RV Dealers: 5 ways to engage customers on social media
- Interacting with customers on social media can build your customer base, keep current customers engaged
- Present yourself as friendly, helpful and concerned for customers’ issues
- Take advantage of new opportunities to engage with customers through various platforms
It is hard to understate the power of social media in modern sales. Yet, the true value of social media is not in the free advertising it gives you. It is an opportunity to engage customers in an environment where they are not a captive audience.
If you put in the time and effort to engage rather than simply advertise, you will find it easier to build trust with both new and existing customers. Here are five simple strategies you can start today to engage your customers.
1. Always scroll through comments on each post you make on any platform and take time to respond
Many people who comment on your Facebook posts or YouTube videos are seeking attention. This could be wanting someone to address their issues or showing interest in a unit. It could also simply be someone wanting attention from a business to make them feel important.
Whatever the reason, most of them deserve your attention. Respond to comments with a friendly and welcoming voice. Answer any questions and encourage them to speak to you in person if they have questions about RVs.
Another tip for this is to limit those who have access to your dealership’s social media. Even if a person is well-intentioned, one bad post under your dealership’s name can really hurt your reputation. Keep those who have the ability to post small and encourage your staff who cannot post to only share content to their personal social media, not comment.
2. Live video works as a great Q&A with customers and potential customers
When you go to Facebook Live or YouTube Live, you have a unique opportunity to talk directly to multiple people at the same time. Take advantage of that. Take customers on live tours of units, show them your repair staff hard at work or even just a Q&A session from inside a unit.
First, you will want to promote it beforehand because the last thing you want to do is plan a live video and no one watch it. Have partners and your staff share your posts promoting it. When you start it, be patient. Sometimes, live videos take a while to get traction.
Once you start, have a set plan of topics you can discuss if no one is engaging, but encourage people to ask questions. When you see people enter the live video, welcome them. Address every comment if possible, even if the person is just saying “Hey” or “How are you.” No comment is too small.
If you see a person who is trying to troll you or worse troll other people, ban them immediately.
At the end of your video, thank everyone for joining and encourage them to reach out to you if they have any other questions you can answer.
3. Respond to all customer reviews
Customer reviews are vital to customers when making a decision to even consider a purchase. With Google, Facebook and Yelp, they are more accessible than ever, the good and the bad. Take time to read every review on your dealership, then respond.
Remember, bad reviews are not always a bad thing. If a customer has a bad experience, look at it as an opportunity, not a stain on the carpet. By responding with an apology and a genuine concern to rectify the issue, not only does it improve your chance to retain that customer, but potential customers see that you care enough to respond.
For good reviews, thank each person who takes the time to give their feedback, which is essentially free advertising. For the better ones, you can embed them into your site.
4. Surf social media pages for opportunities
There are a plethora of social media pages for everything. Think of pages that are relevant to your dealerships like pages dedicated to DIY projects on RVs, pages where people show off their RVs, or even an RV meme page. These are all places where you can find customers simply by engaging with people in the comment section.
You also follow pages around your local community like your local news outlets or community event pages. Don’t be afraid to comment on things relevant to you. Just remember to always be friendly, never get involved in controversial issues and engage. If you sound like you are posting ads, you sound fake and people may ignore you.
5. Create an online community and stay active
When an ad ran during the Super Bowl for Facebook Groups, it opened an opportunity for any business owner. A Facebook group is where your customers can control the conversation rather than you. This allows your customers to engage with you and each other first. It also gives you free content and insights into who they are and how they act.
Create a Facebook Group that certainly mentions your business, but has another focus, like travel pictures. Then send customers an invitation to join and post their pictures whenever they use their RVs. Whenever you see a picture posted, comment how pretty the picture is and how happy you are that they got to travel to that place.
You can also post your vacation pictures as well, especially if you are using a vehicle you sell. It’s another opportunity for the members of the group to interact with you on a more personal level.
Once again, beware of making the group into an advertisement. It should be a chance for you and your customers to get to know one another through your experiences.
Virtually every business, including RV dealerships, needs customer engagement in an era where more people are taking their thoughts online. If you present yourself online as a friendly, helpful and concerned voice, people will want to do business with you. This builds a larger customer base while keeping the customers you already have.