For decades, automotive marketing and car dealership marketing often happened via broadcast television. But in an age of decreasing reliance on traditional media, depending on TV ads for dealership messaging is a losing strategy. This is especially so over the long term, as the younger generation often watches no broadcast TV at all.

Car dealerships need to develop social media marketing strategies to remain relevant to car shoppers, especially those who have grown up surrounded by these new forms of communication. And this is especially true during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, as people stay home and social media use increases. The best car dealership social media ideas can keep a dealership’s marketing visible and engage car shoppers in meaningful ways—even in a time of profound change. 

YouTube Video Connects Car Shoppers to Dealerships

Today, YouTube is the largest online video platform in the world. It has a market reach of around 90 percent, and its viewers trend young. In other words, it’s the ideal place to connect with the car buyers that dealerships typically most want to attract. As such, YouTube is a powerful platform that allows dealerships to showcase videos in a way that goes far beyond TV ads. But, currently, car dealers rarely make effective use of YouTube as a social media platform, missing out on important opportunities to raise their profile and give car shoppers an in-depth look at their inventory. 

By creating their own YouTube channels, dealers have an excellent space for video advertising that is available for viewing any time. These channels can be populated by a variety of assets, including editorial videos with professional voice- overs that highlight each vehicle’s features. By providing impressive video overviews, dealers can become a trusted source of information as car shoppers research both new and used cars. In turn, brand messaging can reach an audience that is actively interested in particular vehicles, and car dealer video marketing can become a source of high-quality leads for dealerships.

The Possibilities of Instagram

Instagram is an increasingly popular social media platform with a heavy emphasis on photos, particularly lifestyle photos, making it a highly appealing place for dealerships advertising. Full still sets that showcase a vehicle’s highlights and the benefits they bring to daily living can help Instagram users picture themselves in the car. Used alongside striking hero shots and even short videos, these images give dealers the ability to create compelling, shareable content. Instagram stories also provide a great platform for special promotions, as they can be pinned at the top of an Instagram profile to ensure it stays visible. 

Of course, Instagram is a crowded platform, and its hashtag-based system can make it difficult to organically target an audience. But it does feature a full suite of story and collection-based paid advertising options that allow for precise targeting based on multiple parameters. By taking advantage of these options, dealerships can make the most of their online ad budgets and connect with the right audience.

Dealership Blogs Can Fuel Deeper Engagement

Paid advertising can play an important role in attracting new customers, but organic website traffic is typically considered the most valuable. One of the best ways to increase organic traffic is via blogs, which allow you to elevate your rankings on major search engines and capture audiences that are further down the sales funnel. 

Online dealer blogs appeal to customers by answering questions a customer might have about a dealership’s inventory, the car buying process, or the service options a dealer provides. They provide opportunities to tell car shoppers about what makes a dealer stand out, positions the dealership as an authority on general topics, and helps humanize dealership staff. That last one can be particularly powerful. Many dealership employees entered the auto industry because they love cars. Letting staff write about cars they love and why they love them serves to not only raise the profile of the dealership, but builds trust in the staff and the dealership as a whole.

Using Facebook for Car Listings and Targeted Advertising

Social media predates Facebook, but the platform codified much of what is possible through social media. With well over 2 billion users, Facebook is the largest social media network in the world, and it can play a key role in connecting to car shoppers organically due in part to its searchability. It also provides opportunities to target consumers with direct advertisements, improving a dealer’s ability to reach the audience they want.

With Facebook, dealers can publish highly shareable written, photo, and video content (including car listings), provide evergreen galleries, and easily engage in discussions with car shoppers. Significantly, it also allows content posted to other forms of social media to be automatically shared in a business feed. In other words, it ties all social media together into a larger, continuous feed that is tied to a robust advertising system while also acting as a sales listing platform. 

The Best Car Dealership Social Media Ideas Create an Ecosystem

Ultimately the best car dealership social media ideas are, like social media itself, about creating a network of interconnected automotive content. Social media provides a multi-channel ecosystem covering images, text, videos, and narratives directly to interested audiences in comprehensive ways that strengthen brand identity and drive engagement. This is a continuous commitment of both time and resources, and one that is more challenging than simply cutting a television spot and paying to air it. However, there are solutions that dealers can turn to for better, more efficient social media marketing, including high-quality image libraries.

The tech-savvy audiences that use social media today expect high definition images in their social media. Automotive stock libraries give dealers the ability to offer compelling photos and videos in the highest possible quality. By partnering with a library that contains the right assets, the fastest speed to market, and a range of white label and customization options, dealers can have the resources they need to fully realize the potential of social media marketing.