1. Set up a business page for your dealership instead of a personal profile.
“When creating your Facebook account, set up a business page for added benefits that include unlimited likes (personal profiles are limited to the number of friends), the ability to monitor the success of your page using Facebook Insights and the added SEO benefit of Google indexing Facebook business pages,” said Laura Reinders of PowerSports Network.
2. Keep up with your page.
“Dedicate at least one employee to be an admin on your Facebook page and establish expectations for regular updates,” advised Jason Ennis of Central Florida PowerSports in Kissimmee, Fla. “We do a minimum of two updates a week.”
3. Don’t only focus on selling.
“Successful social media strategies usually involve 80 percent engagement topics and 20 percent hard sell of products and services. Therefore, a majority of postings should involve topics such as upcoming charity rides, dealership events and promotions and interesting photos or videos of powersports vehicles you find on the Internet,” said Fred Rose of Cycletrader.com.
4. Always direct new visitors to a landing page.
Bring them to a custom Facebook tab and never your wall, says Josh Chiles of Engaged!, also a presenter at Profit Xcelerator. “You want to welcome your guests and invite them in. Custom Facebook tabs can range from entering a contest, viewing your inventory or products, or just a simple welcome and [encouragement to] like our page. Make sure your visitors have to ‘like’ your page first before giving anything away.”
5. Facebook is your listening post.
“Many dealers are most concerned with what they will post about, rather than taking time to listen to their fans and engage in conversations,” said Heather Blessington of Duo Web Solutions. “Set aside time each week to browse around and check out what fans are chatting about. Click around to their personal pages and jump in on the conversation if and when you have something to contribute – however, this commentary must not be promoting or selling your business in anyway whatsoever, since this goes against everything social media stands for.”
6. Encourage fans to post their own pictures and videos to your wall.
“Facebook measures the level of engagement between your fans and your Facebook page,” Reinders explained. “Higher engagement levels will increase the success of your posts reaching the ‘Top News’ feeds of your fans’ pages.”
7. Use the like button yourself.
“Utilize other industry pages to gain exposure and help customers learn about products and services you sell,” Ennis recommended. “The ‘like’ feature is a great way to show your followers what brands you are associated with. It also improves your exposure because people can find you when they are on the ‘liked’ page.”
8. Ask questions.
“Remember, social media is a two-way street,” Rose said. “Web content managers need to regularly monitor the online health and ‘pulse’ of their communities. By asking questions, it sparks a comment rather than just a status like, which allows community managers to get to know and more importantly, understand, their consumers.”
9. Pictures, pictures, pictures, post lots of pictures.
“You’re in your showroom every day, but your customs aren’t,” Chiles said. “Post pictures of new inventory or products, events, or sold inventory with the new owner; post mystery pictures and ask for guesses, and don’t forget about the picture strip on the top of your wall, you can pick which five are displayed in a random order.”
10. Don’t be careful.
“One of the best ways to fail at Facebook is to be boring,” Blessington said. “Take chances and make mistakes. This is far and away the best way to learn, and this is a medium where you are allowed to share, grow and evolve. Further, forget about what all the ‘experts’ have to say; no one is an expert. This technology is changing literally daily, so ignore the supposed rules and have fun.”