Social Media Marketing For Your Auto Detailing Business
Every auto-detailing business should be heavily engaged in social media marketing in order to attract new customers and retain the faithful. If that’s not a business edict, it should be. Because let’s face it: The days of just getting by with a web site are long gone. To drive new traffic to your web site and to your business, you’re going to have to employ other “digital” marketing mediums. Maintaining a Facebook page keeps you and your business in front of your customers. But also essential are emails, videos, text message alerts and tweets — among others.
Facebook – For the most part, Facebook is a free method of promoting your auto-detailing business to others within your territory. It’s a simple platform for you to post pictures of cars you have detailed, list promotions and special offers, answer questions from prospects and have customers “brag” about your auto-detailing services. You can even post a short video clip of a car that you recently detailed and show the various steps that you took. Keep your Facebook page updated with fresh content and publish a fan page too. Just like anything else in life — if you “work it” you will prosper. So if you already have a personal Facebook page, it’s time you develop a separate Facebook page for your auto-detailing business.
Instagram – Facebook paid 1 Billion dollars for Instagram , there must be something to this! With Instagram on your phone, you’re able to share your work immediately, without having to load it into your computer and possibly spend time in Photoshop to get it exactly the way you want it. What a better way to show off your work of vehicles you have detailed. Here are some tips professional auto detailier’s are using to promote their business with Instagram:
Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook account – Facebook and Instagram users are very connected, they share photos they post on Instagram and Facebook. Connect both accounts and cross pollinate those accounts to build your audience.
Use popular hashtags – People follow hash tags like they do popular products. You can use witty hashtags like #TheDirtiestCar and entertain a bunch of people or use something like #Before and After to show off your work!
Use your established audiences – This is classic social media strategy. Use your Instagram photos of cars you have detailed where you already have audiences established. Be sure to use the photos on Facebook and twitter and even in your emails. There is nothing better than displaying a before/after picture of a car you recently detailed that was so horrible and you made it look like new again!
Host events – Companies are using efforts of their clients and subscribers to host events on Instagram. For example your auto detailing business can host an even on Instagram asking people to share photos of their favorite vehicles. Classic cars and muscle cars are always favorites especially if you have established a niche in that area. Use hashtags like; #LoveCorvettes or #LoveTransAms. Any niche that you have established can be promoted even more to grow that niche through Instagram. There are tons of other ways to use Instagram to promote your brand. Be creative
Emails – One proven and reliable way to keep your business and special offers in front of your customers is by establishing and maintaining an effective direct email campaign. Do you remember direct mail? In the old days, direct mail ,was an expensive means of getting the word out about your company. First you had to develop what you wanted to put in your mailer, then physically design it, have it printed, fold it, put postage on it and then take hundreds if not thousands of mail pieces to the post office. That process was very expensive and the whole experience could take well over a week before the recipient is reading your mailer.
Today with direct email you can do all the above in an hour or less — and for a fraction of the cost of direct mail. There are email services like MailChimp.com, aweber.com, and ConstantContact.com that you can sign up for to help you create and manage your customer email list. You should “segment” your email program so you have a separate list of prospects and an additional list of your past customers. By segmenting your email subscribers you can send the appropriate email for that particular list. If you have not been recording email addresses of prospects and customers, get started. Emails will never die, but you need a fresh flow of incoming customers and keep your past customers loyal by offering them specials and discounts.
YouTube – It’s no wonder that Google paid a few billion dollars to a couple of college kids who invented this amazing digital medium! The bottom line to you is that you must make videos of and about your auto-detailing business. You don’t need a camcorder, but you’ll at least need a digital camera. There are services online like Animoto.com that will take your still images that you took with your digital camera and within 10 minutes, turn those pictures into sensational videos. They will even post them on YouTube and Facebook for you! Having short two- and three-minute videos on your web site will increase your ranking on the major search engines, establishing credibility with your customers and prospects. Animoto has various subscriber plans available including a free plan.
SMS Text Alerts – Are you recording the cellphone numbers of your prospects and customers? You should be! Enter them into your customer and prospect database. You can send these individuals short text messages with coupons and small graphic ads directly to their cell phones. People are attached to their cellphones for much of the day. They’re much less likely to be on their computers — signing on to check their emails. But when you text someone, they’re usually going to open and read it. Sending special offers, discounts, coupons and service reminders will set you apart from your competition and keep your customer “engaged” with your auto-detailing business. You can sign up for DetailDeals.com text alert service and get a free month to see what a powerful marketing tool this is. There are millions of iPhones and Androids in use today because people want a better experience with their “personal communicator.” Be the innovator and not the follower by developing a well thought-out SMS Text Alert program for your business.
Twitter – I personally don’t tweet, but my detailing training business does. And as a result, we have hundreds of followers — most in the auto-detailing business in some capacity. If your customers are using Twitter, you might as well develop a Twitter campaign and send tweets to your followers so you can get your latest and greatest special offers out to them. If the offer really excites them (and it should) they will retweet, and many other Twitter subscribers will see it! Be sure you “brand” your Twitter home page by publishing a background that represents your business. One way to do this is display your logo or your mobile rig. Send tweets at least once a week offering a good deal on a full-service car detail or even a free service with the purchase of a complete car detail. Maybe offer free fabric protection when purchasing a complete interior detailing. Make your offers attractive so they get retweeted.
LinkedIn – Is a business-oriented social networking web site. The objective of this web site is to allow registered users to maintain a list of people they know and trust in business. The people in the list are called connections. Users can invite anyone (whether a site user or not) to become a connection. LinkedIn can then be used to find people and business opportunities recommended by someone in a person’s contact network. This can lead to you establishing and obtaining business accounts from professional individuals, fleet accounts and even commercial accounts with multiple vehicles that need detailed or their appearances need cosmetically maintained on a regular basis. This is another free online networking service you should seriously consider.
What we’ve offered here is a short and sweet list of ideas that can get your social media marketing plan for your auto-detailing business up and running. Sure, it’s going to take a few hours every night for a week or so but it is well worth it. The days of just handing out flyers and business cards isn’t going away soon. But you must take advantage of these other “digital” marketing tools to promote your auto-detailing business. If you want to learn more about what was discussed in this article, please give me a call.
Nicholas J Vacco, Founder and President
Detail King LP and Detail King.com
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