These days, it can be difficult to stand out in social media when your aim is to sell more cars and build an audience. However, we’ve collected some of the best social media ideas for car dealerships that are clever and heartwarming ways dealerships can stand out in social media. Instead of pursuing the same tired social media ideas for car dealership marketing, try these clever ideas:
“Community engagement” is a classic automotive marketing strategy. Dealerships have been getting involved, giving back, and helping out in their communities for as long as they’ve been around. And why? Well, besides the fact that car people are dedicated to their towns, it’s because community engagement works as a social media idea for car dealerships. Few things are better at generating good word of mouth and a positive reputation. Thankfully, this is one classic marketing tactic that is particularly applicable to social media platforms.
Now, it isn’t exactly rare to see dealerships doing some community engagement on social media. What is rare is seeing it done well. Here’s a dealership whose standout social media posts are an inspiration.
While this is nice to see, and should encourage all dealers use their social media for community outreach, it’s the follow-up that really makes this type of community engagement on social media particularly powerful.
This post is excellent for a number of reasons. First and foremost, this post follows up on their previous community event posts with a summary, video, and lots of pictures. Not only does this provide evidence that Woody’s actually had people at the event, they actually seem like they had a good time. If this doesn’t seem all that important, compare this post with posts like “Anyone going to the 75th Anytown Marathon? See you there!,” with no pictures, videos, or follow-up.
Secondly, this post is great because it lines up with the Woody’s personality and branding. Social media is an enormously powerful tool for car dealerships, but in order to do effective, strategic car marketing, consistency is key.
The last being the exceptional use of “products shown” to highlight vehicles that appear in the video. In fact, Woody’s does this so well, they’ve made it into our next example of standout social media too.
Here, you can see the products shown in these customer testimonials (which we’ll touch on later). This type of post is a particularly excellent choice for adding “products shown” to. It doesn’t just link the cars that are referenced in the video, it gives viewers a way to relate these vehicles to what people in their community are actually purchasing – and see what people are saying at the same time.
An important aspect of these posts to note is that they’re not just excuses to post products. Only videos that actually reference vehicles should show the products, and products being showcased on every single vehicle might wear out your audience.
Above all else, remember that this is Facebook, a social media platform. It is almost entirely for people to share their experiences and see the details of one another’s lives, too much featuring of products, and people may begin to tune out your posts. The reason why so many car dealerships are seeking great social media ideas is that too much posting of products often tunes out their intended audience. Keep that top of mind when you post.
Instagram is all about visuals. From filters to tagging to stories, their whole system is set up to help people share pictures and videos. The most engaging and effective ideas for car dealership social media posts that you’ll see from dealers are ones that present interesting, gorgeous, or eye-catching visuals to their consumers.
One example of this is from Galpin Auto Sports:
That’s a beautiful picture and instantly draws the eye, particularly if you’re already a car-lover. Even if you aren’t though, the picture is still well-composed, visually striking, and quite appealing. Overall, it’s excellent photo for Instagram. On top of that, however, GAS takes this from a “great picture” to an awesome social media post by adding the simple text “Name this car!”
That simple directive draws an enormous amount of engagement as users who excitedly recognize the car share their best guesses.
Now, not all dealership posts need to be this flashy, and not all posts are going to generate thousands of likes and hundreds of comments. Eye-catching doesn’t always mean beautiful, sometimes it just means interesting. Like a horse in the back of a Honda Fit.
We weren’t joking. Ed Voyles Honda decided to showcase the surprising capacity of a Honda Fit by sharing a picture of this adorable little horse in the back of a car. This is the type of dealership post that stands out to shoppers.
Social media is notoriously impermanent. Most posts seem to lose momentum after only a couple of days (at most). Keeping up with the rapid pace of content on social media can be a headache, but it also offers a few opportunities for dealerships. For example, seasonal posts are one of the best ways to capitalize on the ephemeral nature of most social media. For this reason, seasonal posts are pretty common, but they aren’t always done well.
A “Happy Valentines Day from Anytown Motors” post is cute, but it doesn’t necessary do anything for your car dealership. Here’s a standout example from Weseloh Chevy promoting the Malibu on Valentine’s day.
This stylish and sophisticated post is part Valentine’s Day-card (complete with the kisses and adorably cheesy play on words), part advertisement. Even if you’re not looking to buy a car, this post is effective. The image is cute and funny, reminiscent of the small pun-laden valentines we all used to get from classmates in school. What makes it extra effective for car dealerships is that this post is also an ad for the Malibu – in fact, Wesloh puts the MSRP directly into the post.
Sometimes, “seasonality” means just one day. Still, Sam Pack’s 5 Star Ford dealership doesn’t let that stop them from getting in on the fun. Here’s a post from 5 Star Ford celebrating their inner Jedi on May 4th – international Star Wars Day.
This is an awesome post – even if you don’t like Star Wars. To begin, the image neatly captures the pun-based catchphrase of the holiday, and incorporates a little bit of charming nerdiness into the dealership. The image is particularly well made, with a title saying “Star Wars Day” in case any shoppers don’t immediately get the pun. The truck flying with the other spacecraft links the dealership to this nerd holiday in a fun way. Clearly 5 Star Ford put thought, a good sense of humor, and attention to detail into this post. In fact, you’ll notice the sideways hovering tires on the truck (it has to be retrofitted for space travel, after all).
Woody’s has (yet another) standout example of seasonal social media posting, in the form of a seasonal giveaway.
Woody’s uses this pinned post to consistently drive attention and engagement to this seasonal promotion during the window for the contest. While this is a fantastic way to somewhat mitigate the fleeting nature of social media posts, a post is pinned to a dealership page still won’t be seen more than once (unless otherwise promoted) in a user’s feed. Woody’s gets around this by continuing weekly posts that promote the giveaway and direct users to the information on their Facebook page.
Positive word of mouth is very nearly the holy grail of dealership marketing. Word of mouth is one of the most authentic, important, and convincing sources known to influence the car purchase decision. And it is notoriously difficult to generate. Nevertheless, creative dealerships have found ways to bring this powerful tool into social media.
Woody’s is a dealership that cares enormously about their customer. In fact, they’ll even trade you a car for a horse, if that’s what you have to bring in. They like to showcase this dedication with highlights of their dealership customers.
What’s more effective than clicking through these posts, reading the reviews, and seeing someone you recognize? The brilliance of Woody’s social media testimonial posts is that each photo of happy customers with their new cars are, essentially, a word-of-mouth snapshot.
Woody’s, rightfully, likes to show off their amazing customer experience, and posts every time they receive a 5-star review.
It’s a particularly wonderful touch that Scott Cooper, mentioned in the review for being a top-notch salesman, commented on this glowing review. From the perspective of a potential customer, this display of dedication to CX from the beginning of the sale to the very end (and clearly beyond) is extremely encouraging.
One of the pieces of advice that we constantly give car dealerships is to refine their social media strategy. Many dealers try to be everywhere at once, but that’s isn’t a very sustainable way to generate good social media engagement and results. If you don’t have a huge budget, trying to cover every social media channel is just going to stretch your resources too thin to be effective. Pick the most effective social media channels for your dealership, and nail them. And of course, feel free to use the examples we’ve just shared to guide your tactics.
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