When it comes to automotive social media content, there is a lot you can do to spotlight your company and products. However, there is also a lot that can impact your business negatively.
Borrowing from Popular Culture the Wrong Way
A popular trend right now are Mandalorian memes. Some companies are even photoshopping images of their products into the hands of trademark-protected characters. This morning, I saw a photoshopped image of Baby Yoda holding a clutch from a major brand! The Mandalorian character is protected by LucasFilm, which is now a subsidiary of Disney. Disney is known for aggressively defending their trademarks. Their actions often result in lawsuits and settlements that cost upwards of 50% of a company’s total annual revenue (not profits, but all revenue). To be blunt: if you don’t have permission to use another company’s licensed content, including movie stills, you are gambling with your business. (If your company has done this, go delete that post right now and fire your social media person).
Share, Share, Share!
Frequently, social media managers rely on being able to share posts where the brand they’re working for is tagged. This works well for a limited number of companies who have extremely popular products, but it happens most often among consultants of the multi-level marketing variety. Sharing is a great way to amplify certain voices or products, or even to say thank you, but it is not an effective content strategy.
Think about it this way: when you share a post shouting out your company, what does your audience learn about the product or person you’re sharing? Is the share relevant AND valuable? Is your product right for them because it’s being used by some guy they don’t know whose car happens to run 8s in the quarter-mile? What does that tell someone looking for upgrades to a daily driver? They might keep following you, but they will likely start to believe that your product isn’t for them.
When it comes to social media, you have one chance to make a first impression. Your behavior after that tells your audience whether you’re an authority figure in your field. If you are not consistently putting out high-quality social media content, you’re not going to be seen as an expert, no matter how many times you share shout-outs.
I’m sure you’re wondering: if this is true, why are so many people using this method? The simple answer is that not all marketing is created equal. There are a million “social media managers” who have no marketing background, no automotive background, and no drive to do anything other than generate likes. Likes and sales are not the same thing. Don’t waste your advertising dollars on a social media manager that doesn’t understand your industry or who puts out low quality work that doesn’t generate sales.
Not Understanding Hashtags
First of all: you do not need to tag yourself on every post, especially if your hashtag is the same as your business name. Doing this is like meandering through a crowded wearing a giant name tag and then pointing it out and saying it again every time you meet someone, even if they know you. Your hashtags should be relevant to the image and keyword you’re using for that post. Using a variety of tags increases your reach and the likelihood that people who haven’t heard of you will find you. Avoid popular but non-descript and irrelevant hashtags like #yolo, #weekend, #hardwork, #welding, or #cnc.
Overhyping What Isn’t Relevant to Your Audience
I am always excited to go to industry events like SEMA and PRI. I am sure you are, too. But 90% of your audience (or more) has no idea what those events are, let alone has a reason to attend. While it’s nice to show people a peek inside of the inner workings of your company or events, these should be rare. If you’re not sure what that means, our rule of thumb is once per quarter or less.
Once upon a time, we had a potential client who regularly posted photos of their dog and private travel to their business page. At one point, the first nine images on their Instagram feed were photos of their dog in various exotic locations. They came to us not understanding why their business was suffering, but were unwilling to stop posting the dog and travel photos because they were generating likes. Because of this, an angry customer left comments all over their posts about how it must be nice to jet-set with an expensive dog while customers had long wait periods for production and delivery. The company couldn’t recover and is now out of business.
If you have questions, we’d love to help. Contact us for a free consult.