Marketing Your Auto Repair Shop on Social Media
Long gone are the days when people would swing by a store to grab a print newspaper and check the classifieds to see specials that local stores were offering in any given week. Marketing has stepped into the 21st century and it’s time that auto repair shops that want to see a business increase move forward as well. As a repair shop owner, you don’t want to find out that customers are having their car shipped to other garages for repairs because the other shops in your area are advertising wisely.
Reaching People, the Smart Way
Businesses can spend extraordinary amounts of money on marketing with television or direct mail, but marketing with those measures don’t tend to help with word of mouth marketing. Sure, you can market only to bring in new customers, but the best way to achieve growth at your auto repair shop business is to have current happy customers spread the word to others about how great your services are.
The key to this? Social media marketing. A great website is of course highly recommended and quite honestly, companies that don’t have a website will often be overlooked because people cannot find them when they search online. A web presence is vital in todays internet ridden world. People use their Smartphone or tablet to locate auto repair services and other business services, and if you are not online, people can’t find you and chances are, they’ll move on to your nearest competition if they have a web presence.
Here are three of the most important aspects of a successful social media marketing campaign that auto repair shops can benefit from.
Did you know that more than 70% of American shoppers will wait to shop at a specific store until they have seen reviews of the business from other customers? When you want to build your repair shop business, reviews can be a gold mine for sales and having them on your social media page can be a huge boost for your business. Many companies ask customers to give them a quick review on their Facebook page by offering them a little discount or incentive the next time they bring their car in. For instance, you could offer a 10% discount or a free tire rotation with an oil change in exchange for a review to customers that are happy. Some business owners worry about bad reviews, and no matter how excellent services may be, there will always be at least one customer that will complain. Don’t stress about bad reviews. A bad review can be a blessing in disguise for a business as it allows the business owner to publicly handle a negative situation and make it right for the customer. It also lets the public see that the business cares enough to take steps to correct an issue, and even when problems arise, customers like to know that a business has good ethics.
People like to feel connected to the businesses they frequent, and when you have an active social media presence, it can help boost business. Many businesses start Facebook pages and then never make a post, or they post an article but never communicate when customers respond to the post or when a customer posts to the page. Don’t be like those businesses if you want to boost your auto repair business! Whether it’s a quick thank you to a compliment or a detailed comment to let someone know you understand their frustration with a car issue or to offer advice on something they can try before bringing the car in, be sociable to your customers on social media. On holidays, wish them well and pop up occasionally just to mention the current weather. When a business takes time to keep their social media pages up to date, it says a lot to customers, and potential customers, who may be checking to see if a company will be easy to contact if they have a question or concern. Being active on social media is also a fantastic way to post about daily specials or discounted services where people can see them in real time and not have to search a newspaper for a discount that might be expired.
Save Money While Increasing Outreach
Have you been mailing out a direct mail ad every week or every month to people who live in your business area? If so, how many of those people asked for your circulars to arrive in their mailbox, and how many are using them to benefit your auto repair business? Chances are that a slim number, if any at all, have requested their box to fill with advertisements and the return on your advertising investment is probably low, if you see any at all. Now, don’t take this the wrong way. Direct mail has its pros and those include the fact that customers tend to recall business names better when they have a hard copy to look at and people feel that direct mail is a personal way to connect with a business, but if you want to reach more people faster and spend less money on advertising, social media is the way to go. To maintain that personal level of communication, you can send emails out periodically to customers already in your database to alert them of specials or just to thank them for being a valued customer. This is a great way to handle a social media account as well. You can send out personal messages to thank customers via their Facebook or Twitter profiles.
Advertising on Facebook or Twitter can also cost less than advertising with direct mail, billboards, newspapers and other forms of advertising. For example, advertising with direct mail can cost upwards of $60 and that does not include the cost of mailing the ad or printing where a Facebook ad can cost as little as $2.50. One single Facebook ad can reach more than 1000 people for a small amount of cost and can be increased by spending a little more.
As you can see, it’s wise as an auto repair shop owner to have a good social media presence, and best of all, we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other easy to navigate platforms that anyone with a computer or tablet or even a Smartphone can work with. You don’t need to know how to program or code and you can reach customers as well as reach out to others easily with just a few minutes every day to make a simple post to say hello, advertise a special service or offer a discount.