Do you have a Facebook page? And, if you do, how active are you?
There’s differing opinions on Facebook and its use for business. It’s true; its organic reach is reducing. Basically, that means if you have a Facebook business page, your chances of appearing in the feeds of your followers is minimal mainly because the social platform wants to boost its own revenue and therefore has created a scenario to encourage businesses to pay to be seen.
However, there are other schools of thought which suggests if you keep it local, and as a local garage that suits you, and therefore focused, as well as engaging your community, results make the time and effort you put into activity worthwhile.
If you’re in any doubt as to its effects, we know of one garage which estimates their Facebook engagement delivers 10-15% additional business without spending any money on sponsored posts or advertising.
Create a BUSINESS page
If your garage does not have a Facebook page, obviously, the first thing you need to do is create one. Make sure you set it up as a ‘business’ and not as a person with the spurious name of ‘Joe Bloggs Garage’, that would be in contravention of Facebook’s most basic rules and you do need to toe the line.
Daily or even a few times a day is best, you increase the chances of your content being seen and little and often means it doesn’t take up too much of your time. Don’t go over the top – you don’t want to clog your customers’ newsfeeds with posts from your business.
The whole point of social media is to be social, so make sure you comment on other people’s posts, be fun and entertaining, take a look at one of our client’s A Welsh Motors’ Facebook page for inspiration: the birthday card from their resident dog Bailey is a huge hit with customers and they enjoy light-hearted banter with people who comment on their posts.
Content which is interesting, yet still relevant to your business will have people reading, commenting, liking and sharing. Take a look at the CarVue Facebook page and some of these local businesses. Real Interiors posts articles as wide ranging as colour perception, the property market and tips on how to present your home for sale. Imperial Car Supermarket taps into the petrol headedness of some of its followers but also shows customers collecting their new pride and joys. With content including outdoor cooking recipes, why it’s good to get away from it all and camping anecdotes Bells of Hemscott’s material is mixed with offers and asking followers for their opinions. Meanwhile west coast of Ireland adventure company Real Adventures takes full advantage of its outside setting posting dramatic images, which encourages conversations and sharing.
Resist the temptation to jump on the bandwagon, but share interesting and relevant articles, for example, pot holes has once again hit the headlines so share some news stories and opinions on the subject.
Join local groups
Spend some time researching your own area and become a member of as many local groups as possible especially if there is a link to cars or motoring, that way you will keep up with any local issues and offer help or advice when you come across relevant posts.
Repost your business posts on your personal Facebook page and ask friends, family and employees to do the same, your business will be seen by a much wider audience and chances are, many of them will be local.
Respond quickly whenever a comment is posted, even if it is negative. Keep an eye out for potential business, for example, should you spot someone asking for a recommendation for a garage, comment on the trail and message them direct, but if another garage has been recommended or has commented, don’t try and ‘steal’ the job. If customers recommend you by tagging, always respond both on the comment thread itself and if applicable, with a direct message.
Don’t be controversial
Don’t become embroiled in political debates, comments about wider society or religion, in short, keep your opinions to yourself, not everyone will agree with you and it is inevitable you will offend someone who may decide to vote with their feet and persuade others to do the same.
Create a personality
Facebook offers you the opportunity to allow your business’ personality to be shine. So let your hair down, have some fun and be social.
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