Lauren Labunsky

Editor’s Note: The following blog is authored by Lauren Labunsky, public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides websites as well as a suite of online advertising solutions designed to help dealers increase sales and service profitability.

We already know that social media has a huge presence in consumers’ lives. Eighty-one percent of people have at least one social media account, so there is clearly an enormous opportunity to reach many prospects for your dealership. Additionally, TMI Strategy found that over half of social media users follow at least one brand. Running ads on social media platforms, especially Facebook, gives you the opportunity to advertise directly to both people who already follow your dealership and other social media users who fit in your target audience.

There are five general stages of the customer journey that most people follow, so we have five good reasons to advertise on social media.

• Help prospective customers discover you: Simply running an ad for your dealership that targets a specific audience will help prospects who have never heard of your business before discover you. For example, maybe a target audience for your dealership is men between the ages of 35-60 who live within 30 miles of your dealership and are interested in camping. There are likely thousands of prospects in that audience who will see an advertisement for your dealership for the first time when they log into their social media account.

• Allow prospects to research your dealership: Optimize your ads by adding a link to your website. Make it easy for prospects to click on your ad and get the information they need. Let’s say that your Facebook ad this month is about pop-up trailers – you could link your ad to a specific page on your website that shows the pop-up trailers that you have in stock.

• Encourage prospects on social media to make a purchase: Aside from dynamic remarketing, which allows you to show customers ads for specific units that they were already looking at, there are also more straightforward ways to encourage a purchase through social media ads. If a prospect is already in the market for an RV and has done their research about the specific unit they want, all they may need is a little push to move forward. Running a Memorial Day Weekend sale or a pre-summer sales event? Don’t miss the opportunity to advertise it on social media!

• Drive repeat customers through social media: Those who have already made a purchase from your dealership are more likely to follow you on social media, and this is also something you should encourage happy customers to do. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% higher than selling to a new prospect – this should be all the motivation you need to pay attention to the followers you already have. Continue to advertise not just to your target audience but current followers too.

• Turn followers and past customers into advocates who advertise your dealership for you: This last tip is more of a bonus – while it may not involve your business actively running ads on social media, it could result from successfully targeting prospects who become customers. Satisfied customers will likely be happy to promote you on social media. This could be through a review, a post on your dealership profile for your other followers to see, or a post on their own profile that advertises your business to their followers. If a happy customer wants to show off the RV they just bought, all they have to do is tag your social profile – that’s a free advertisement to social media users who you may never be able to access otherwise.