In the past, auto dealers typically relied on traditional marketing channels such as TV, radio, and print. But now, it’s crucial that auto dealers use social media to market their business.
Why? Automotive consumers rank social media networks as more important than a dealership’s website when determining which dealer to visit. Furthermore, more than three-quarters of automotive consumers use social media to narrow down their options and make a purchase decision. This data makes it clear that if you aren’t promoting your dealership on social media, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to win over new customers.
Using eye-catching, powerful images is one of the keys to success on social media. If you want your dealership to stand out from your competitors, it’s important to incorporate 360 car photography into your social media strategy. But where should you post these images? How can you make effective use of 360 car photography? Here’s what you need to know:
What is 360 Car Photography?
These images are interactive, which is one of the reasons why consumers are drawn to them. An automotive consumer can move the image in all directions to examine different parts of the vehicle.
For example, a 360-degree interior car photo can put the viewer in the driver’s seat. The viewer can then move the image to see what the passenger seat, dashboard, and backseat looks like. Thanks to 360 car photography, they can view every inch of the interior with just one image.
Where to Use 360 Car Photography
You can use 360 car photography on many different social media platforms, including:
Of course, these social media platforms aren’t the only places where you can use 360-degree car photos. You can also include them in blog posts, promotional materials, online listings, and use them as featured images on your website.
Best Practices for Using 360 Car Photography on Social Media
Now that you know where to use these images, it’s important to understand how to use them in an effective manner. Here are some best practices to follow when using 360 car photography on social media platforms:
Record Voice Overs
Turn your 360-degree car photos into videos so your followers can visit your YouTube channel to explore various vehicles. The video should show the image moving in different directions so the viewer can explore every inch of the interior and exterior of the vehicle.
360 car images make great YouTube videos on their own, but if you really want to step up your game, record a voice over for every one of your videos. Act as a tour guide for the viewer when recording these voice overs. Your script should provide more information about what is being shown in the video.
For example, if the video is a panoramic image of the interior of a vehicle, the voice over should highlight all of the features displayed in the image. This will help your viewers understand what they are watching and learn more about the vehicles at your dealership.
All of your videos should be posted on YouTube. However, you can also post videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to expand your reach.
Don’t hit “post” before adding hashtags to your caption. Why? Adding appropriate hashtags to your posts can make your content more discoverable to potential customers.
The hashtags you should use will vary depending on your content. You should use hashtags that are relevant to your location, industry, post, and brand.
For example, if you are a car dealership located in Orlando, Florida, you may want to use a hashtag “#carsforsaleorlando” or “#orlandocars.” If you are posting about a Toyota Corolla, you can also add hashtags that are specific to this post such as “#ToyotaCorollaforsale” or “#Toyotasforsale.” This way, someone who wants to buy a Toyota Corolla may find your post simply by searching for this hashtag on Instagram or Twitter.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to use hashtags when posting on every social media platform. It’s best to only use hashtags when posting on Twitter or Instagram.
No social media post is complete without a perfectly-worded caption. Remember, every caption should include relevant hashtags. However, a caption should also include a short description of what is shown in your post.
To come up with the perfect caption, think about the reason why you are creating a post. Are you trying to encourage people to schedule test drives of a new vehicle? Are you trying to connect with customers who need service appointments? Or are you trying to simply share more information about your dealership?
Once you figure out your intention, it’s easier to write a caption. For example, if you’re trying to get followers to do something specific, include a call-to-action in your caption.
Also, keep in mind that consumers tend to have short attention spans. Keep your captions short and sweet so you don’t lose your followers’ interest.
Drive Traffic to Your Website
You should always be thinking of ways to drive traffic back to your website when posting 360 car photos on social media. On Facebook and Twitter, this simply means adding a link to your website to each of your posts.
Be sure to choose the page you link to wisely. For example, if your post is encouraging people to sign up for a test drive, link to the page where they can schedule an appointment online. Take people exactly where they need to go to perform a specific action.
The rules regarding links are different on Instagram. Users cannot click on links that are included in Instagram captions. For this reason, you will need to include a link to your website in your Instagram bio. Then, you can encourage users to click the link in your bio for more information.
There are two main categories of social media content: organic and paid. Posting organic content is an important part of establishing your brand identity and increasing your follower count. However, a comprehensive social media strategy should include both organic and paid content.
Fortunately, it is possible to create social media ads using 360 car photography. You can upload these assets onto Facebook to create certain types of ads for your auto dealership.
These images are unique and eye-catching, so Facebook users who are scrolling through their feeds may stop in their tracks when they see an ad with a 360-degree interactive car photo.
Consider running these ads whenever you want to showcase a specific vehicle or advertise a special deal or discount.
Some auto dealers think of social media as a way for them to speak to their consumers. It’s true that social media does make it easier for auto dealers to reach consumers. However, it’s important to view social media as a form of two-way communication.
You should be encouraging your followers to interact with your brand on social media. More importantly, if your followers do interact with your brand, you should be responding to them in a timely manner to keep them engaged with your content.
Think of ways to get your followers to interact with your content. For example, post several panoramic images of different vehicles and ask your followers to comment which one they like the best. Engaging with your followers will help you build and maintain strong relationships with these potential customers.
Tag Your Location
Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers in your community–that is, if you know what you’re doing.
Most social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, allow you to add your location to your posts. If you are trying to promote your dealership, make sure you tag your dealership’s location in every post.
This way, if someone stumbles upon your account, they can click on the location tag to see exactly where your dealership is located. They won’t need to research your dealership, contact you for more information, or search the rest of your profile looking for an address. They can quickly find the information they need with one click of the mouse or tap of the finger.
Incorporate Other Types of Digital Assets
Using 360 car photography can help your dealership stand out. However, it’s important to incorporate other types of digital assets into your social media strategy as well.
Use splash images, angled exterior photos, fly-around videos, showroom videos, and more. Be sure to feature a wide variety of vehicles in your posts, too. You can also post photos of your dealership, your staff, and happy customers who are leaving your dealership with a new set of wheels.
Posting different types of digital assets will make your social media pages more appealing to potential customers. After all, no one wants to see the same type of image day after day. Keep your followers interested by switching it up with various types of digital assets.
Keep these tips in mind when using 360 car photography on social media. By adhering to these best practices, you can use these panoramic images to attract new customers, generate sales, and grow your dealership.