In an age where most people cannot go one day without logging into Facebook, Twitter or another social media network, businesses must learn to adapt their marketing strategies to social media. As with any medium, social media offers companies – including local businesses – a new channel, which can reach current and potential customers. Any marketing efforts, however, will only be fruitful if they are executed well. Below are some of the benefits Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing can have for a local car dealer.

Build a Local Brand

Because of the enormous amounts of time people spend online, the internet has become a primary brand-building platform. The success of online marketing campaigns cannot be solely measured in conversion rates and sales, even though those are the ultimate goals. A major aspect of any SMS marketing is creating and building a brand.

Facebook posts and tweets have taken online marketing back to the days when businesses primarily relied on television, radio and newspaper commercials. Just as these waning forms of advertisement rarely result in an immediate sale, the best Facebook posts and tweets are not meant to drive sales. Notifying customers of a sale or rebate through these online platforms can bring drivers to a car dealer’s parking lot. The most recommended posts and retweeted tweets, however, are not sales. They contain engaging content, which users will want to share. Through sharing, the company’s brand-name recognition grows.

Affordable Advertising

Despite how often auto dealers advertise, most local dealerships do not have multi-million dollar marketing budgets. Advertising on social media sites gives local, smaller dealerships the opportunity to compete with large companies that have bigger budgets. Online advertising is affordable because businesses can pay either a very low price for each impression or per click.

Targeted Messages

Unlike newspaper advertisements, SMS marketing is highly targeted. Whether using a social media’s ad network, which allows businesses to select the specific demographics of people who will see their advertisements, or running a social media account, only customers who are likely to be interested in a new or used car will see the content. For companies that only use a Facebook fan page and Twitter account, only customers that like (literally in the case of Facebook) the material will see the posts and tweets.

Engage Customers

Social media is one of the most interactive forms of advertisement. Businesses can post questions, create polls, hold contests, and ask for comments online. As long as they feature the best customer responses, customers will regularly contribute to be heard. Few other odes of advertisement allow for as much back-and-forth dialogue between the business and the customer.

Build Relationships

Through this engagement, businesses can begin to build relationships with their customers. Today, most relationships initially develop through some means of digital communication, whether it is texting, emailing, online dating or Facebook messaging. In fact, Facebook has established itself as the definitive source on almost everyone’s relationship status. It is only natural for people to also develop relationships with companies through the same means. Social media is where customers not only engage with a brand, but they can get to know the company and its employees.

Network with Local Organizations

One of the primary reasons people use social media is to network. On Facebook, they reconnect with old high-school friends. On LinkedIn, they connect with colleagues. Likewise, businesses can use these networks to connect with other surrounding businesses and organizations. Running a cross promotion is easy through social media and there are certainly a number of small businesses nearby that would be interested in working on a project together. Social media also gives businesses a way to connect with and support local charities, while publicizing the company’s good efforts to those who will care the most.

There are many benefits to social media for small, local businesses, as well as large corporations. These are just some of the ways Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing can help companies grow. Marketing efforts on social media can be scaled to suit a business’ size and budget. Both the small startup and the established, local business can benefit from mobile marketing and social media.

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