Many dealers find that Facebook is the most useful platform for advertising their business, and that makes sense when you consider the statistics behind this powerhouse of a social channel. With over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook as of June 2017 (TechCrunch) and 53% of users checking the platform “several” times per day (Statista), there is a ton of opportunity to reach potential customers. Facebook is most popular among people ages 25-34, followed closely by both the 18-24 and 35-44 age groups (Statista) – the sweet spot for customers most likely to be in the market for motorcycles and ATVs.
It’s true that Facebook is an incredible resource for advertising your dealership. However, as a dealership business you are serving a local market– most of your customers probably come to you from a 120-mile radius (at most) with the majority within 50 miles or so of your location. This limits the number of people on Facebook who are likely worth spending time and money on.
The capabilities within Facebook’s Ads manager gives advertisers helpful tools to reach likely prospects by targeting specific demographics, interests, and more. These tools are far worthy of your time to utilize. But here are a few lesser-known methods to help your dealership dominate the local market on Facebook:
- Find and share content that your local community would enjoy – even if it’s not necessarily relevant to your dealership. For example, let’s say that on Friday nights different local bands play at a community park that is close to your store. Why not post about the upcoming show early in the week, encouraging your followers to attend? Or, maybe your city has awesome breweries. Sharing online content about a local brewers’ festival or a list of “5 Top Breweries in (Your City)” is likely to resonate with many members of your local audience.
>> Bonus – According to a recent article by MarketingLand, Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm will now identify and prioritize local publishers, or “those whose links are clicked on by readers in a tight geographic area.” In other words, Facebook will favor posts that contain local content and show them more often to your followers.
- Create an event. Does your dealership have a big sale coming up? Generate buzz among your local audience by creating a Facebook event for it. Invite your followers and allow attendees to invite others as well. Then, get the word out. Post the event on your own Facebook page, encourage followers and attendees to share it on their pages, and post a link to it on your website. You could also spend a little money to promote the event post on Facebook as an ad for maximum publicity. Not only will you find that this brings more people to your event, but you’ll likely gain new followers (prospects) as well.
- Create a group. Focus on a niche topic – like vintage dirt bike racing – and position your dealership as the expert in the group on that topic. Share news about upcoming races and local figures who participate. Give advice about restoring older model bikes. Recruit your followers to join the group and invite others. Managing and interacting in groups like this on Facebook helps you build a local community of customers and prospects who are likely to feel a personal connection to your business and trust your dealership when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Narrowing in on your local audience on Facebook can be a little tricky, but it is such a valuable tool to drive sales for your dealership when it’s done right. Having some out-of-the-box Facebook marketing knowledge up your sleeve is helpful, but what it really comes down to is engaging with your local followers, plus the rest of the local users on the platform. Make an effort to learn what local audience members like and what they respond to on a targeted, personalized level.
Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.