Over the last decade, the way in which people learn about new cars, and subsequently buy them, has changed almost beyond recognition. People don’t just watch the latest episode of Top Gear, or pick up a copy of Autotrader before they head down to their local car dealership.
The buying journey now begins weeks, or even months in advance, as people head to the internet and social media to research potential cars and deals. Digital marketing has had to get ahead of this trend and start targeting potential customers earlier in their buyer journey.
As a car dealer, your social media presence needs to be on form, otherwise, you risk losing potential customers. That’s where a social media audit comes in. If you are currently using social media, then you need to do this to ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing activity.
First things first. What is a social media audit?
Not nearly as dramatic as the name suggests, a social media audit is simply a way for car dealers to get an overview of their online social media channels and see what’s working and what can be improved upon.
It doesn’t have to be an arduous process, but the benefits can be transformational to your business. Take a look at this article we wrote on ‘how Instagram has changed the way we buy cars.’
Step 1 – Your social media footprint
Make a list of all of your social media accounts, whether you update them regularly or not. Be sure to include any old or duplicate accounts that may have been set up by other people and then forgotten about.
To do this you’ll have to Google all the main social networks and start searching. You will probably find there are no surprises, but you may also discover duplicate or even fake accounts claiming to be you. If this is the case you will have to report it to the social media platforms to begin the process of removing these accounts.
It’s also a good idea to reserve your company name on all social media platforms, whether you use them or not. After all, you may want to use them in the future and it will prevent imposter accounts using them instead.
Step 2 – Standardise your brand across all accounts
Even though different social media platforms require different marketing tactics, your brand should still flow across them all. Evaluate all of your accounts to ensure that they represent your latest brand voice and visual identity.
- Try to use the same social media handle for each platform. If this isn’t possible, keep it as similar as you can.
- Profile images and covers should match your brand identity.
- Make your bio work for you. There is limited space to talk about your car dealership so make the most of it by using the right links and hashtags.
- Check for mistakes – it’s easy to overlook an incorrect phone number or url in your profile, but it gives a bad impression to potential customers trying to contact you.
Step 3 – Identify your most successful platforms and content
Even if your dealership already has an amazing social media presence, an audit can be really useful for backing up your work with actual stats. Most platforms have some analytics tools which will let you see how well you’re engaging with your audience and which types of content are performing better than others. Use this information to focus your efforts going forward.
The results may surprise you. You might think that because you have more fans on Facebook, that is your best channel, but your reach and engagement on Instagram might be much higher. The point is, you won’t know until you look.
Go back over a longer timeframe to see if you can spot any growth trends across your social channels. This information will help you decide not only what types of content to post but which social media channels are right for you.
Step 4 – Calculate ROI
Social media is great but at the end of the day, it’s all part of your marketing strategy. That strategy is designed to help you sell cars. You need to know whether you return on investment for your social media activity is making an impact on your business.
There are different ways to calculate ROI. Find the way which is most useful to your particular dealership. For example, you might track the number of visitors coming from social media to your website, then the conversion rate from website visits to newsletter sign ups or visits to the dealership.
Knowing your return on investment is crucial to success in automotive marketing. Not only will it identify when social media isn’t working, but can provide a compelling case for more funding and resources when it is.
Elliot is our resident tech-lover and petrolhead, who is in charge of spreading AdFeeder to the masses! Having previously worked with brands such as Porsche and BMW, Elliot specialises in content creation and social media.