Social Networking and Reputation Management Strategy for Car Dealers
It’s on thing to have people like your business. It’s another thing to have them “like” your business, as in on Facebook. Your customers may like you, but there’s a good chance that they won’t like you on Facebook. There are two primary reasons for this: (1) some people simply don’t like very many brands at all on Facebook, and/or (2) the first impression they had when they came to your page wasn’t impressive.
There’s something extremely important to keep in mind when trying to understand how Facebook for business works. According to numerous studies, people never return to your page after they’ve liked it. They got to your page from your website, as a recommendation based upon a piece of content that one of their friends liked or shared, or through Facebook advertising. Once they land on your Facebook page, they will decide extremely quickly whether or not to like your page. If they decide against it, the chances of them ever seeing anything that you post in the future will be dramatically diminished other than possibly through Facebook advertising (though that’s not even guaranteed).
Getting people to visit your Facebook is an art unto itself that requires a future blog post, but once you get them there you can do certain things that can help you to get more likes as a result. Keep in mind that it’s not about being likeable. It’s about being Facebook “Like-Worthy”. People are dishing out likes to businesses much less frequently than before. They are more selective now. Get selected! Be like-worthy.
In Facebook’s ideal world, your business cover photo would be just that – a photo. They discourage the use of words or messages in the cover photo. I totally understand and somewhat agree with the philosophy, but I also understand the importance of the cover photo in establishing an appropriate first impression.
The profile pic is a challenging concept as well. Not all logos fit nicely into a square. By now, most businesses should have learned that they need a square variation of their logo even if only to put on social media profiles, but not everyone has. If you haven’t, make one… now. Your logo or other branding image should be easily discernible as a square. There’s no other way around it. Make it look like it’s supposed to be there, not like something that was poorly shrunk to fit into the space. It’s subtle but important.
Now, back to the cover photo. It should be enticing. It should be visually stunning. It may or may not need to have a message. Whatever you use as a cover photo, it should be something that appeals to your target audience. Don’t forget the placement of your profile picture. The best types of cover photos actually play off of the profile picture, even if only based on placement. In the cover image example above, the message is clear, targeted, and positioned just above the logo. The image itself is something that can be appealing to the target audience – a professional who appears victorious.
It’s the activity on Facebook that is done so infrequently but that can be a true differentiator between your Facebook marketing and the marketing of the competitor. When you “use Facebook as” your page, you can then go to the Facebook news feed and see posts of the other pages that your page has liked.
Liking, sharing, and commenting on what others post while logged in as your business page is an easy way to branch out and get the attention of your target audience. Your page should be liking pages that are relevant to yours. Local publications, industry companies and vendors, personalities that share your interests – like them as your page.
Once you do, the fans of those pages will see your support, your name, and understand that you are active on Facebook. Instant like-worthiness, especially if it’s something like a local charity that your company is supporting.
Anything that isn’t time sensitive, that was popular with likes, comments, and shares, and that represents what people will see regularly or semi-regularly on your page should be pinned to the top. It cannot be too old – no more than a couple of weeks at most – because some people may not notice that it’s pinned and think that your page is inactive or posts very rarely. Most will scroll down and see the more recent posts, but you don’t want to risk missing anyone.
When you pin something to the top, that content is the first thing that visitors to your page will see once they scroll below your cover photo. Make absolutely certain that it is representative of what you will be bringing to the table if they like your page. It’s important to get more fans, but it’s more important to get the right fans. That picture of a cat you posted yesterday might have outperformed everything else you’ve posted this week, but if that’s not what you’re going to be serving up regularly, don’t pin it.
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Facebook isn’t hard, but you have to understand some of the things that can separate you from the competitors. This is one of those topics about which I strongly encourage asking any questions if you have them. It’s that important.