What’s with all this talk about social media?  I’m sure it’s just a passing fad like carrier pigeons and the telegraph.  Here are three reasons why you should NOT use social media.

  1. I Believe in Traditional Values
    I’m a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy.  I don’t run with a fast crowd that’s always fiddling with their electronic do-dads in public.  I mean business: I supply my shop with the latest diagnostic equipment, repair databases, sophisticated shop management systems and online parts procurement processes.  My work stands for itself – if people use my lame website to judge my ability to keep up with the ever increasing sophistication of automotive repair and service – well a pox on them.  If you want to communicate with me, just drop by – I’m usually here.  Or send me a fax.
  2. I Value My Privacy
    The best thing about my Yellow Pages ad is that fewer and fewer people use phone books.  I know people who haven’t “let their fingers do the walking” for years.  They hardly ever bother me.  And all those “hip” punks out there glued to their computer machines will never find me.  Oh, the bliss.
  3. Free Stuff is Evil
    Granddaddy told me that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and that you get what you pay for.  How good can free social media marketing be?  I’d much rather pay for newspaper ads (I know they say newspapers are having trouble, but as long as there are birdcages that need to be lined, people will buy papers).  I know the experts tell me that most of my customers come from within a three mile radius of my shop – but when I hear my radio ad playing anywhere I drive in the tri-county area I know I’m getting my money’s worth.

Truth is whatever you think of social media or whether you understand it or not; it’s the biggest freaking fad planet earth has ever known.  Is it perfect?  No.  Is it hard to get a handle on?  Yes.  Will it be replaced by something else?  I’m sure it will.  This is no reason to ignore it.  Social media is the playground where business plays – from the largest corporations in the world to the smallest mom-and-pop.  Don’t take your ball and go home.

Does it work for a local automotive service center?  I know it does.  Here’s a case in point: Greg Buckley of Buckley’s Auto Care in Wilmington, Delaware.  Greg has an amazing shop.  They do awesome work, are very efficient and do well financially.  Buckley’s has a state of the art website full of very useful content that informs and motivates his customers to take better care of their vehicles.  Buckley’s drives traffic to their website and blog with Facebook and Twitter.  (Links for all three follow)

Here’s what Greg reports:   He’s averaging 22 new visitors to his website a day, generating 2,500 pageviews a month with each visitor averaging over 5 minutes on his site per visit.  This translates into an average of 1.5 calls from new customers every day.  This activity has pushed his website to the top of the Google search listings for his area.

What would 9 NEW customers a week do for your bottom-line? 

Now I think Greg Buckley is one of the best shop owners at using social media, but he’s certainly not the only one.  AutoNetTV provides social media content to hundreds and hundreds of shops across the country so I know it’s catching on.  Starting with a basic library of videos and articles customized for the individual location, new content is automatically added weekly.  New content can be instantly posted to Facebook and Twitter.

Whether or not you get your content from AutoNetTV, here are several things you can easily do right away using social media, blogs and your website:

  • Post  regularly – at least once a week
  • Take advantage of news, weather, etc. to make topical posts
    • Cold front expected this weekend – post an article or video about battery testing and replacement Battery Video 
    • Link to your content in e-mails
      • “It’s time for your factory scheduled transmission service – here’s a link to a short video on transmission service.”  Transmission Video  
      • “Your son brought his car in for service today.  Ford recommends the timing belt be replaced at his mileage.  He asked me to send you this video so you can advise him on what to do.” Timing Belt Video
      •   “When you had your truck in for an oil change last month, we mentioned the factory recommendation to service your differential.  This is a friendly reminder to schedule this important service.”  Differential Video
  • Link to your content in your electronic newsletter
  • Use your online content at point-of-sale to educate and motive your customers to take care of recommended work

Social media is all about building a community for your business within your service area.  Your friends, fans and followers are a group of people that considers you to be useful.  By that I mean that the content you publish on your website, Facebook, and Twitter helps them save money and prevent costly breakdowns and repairs, helps their vehicle to be safer, or maybe even increase its performance.  Using social media, they can in turn share this trusted information with their friends with the click of a button.  You do this for people and why wouldn’t they come to you for their service and repair needs?

Here are links to Buckley’s Auto Care sites: Note how much interaction they have with their Facebook fans.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter Page

A final word from Greg Buckley: “Content is king as they say, and no one is better at supplying content on-line than AutoNetTV. That’s the truth.”

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