If you’re reading this, you might already be on social media. But you might not. There’s a few of you out there who have yet to take the leap into the social media world. You may not have the time or you may not like the idea of conforming to something new. Social media is a place riddled with often confusing hashtags and overcrowded comment sections. It’s also a place filled with users. Let’s talk about some numbers to put things in perspective.
According to Statista.com, as of October 2018, Facebook had 2.23 billion monthly active users. Instagram followed with 1 billion monthly active users, and Twitter had 3.4 million.
That’s a lot of users. What does that mean for you? Well, it means that there are millions of bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts out there using these social media platforms consistently. It’s where your customers are. It’s where you should be.
Social media should be used as a strategic business tool. Once you take that approach, to use social media as a device to strengthen your dealership, it’ll be a much easier pill to swallow.
It’s Where Your Customers Are
The numbers don’t lie. People across the country and the world are using social media now more than ever.
You probably have some current customers who don’t really care about Facebook or Instagram. They already know about you and your staff, they enjoy shopping at your dealership, and they are not avid social media users. Don’t let them dissuade you, many of your current and potential customers are on social media.
Returning customers are a huge part of any business. You can use social media as a medium to reconnect and re-engage with customers who already bought a motorcycle from you. You can cross-sell these customers by posting about motorcycle apparel, accessories, and services that you offer. Strengthen your brand’s loyalty by not letting them forget about you.
The other group of people you’re trying to capture are riders who don’t know about you. It could be a novice rider, new to the motorcycle scene. Or maybe a seasoned rider who enjoys browsing quality motorcycle content on Instagram. In any situation, you can use social media to introduce yourself to these new potential customers.
They’re called followers for a reason. And if you think it’s impossible to capture a following out of the billions of users out there, you should reconsider. In fact, you don’t need a billion, a million, or even a thousand followers to make a difference.
The more active you are on social media, by posting content and interacting with other users, the more followers you will get. And while it is a little more complicated than that, a solid social media strategy will ensure that these followers are in fact quality leads. It’s like casting a net into the bay – you may catch a few fish, but if you keep casting the net you’ll eventually have a boatload of fish.
Gives You a Platform To Have Fun with Your Own Content
Once you find your creative process for content, whether it’s photographing your hottest bikes, drawing funny motorcycle cartoons, or posting about the best deals your dealership has to offer, you’ll start having fun with it.
Yes, it is a part of your business and it must be taken seriously. But it’s also fun! Let your artistic side out and experiment with different content ideas. If you come up with an idea, write it down. Pretty soon you’ll have a solid list of cool content to produce.
And we know you’re busy. You shouldn’t have to do this alone. Get your team involved and assign some responsibilities, once the ball starts rolling. Who knows? Maybe one of your employees has a passion for this kind of stuff.
Social media platforms are also a great place to act more relaxed — let your less professional side out. It gives you the opportunity to show existing and potential customers that you have a sense of humor, you like the stuff they like.
You’re not a warehouse for bikes, you’re a personality. Social media platforms allow you to tell your own story, however and whenever you like.
It won’t cost you a dime to create a Facebook business page or an Instagram account. You don’t have to pay for a domain or hosting services, as you do with your website. A big reason there are so many users on these platforms is because they are free to use. The only thing it will cost you is time.
Your social media profiles are similar to a landing page on a website. You can provide so much information about your business – your story, your hours of operation, your location, and your products — all for free.
There are options to do paid advertising on these platforms, but you don’t necessarily have to in order to have an impact. There are forms of free advertising that you can take advantage of.
Posting pictures of your bikes on Instagram, including pricing and specs, is a simple way to advertise your products. Do you have any specials, discounts or deals to share? Post them on your social media platforms. Spread the word for free.
It’s important to encourage your current customers to follow your account so that they won’t miss out on anything.
Social media platforms are also a free medium to conduct customer service. You can do it privately through direct messages, or you can do it publicly on a platform like Twitter. Many companies take advantage of the publicity Twitter offers. It helps them solve their customers’ problems on a user-friendly platform. But it also strengthens their brand’s public perception.
The Power of Social Sharing
What is social sharing?
Remember those email chains that used to get forwarded to you from friends and relatives? They could have been a series of funny dog photos, or a spooky story that required you to send it to 10 friends. This was social sharing.
But what happened to those emails? The concepts still exist but the platform has changed. People aren’t sharing things through email like they used to. They’re doing it on social media.
This is one of the most powerful tools social media has to offer – the ability to share. You’re not buying ad space, you’re not forcing customers to see you. You’re producing quality content with no budget or restrictions.
And if it gets liked, tagged, shared, or retweeted you just increased your reach, organically. It’s like word-of-mouth marketing, but virtual. Outsiders to your business are making the decision to share your content with their social network.
The possibilities of social sharing are endless, but we’ll talk about a few here:
Make Content that People Want to Share
It may sound obvious, but quality content is the key to social sharing. People consume media at a very fast rate and there’s a lot to consume. It’s important to make your content stand out.
Be unique while also being strategic. Put in the effort to make something people will learn from or find entertaining. Bad content will never be shared.
Tell People to Share Your Content
This is a simple strategy that is often underused. For example, if you’ve got a sleek bike you want to share on Instagram, post it with a “sharing” call-to-action. In the caption, you could write, “Tag a friend who would love to own this bike”.
You can obviously get much more creative with this, but you get the idea. People are much more likely to share something when they’re being asked to share it.
Giveaways and Contests
You are free to manage your social media as you see fit. And with that freedom, you can explore contests and giveaways.
People like free stuff. You can tell your followers to comment a specific hashtag (like your dealerships name or slogan) and the first 100 to do so get a free t-shirt. Again, this is just an example. Do something that makes sense for your dealership.
If you have old merchandise gathering dust, put it to use in a giveaway. The goal should be to have your followers spread the word for you, whether it’s tagging friends, tagging your dealership, or commenting on posts using specific hashtags. Just be clear with your instructions and make sure that you’re not breaking any rules, in accordance with the platform’s terms of service.
Share Other People’s Content
The social sharing road goes both ways. If you find something interesting posted on Facebook, share it to your own page. If you think an Instagram post is hilarious, repost it yourself. Just be careful sharing and reposting original content.
You never want to take credit for something you did not make. You always want to credit the original content creator by tagging them and mentioning them in the caption. If you have any doubts about sharing something that’s not yours, don’t do it.
Blogs, websites, and news articles are a good place to start if you’re looking to share other people’s content on your social media accounts. You definitely want to make your own original content, but don’t be afraid to share things you find, that your customers will enjoy seeing.
Why Your Motorcycle Dealership Needs Social Media
If you’re looking for new ways to reach customers, you need to be on social media. Managing a social media account is a big responsibility, and no one said it was easy. Using it as a strategic business tool to find new customers, tell your story, and market your dealership online will pay off in the long run. It’s not about you liking Facebook or Instagram, it’s about the billions of people who do.
Not convinced that social media can help your dealership grow? Let us know in the comments section. If you’re currently using social media for your dealership, tell us how it’s helped you grow and market your business.