Very few auto repair shop owners are asking questions about why they need to use social media. The simple facts are, they need to use it, and they know they need to use it. But the big questions come from how to use social media and how to do it easily.
Not all social media platforms are created equal, and they shouldn’t all be treated equally. They each offer different audiences, algorithms, and ROI. When it comes down to the most bang for your buck, Facebook is where it’s at. No other platform can hold a candle to the consistency Facebook has shown over the last decade with engagement and growth.
So, let’s narrow down the question to:
Why does posting on Facebook matter to auto repair shops?
For the past few years, Facebook has been at the top of the most used social media platforms. Even with a slight dip to second, behind YouTube this past year, it stands firm as a social media platform where businesses must have a presence. But just having a profile on Facebook is not enough, you need to be active and engaged, appropriately with your followers.
Customer Service Wins the Game
If your shop has a trustworthy Facebook presence and a “responds immediately” notation on your business page you are already winning over customers. If the average American is already spending 50 minutes on Facebook each day, they are going to resort to Facebook to solve their problems.
So while they’re scrolling through photos and videos, they can also message you with their questions, comments, and customer service needs. People can apply for jobs via Facebook, and book appointments on the same platform. Why would they want to go someplace else for that?
Facebook Works for Your Shop
When looking for a business, people are turning to Facebook. They either ask friends where to go or use Facebook’s search.
In 2014, Facebook drove 25% of the 31% of all social media referrals.
You can’t rely on any one thing to dominate your referral system, but you must be using Facebook posts for this. When talking conversion rates, Facebook has the highest among all social media platforms with 1.85%, so when choosing where to spend your social media marketing dollars, choose Facebook.
Reviews Drive More Reviews
Word of mouth has changed into reviews and recommendations. With Facebook’s new prompting of recommending places, you can’t afford not to be on the platform. When someone asks for an auto repair shop, you want your clients to be able to respond and tag your business in that answer.
Facebook is an easy place for people to leave their positive reviews, and it provides them with a platform to complain, loudly. With an active presence and the ability to respond to comments promptly, you’ll be able to build a solid reputation online.
5 Steps to Post on Facebook
Posting on Facebook is not overly complicated, but it can be time intensive. You’ll want to take a lot of things into consideration when drafting your posts, scheduling them, and adding images to them.
A Few Ground Rules
Facebook posts should not be the same as the posts you use on other platforms.
Facebook doesn’t like hashtags like Instagram and Twitter do. There are also rules regarding what needs to be posted using the “branded content tool.”
Keep in mind that only about 20% of your posts should be “selling” your product or service, the other 80% will be informational or entertaining. When developing your posting plan for Facebook, keep in mind this 80/20 practice.
Step 1: Know Your Audience
Do you know who looks at your Facebook profile? Is it who you want?
Let’s take a quick look at where you can find this information.
Start with going to your business profile and clicking on “Insights.” Here’s where you will see things like reach, likes, and engagement for each post.
In the Posts section, you can see when people who like your page are on Facebook; this will come in handy in the next step. The final tab on your Insights page is called “People.” This one shows you who is looking at your content.
From here you can see the gender, age, and location of those who like and your page. This helps you figure out how to produce content that will keep their interest and continue to grow your following.
Step 2: Develop a Plan
Now that you know who your audience is, it’s time to figure out the plan on how to target them with your posts.
Start by setting up an editorial calendar, which should list all the dates you want to post something. Start with a week, and continue to plan out a few weeks at a time to make the process easier. Include what you want to post and when, so you can keep track of everything.
Then make sure you allow yourself the time needed to schedule all of your posts for the week or month at one time. Scheduling in batches will save you tons of time in the future, which is why the ability to schedule in advance on Facebook is so exciting. Scheduling 2-3 posts a day on Facebook for a week at one time will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour.
Step 3: Find and Make Images
Images matter. Infographics are shared 3x more than any other content on social media. Your followers spend more time looking at the image you share than the wording you use. People follow directions with illustrations and text over 300% better than just words. Most important, Facebook images get 2.3x the engagement when they have a photo.
Now comes the harder part, creating content. Creating compelling images is one of the things that takes the longest about posting on Facebook. You cannot just find a photo online and share it as though it were your own. Time and effort go into creating a group of images for your shop’s brand.
Here are some of the things to consider when beginning to design your social media graphics.
1) Design with Grids – keeping in mind the Rule of Thirds – that your important information should lie within the intersections of the lines of a tic-tac-toe board on your image
2) Choose a Good Filter – filters help keep all your photos looking consistent, even when you don’t take them all
3) Select your Color Palette – there is nothing worse than seeing two images with different shades of orange from the same company – deciding upon your colors and writing them down will help eliminate this eyesore
4) Choose Fonts – mixing fonts can be a strategic move to draw the viewer’s eye to certain words, but too many fonts make things confusing – select two to three fonts to keep things streamlined and consistent
Several free programs will allow you to make and build images for your social media. Make sure you set aside enough time to create a good amount of these before beginning your scheduling.
Step 4: Decide on Words
When it comes to drafting copy for the body of your posts, you may be surprised to learn that less is more. Facebook posts that have from 40 to 80 characters get the most engagement.
That means that the previous sentence is just right, but this one just became too long.
Some of the most highly shared Facebook posts are not very wordy. Let’s face it; people don’t want to spend time reading everything, they want to scan and come back later.
You should also remember that while hashtags have their place, it’s not on Facebook. Don’t use them here, just don’t.
With your 40-80 characters, consider carefully what you want to say. Just a few words paired with a powerful image can do much more than a long paragraph. Trust me.
Step 5: Schedule the Post
Choosing the time to schedule your posts to post on Facebook can be one of the hardest decisions. Multiple studies have shown that the best time to post is around 9 am and between 1 and 3 pm. The best days are Thursdays through Sundays. As an added note, studies show posting at 1 pm will show an increase in shares while posting at 3 pm will get an increase in “likes” but it really depends on your audience.
After a few weeks of doing this, check your Facebook analytics and see how the data stacks up against these predictions. Make changes when necessary.
Facebook posts on your auto repair shop’s business page can cause your shop to skyrocket. But it takes time, and if you don’t have enough time to do this effectively, we have another option. We can do it for you!