Automotive Social Media: Why Facebook Is Your Best Bet
For business upstarts, this networking website still draws heavy traffic
Although younger social media mavens may declare Facebook is going the way of the dinosaur, there seems to be a great deal of swagger in that gargantuan best of a networking website. Even with competitors like Instagram are slowly creeping up the popularity scale, Facebook is still one of the top websites in the world, eclipsed only by search engine giant Google and video site YouTube.
By the numbers
At last count, some 80 billion businesses have pages on Facebook and the numbers are still increasing by nearly 25 percent annually. As far as traffic is concerned, some 2.23 billion user log onto Facebook annually. Mobile phone users have also put Facebook on top, having downloaded from the social media site more often than any other website.
But it doesn’t stop at visits or downloads. Commercially, Facebook is fast becoming the preferred choice of promotion, marketing and advertising, with more than three-quarters of the American public coming across a product or service on the site they want to purchase. Because of that incentive, Facebook enjoys the status of being the top platform for B2B and B2C interaction.
Free & easy
If you’re among the 30 percent of the population that doesn’t have a Facebook account for either yourself or your auto business, now might be the time to start. For the frugal, there’s good news in that the service is free. And for those technology-adverse folks, the news is even better in that creating an account and a business page is user-friendly and easy.
While plenty of tutorials exist on how to create a business page, you’ll still have to create a personal page for yourself. No sweat. Just go to www.facebook.com and follow the prompt to create an account, which involves a bit of personal information, like an email, your choice of user name and a password. Several fields are also available for images and other personal information.
But to create a business page, log into Facebook once you’ve secured an account and click Create on the top blue bar. A drop-down menu appears, at which point you select Page. You’ll be asked to pick between a Business or Brand and a Community or Public Figure, so choose the first option. After that it’s a matter of filling in the rest of your business information as well as some choice images and you’re done. Finally, you can select a list of Friends to like your business page, but remember to do something else first. Make sure you have Friends on your personal page first, or you won’t be able to select any.
Before we forget…
Finally, now that you’ve got the nuts and bolts part of the setup in place, it’s time to ponder some more abstract ideas, namely who you plan to attract and how. If you’re an auto-oriented company such as a car rental, you might already have a good idea of what your clientele is like, and identifying your audience online isn’t going to be any different. Right away, rule out much of the under-30 crowd, which isn’t as likely to be on Facebook and has even less interest in vehicles than preceding generations. Fortunately, older demographics are growing on Facebook, so there’s lot of potential to draw their attention. If you’re looking to drill down deeper for your audience preferences when they’re on Facebook, you can take advantage of additional tools on the website’s Insights page.
You should also set goals for what your business page can do for you, such as improving customer service, increasing sales, retaining audiences and so on. All that is made possible by what you post on what is called the news page, where you place all your timely information. Marketing experts stress following the 80-20 rule. Roughly 80 percent of your content should be dedicated to educating your audience with items like fun facts about your market, entertaining them with current events affecting your business, such as a sponsorship of a community event or other activity, or relating a humorous anecdote of something that happened under your company roof. The rest should be dedicated to promoting your product or service. In short, audiences will likely relate to what you post, and won’t be put off by a site that’s only meant to sell, sell, sell.
With those basics out of the way, there’s only one thing left to do. On your marks, get set, go log on!