After being told for years that dealers should start a Facebook page and learning that more than 800 million people have joined the social media platform, many dealers have joined on, creating business pages for their stores. However, many dealers also are finding it difficult to increase fan numbers and engagement.
Josh Chiles, founder of social media company Engaged!, shared tips about social networking during his interactive presentation at Profit Xcelerator in Las Vegas. Chiles told dealers two key things during his Sales & Marketing Track session at the annual Powersports Business dealer education event — dealers should pay attention to their Facebook ranking and consider purchasing Facebook ads.
Edge Rank, Chiles explained, is the secret algorithm that Facebook uses to share content with its members.
“Facebook has an algorithm that determines — whether it’s a business page post or a personal page — which content gets displayed on users’ homepages,” he said.
Though the exact algorithm is unknown, it is understood that the more interactivity a post provides or receives increases the ranking. Posts that often increase a ranking include those that include photos and videos.
“Pictures and video are the No. 1 and No. 2 things shared virally across social networks,” Chiles reported.
Also improving rankings are “likes” and comments garnered by followers. Dealers seeking to get their message in front of more users should ask questions in their posts and ask for comments. Encouraging comments will also encourage others to like the post, Chiles said.
“If you are getting comments, if you’re getting ‘likes,’ if you are getting visits to your page, your Edge Rank will go up,” he added.
The more posts that are ranked high, the more important the page will be in the algorithm, so content is key.
“If no one’s interacting with your page, Facebook is going to assume your content is boring,” Chiles said, adding that if Facebook sees your content as boring, it won’t give your posts high rankings.
That ranking is important because many Facebook users don’t venture much beyond their own homepage.
“The majority of people who like your page never, never, never come back to your page … unless you engage them,” he explained.
Chiles also pointed out the importance of Facebook advertising.
Facebook ads appear on the right side of a user’s page. Each includes one photo and space for text. Each can also be targeted to only appear on pages of users fitting specific demographics, which include location, age, sex and nearly anything else listed on personal Facebook pages.
“With Facebook advertising, you can pinpoint your exact customer or prospect,” Chiles said.
Facebook ads, which Chiles said are not expensive, can be paid per click or per impression. Per click ads are ideal for targeting a specific customer demographic, while per impression ads are better used when the message is being broadcast to a larger audience. Businesses using Facebook ads can chose a daily or lifetime budget.
“You can control how much you’re spending,” Chiles said.
He recommends dealers run two or three ads at a time and experiment with the photos and text to see which gets the best audience reaction.
The session only got started with Facebook, and included even more tips on how to use Facebook to grow dealership traffic. Then it was on to similar effective ways of growing profits by using Twitter and blogs.