Some customers can perform their own oil changes on the fly, as well as very minor repairs. But is it recommended? And is it a good use of their time?
Usually the answer is a dead-end “no”.
This do-it-yourself car maintenance scenario is a lot like an auto shop owner who decides to handle his own social media marketing and website needs. Most small business owners who try a do-it-yourself approach start from scratch and simply don’t have a lot of time to learn or keep up with the tools. So, to get the best results, it is wise for them to go to experts with serious experience and a solid command. Sound familiar?
For marketers, it’s also critical that every piece of their business’ digital marketing chain (website, social media, Google ads, etc.) works in concert with the others. “If all of these messages don’t work together and if they’re all different, the customer is confused,” says Jason Strand, director of digital marketing for Optimize Social Media/Optimize Digital Marketing based in Oakdale, Minnesota. the more consistent a store owner’s digital experience is, the more their customers will trust them as a business. »
Cultivating that trust early and maintaining it consistently is critically important, as there will always be customers roaming online looking for solutions to their car problems. This is because the auto industry is needs-based, which means people don’t have to be pressured into fixing their car. When they need it, they know they need it—think brakes, for example. So, in Strand’s experience, the majority of people head to Google to find out where to get their car repaired. “They are going to look. And digital advertising can increase the chances of them finding your store,” he says.
Once they find a store ad that catches their eye, they head to the next stop in their quest to get the car working properly: a store’s website. Once there, they will look for essential information such as current phone number, business address and opening hours. This type of basic information must be accurate and up to date. Again, the clearer and more concise a company’s information is, the more confidence a customer will have in the store’s services.
Even once that trust is established and a store has won a customer, the online community will need regular nurturing to keep all the pieces of the puzzle online, from the website to digital marketing and social media.
As Jordan Greene, Director of Partner Relations at Optimize Social Media/Optimize Digital Marketing explains, “We don’t just offer social marketing solutions, we maintain the community: we respond to feedback and keep our customers visible on social media without having to do it herself. We put their personality online, it’s like walking through the door of the store.
Even when local auto shop owners are relatively familiar with social media, they often underestimate the power of certain channels, like Facebook.
“A lot of people think Facebook is so old and the demographics are old,” Strand says. “But there are still people who need help on these platforms to get their car repaired.”
Not being on Facebook, Strand advises, is ignoring car owners looking for answers.
“It’s really important to remember that this industry is always changing and there are so many strategies out there,” says Greene. “There is too much information out there. So we give business owners things they are able to digest locally, other than the crazy strategies that might work well for big corporate brands.
The Optimize Social Media/Optimize Digital Marketing team is also made up of experts who help companies manage their strategies over time as things change and refinement is needed to help maintain the range of cars long.
Maybe a store owner wants more exposure for their business over time. Or maybe their goal is to gain exposure as an influencer in their local market and rack up views on their educational YouTube videos, for example.
Whatever the goal, Optimize Social Media/Optimize Digital Marketing is ready to help auto shop owners attract and retain a following crowd. And the surest way for an auto shop to retain local customers and win new ones is to present a strong, well-thought-out and well-maintained digital presence.