Many of us in the industry have seen Facebook and other social media platforms change the way we advertise and get business. With Facebook, first came the personal page, then the business or fan page, and now what’s working for me? Facebook Groups.
Facebook groups and communities are the newest meta in marketing yourself and your dealership. What do they allow you to do?
- Advertise to niches without setting up any advertising parameters. Literally two or three clicks of a button, for free, and you’re automatically in front of 34,000 people in your region who like Honda Civics. Let’s not forget dozens of Corvette, Mustang, and Camaro groups, and why you should or shouldn’t buy one.
- Refer other people’s businesses, create partnerships, and be seen. Commenting on posts and creating conversations raises awareness for your brand.
- Responding to group posts presents you not as a seller, but as a giver, just answering people’s questions, sharing your experiences, and referring other people’s businesses.
- If you make your own group, you can charge admission, sell advertisements and sponsorships, raise awareness for topics you enjoy, and share events that are going on in your community.
Groups remain a static fixation for hyperactive people, especially at a time when algorithms change on social media (affecting timelines, photos, videos, live streaming, etc.) all the time. Those people are choosing to be there. They want to be there. You’re not serving up ads they might not like. But you’re helping your community and answering questions when they arise.
Your town or city probably already has a local Facebook Group. They’re talking about the greatest hair stylist, massage therapist, realtor, and lawnmowing service. You use those services, too, right?
Here’s an example from a group that I run in my hometown, with a population of about 26,000 people.
Someone is looking for a hairstylist for an upcoming wedding, and in a matter of 24 hours, there are 65 comments and three shares, plus many reactions.
What would it do for your business if that person were looking for a new car, and you were the go-to person in your community? You had the most top-of-mind awareness? You have homefield advantage already. Like the Cheers song: “Where everybody knows your name ….”
Other examples: One post about me, and two others I created to help spread awareness in the community:
You can dedicate 30 minutes a day to cultivating relationships with people in Facebook Groups. You’re already on Facebook most of the day anyway, right? Why not use that time to grow your brand? And NOW you can join groups as a business page. What a great way to get likes, recommendations, and support!
How can you take action?
Find out if there are community groups in your area. Search via Facebook or ask around.
Can’t find one? Start one. Get some referral partners in your market to join and invite their customers. Try to remain unbiased.
Consider making your group “Admin Post Approval Only” to cut down on spam.
Do research on engagement, share events, and allow non-profits to share theirs too.
In my group we don’t allow GoFundMe posts, due to people scamming others for money. Your mileage may vary.
Find some people to administrate and moderate the group with you. Create a group message in Facebook Messenger so you can talk about posts and members you might want to decline or add.
Host meet-ups, car shows, coffee breaks, lunches, etc. My group has a monthly photo contest. At the beginning of each month, local photographers (and non-photographers too) can share a recent photograph for a chance to be the group’s cover photo for the month.
Share the group, add your customers, and let them go to bat for you when someone is looking to schedule service or purchase a new car. It works, and as your group grows you’ll get even more exposure.
Have questions? Let’s connect! Find me on Facebook, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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