How Car Dealers should approach Instagram.

by Christina Pronger on June 24, 2014

What is Instagram?

Instagram is an online photo/video sharing network. This is a social network that comes equipped with digital filters that can make the most mundane image look artistic and professional. In short, it is a photogenic version of Twitter, complete with hashtags and the ability to tag each other in the photos.

Who uses it?

Right now, Instagram is used by 43% of cell phone users between the ages of 18-29. What’s great about Instagram is that it can be linked to both Facebook and Twitter; so when I take a photo, I can post it on 3 platforms at the same time. I don’t have to worry about saving that photo and logging into different programs.

How do I use it?

Just like Twitter, Instagram uses hashtags to allow users to categorize their photos for others. When people use Instagram, it is an artistic and creative side of their persona. As a dealership, we should follow in the footsteps of other successful brands and show the fun and creative side of the dealership. Social media is here to sell the personality and the personable nature of a company/corporation.

Ideally, Instagram is more easily used with an Apple iPad or Android Tablet. Simply download the app and log in/sign up. With the built in cameras on the tablets, there is no need for any other devices. With a communal tablet, if a photo opportunity comes up, anyone can take the photo.

What should I post?

There are many tactics that different corporations have engaged with Instagram. The automotive industry has been seen by the public as mysterious. Television and movie portrayals of car dealerships have been given a bad reputation as a nefarious machine. To counteract these images, Instagram can lighten up the image by taking a more transparent approach. Instagram can use candid photos to highlight how friendly and inviting it can be. Using a “Behind the Scenes” approach can soften and humanize the dealership’s negative connotations.

It can be as simple as sharing photos of a potluck or wearing jeans to work for Jeans Day! The photos don’t have to be significant in the promotion of the dealership all the time; it can be used to promote a workplace culture and personality. This is the perfect opportunity to use social media to establish your dealership as an expert in its field; showcasing your staff’s expertise. As an example, show before and after photos of a vehicle that needs body work to show off your staff’s detailing abilities. If snow has started falling, take the opportunity to show the inventory of snow tires ready to go.

There are many ways to incorporate promotions into Instagram; with it’s linking abilities so effortlessly to Twitter, it is easy for people to see photos in real time. This is just another tool for us to be able to socialize and interact with prospective clients outside of the typical realm of the dealership.

New vehicles are typically about the same price everywhere, so why should they choose you? Well, we want to create a personality and culture around you and your staff. This is the technological age that strives for individuality and creativity within its users, we want the content posted to be related to the product, but most importantly, it needs to resonate with the culture of the clientele. For the same reason that we deal with people that are more pleasant than others, we are just using Instagram to convey how human you are.

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