There is a big difference between realizing that social media is a valuable tool for customer engagement and lead generation, and actually using social networking sites to effectively unlock those benefits.

For the automotive industry, social media is a medium that many brands and dealers have a firm grip on. What are the guiding principles of great automotive social media creativity that have proven successful to date? 

A Background on the Natural Connection between Automotive-Social Media

Most consumers in the modern age see their vehicles as a reflection of themselves. Since many consumers use social media to express themselves, sharing information about vacations, family, children, and other life events, social media and the automotive industry form a natural connection. Many consumers use social media to research, connect, and share information prior to and after completing a vehicle purchase. A 2014 CMO Council report has the astonishing statistics to back up this connection:

Car Buyers On Social Media 23% of car buyers use social media to discuss or communicate a recent purchase.

Consumers on Social Media

38% of consumers responded that they will consult social media during their next vehicle purchasing process.

Automotive Shoppers on Facebook 84% of all automotive shoppers are on Facebook, and 24% used social media as a resource during their latest vehicle purchase.

Tell A Story Through Social Media

Take a look at every automotive brand’s profile on social media. From a small-town dealership to international brands like Ford, BMW, and Mini, you’ll find that the most consistent thread in social media campaigns is the presence of a story. Social media is not just a great place to connect directly through chats, shares, comments, and likes with consumers, but it’s an ideal medium to use visuals to tell a story. 

Videos and stunning images can be used to help your brand tell an ongoing story. It encourages followers to come back time and again looking for more. The key to a great story is finding one that resonates with followers leaving them wanting more from your brand.

Give Customers a Voice

The single greatest benefit of social media is that opportunity to show a personal side to a major brand. Customers shop with automotive brands on a daily basis around the globe. However, with so many moving parts that brand can seem like little more than a cold bureaucracy interested only in its own bottom line. Consumers want to interact with content on social media. Focusing your social media campaign around content that can be interacted with (not just consumed) gives consumers a voice. When consumers are more active with your brand, they are often more involved over the long term.

Create a Two-Way Street in Your Community

Lastly, make sure that you’re creating a two-way street for your brand and its consumers on social media. After all, social media is designed to foster communication between profiles. Whether that’s family members living across the country from one another or individual people and major brands. In order to succeed in doing so, ask questions of your followers, thoughtfully answer their inquiries, and address issues they have when they arise. If you can do this, you’ll erase the image of companies as cold bureaucracies and humanize your brand in the eyes of devout consumers.

Social media is a powerful tool that has changed a lot in the marketing realm in the past decade. Whatever you do in your social media campaigns, don’t just sit back and watch hoping for success. Be creative, think outside the box, and follow these 3 principles when doing so.

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