, photos or video? How often do you want to engage your audience? Several times a day? Once per day/week? Each of the social media platforms has a variety of post types available as well as an average “shelf life” on posts; meaning how long your message is visible to your audience before it becomes lost among the hundreds of other posts jamming up news feeds.
Understanding how you want to communicate with your audience as well as the frequency (translation: time investment) are important questions to ask yourself BEFORE you sign up and begin building your social circle.
Now, let’s dig in and find the best channel for your marketing mix; starting with the big guys….
Statistical References: DreamGrow.com
Facebook is the only social media platform with nearly equal usage from every age demographic. Not only is the age demographic appealing, but Facebook is also the most utilized social channel today (1.8 billion monthly users) and provides businesses with a number of tools to build out, monitor and manage their page. Users can post simple messages, photos, videos, create polls and online ads or contests. On average, the typical Facebook post has a shelf life of 3.2 hours.
The biggest and broadest audience across all social media channels coupled with ease of use and flexibility makes Facebook a great “starter“ channel in your social media mix.
Get on over to Facebook and learn how to set up your business page here.
For the 18 – 49 age demographic, YouTube gets more traffic than any cable network in America and is a close second to Facebook in terms of overall usage at roughly 1 billion monthly users. The shelf life on YouTube is in the months/years range. Once content is posted, it is viewed over and over again until it is removed by the channel owner (you). BONUS! YouTube is owned by Google; which means having a presence on this platform may help with organic search engine results back to your website! So grab your smartphone and get out on the lot to create a video about your dealership or the inventory you have available and POST IT!
Get more information on how to set up your channel on YouTube here.
Courting Millennials? Then consider Instagram! While this channel’s usage is about a third of Facebook at roughly 77 million users, it is primarily being used by the younger set as a rebellion against mainstream channels like Facebook and Twitter. Seriously? Who wants to be on the same social channel as grandma? Instagram is an easy to use, photo-based social media platform and is a fantastic way to get more eyeballs on the inventory on your lot. It also has a longer post shelf life than Facebook and Twitter combined; about 6 hours.
Snap some pics and learn how to post them to your business page on Instagram here.
Tweet, tweet….tweet! Next up is Twitter, which ranks #4 overall with just over 300 million monthly users. Twitter is a fast-paced social media channel fueled by hashtags, mentions, and retweets. Limited to just 140 characters per tweet, you’ll need to keep your posts short and sweet. Because of the swift nature of this platform, it has the shortest post shelf life out of all social media channels at roughly 18-24 minutes per tweet. Although there is a character limit per tweet, you can still use photos and videos on Twitter.
Pen your first tweet and get ready to post when you set up a Twitter business page here.
Social media plays a huge role in our everyday lives. It has the power to shape points of view, influence buying decisions and connect us in ways no other communication channel has in decades. Tapping into the power of social media to drive brand awareness is a critical piece of the marketing mix that can be managed once armed with a little knowledge, creativity, and patience.
I hope you enjoyed this installment of Marketing Bytes. Remember, if you have any questions – feel free to comment below or shoot an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Oh, and make sure to bookmark this page and visit often for more tasty Marketing Bytes!
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