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Auto shop owners often run into some issues when it comes to humanizing their enterprises via social media. Consumers tend to see companies as impersonal entities no matter their industry, but when your firm deals in machinery and moving parts, it can be especially tricky to add warmth to your image. That being said, "tricky" and "impossible" don't have to be synonymous - you just need to know how to approach social networking with a human touch.
6 tips to help humanize your
auto shop on social media
For many auto shops, the main obstacles between them and successful
social media marketing is the set-up process, followed by the time and
expertise it takes to stay engaged while keeping up with constant changes.
So cheers if you’ve already made it past setup and your first few posts.
Now, you may be tempted to relax and crack open a brewski once you've
created your accounts—but don’t! It takes more than just setting up a
profile and posting regularly to engage users.
Auto shops tend to have issues making themselves relatable via social
media. Since you deal in machinery, it can be tricky to add warmth to
your image. This is often made worse by automated posting.
So step away from the robotics and join the party!
Use the following tips to inject some humanity into your social networking.
Personalization goes a long way. More often than not, small business
owners delegate social media management to one person or a small team
of marketing professionals.
Consider having them sign posts with their names to forge a personal
connection with your audience.
Your Twitter followers, Facebook fans, etc. will perceive such messages
as being "written by [person's name] from [company name]" as opposed
to "just another post by [company name]."
Promoting a new deal or showing off
your shop? Get your people in the shot.
For instance, rather than merely
posting a close-up of your latest
coupons, get your social media
manager to post a selfie holding them.
Along those same lines, encourage mechanics to pose in their work area.
Doing so will not only show customers where their cars will be serviced,
but also who will be doing the work.
Casual and conversational. Highbrow and educational. Practical and
informative. There are a lot of tones to choose from, but the most
important thing is to choose one that fits your brand—and stick to it.
A strong voice is critical in giving personality to your company
via social media.
Stay consistent with the tone you use across other channels too...
a lack of cohesion will undermine your brand authority.
Company accounts are expected to post promotional
messages about sales, new products and the like, but you
need to do more than that.
Counteract this one-way messaging by asking page admins to engage in
conversation, ask questions, listen to others' comments and concerns,
and respond when appropriate.
Encourage them to even go out of their way to like followers’ photos and
comment on their posts (without seeming intrusive, of course).
Try being a little less corporate and a little more personable.
Have fun. Put the “social” in “social media.”
Remember: people follow people on social platforms
because they want to see engaging, interesting content.
If you see something worthy of a share—whether you're scrolling down
your Twitter timeline, perusing your Facebook feed, catching up on
Instagram pics or paging through Pinterest boards—post it!*
*Within reason, of course. Don’t post anything that’s bound to incite
controversy or cause people to associate negative feelings with your shop.
But don’t just repost something without contributing anything original.
Include your own analysis or reactions too.
And don't forget to give credit to the original poster!
Bad reviews can be especially damaging for
those in the auto industry.
Cover your assets and handle your reviews.
If you or your staff made a mistake, own it,
apologize for it and make it right.
Shoppers who read brand responses that offer a refund,
upgrade or product exchange are 92% more likely to
purchase, and product sentiment increases by 88%.
Bazaarvoice, January, 2014
The more genuine you are in responding to reviews (and the less canned
your responses are), the more people will see you and your staff for what
you are: human.
Everyone makes mistakes. If customers see the people who make up the
company, they’ll be more likely to forgive.