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Digital Advertising Basics

Tips to improve your social media presence

Many years ago, when my grandmother came to the US for the first time, she was awestruck by the windy city. She was a businesswoman well-traveled within her country, but nothing compared to Chicago. I remember once seeing her sitting in front of the microwave in the kitchen. She was trying to figure out how to turn on the “tv”. At the time, we had very old equipment which meant that both the TV and the microwave had turn dials and they were both boxy.

One of my dad’s friends, a baby boomer, wondered how he could keep a copy of the fax he was about to send. He didn’t realize that the fax machine only transmitted the image.

My grandmother was from the WW2 generation. For many boomers and even Gen Xrs, digital marketing and the correct way to use social media is like confusing the microwave for a tv or not understanding that you can send an image via a phone line. These are examples of honest mistakes. Technology changes fast and sometimes we struggle to keep up.

Why am I telling you all this? Because the internet looks a lot like paper, radio, and tv combined. You can publish ads (no ink required), share podcasts (no antenna needed), and promote videos without a TV. You can capture anyone anywhere anytime. As dealers, here are a few tips to help with your digital marketing strategy so that you are targeting your online audience the right way.

Create content that matters. Facebook content is not Twitter content, Instagram appropriate, etc. Some things cross channels but it has to be tailored to the audience in that channel.

Use quality visuals. Sometimes cell phone pictures and videos are appropriate, but not always. Who doesn’t want to see that red 4-wheel beauty shining in the sun? A good picture is priceless!

Consider your captions. You are a pro at creating catchy radio tunes and contagious tv ads. The same rules apply here. Like the traditional channels, the internet is crowded so you are competing for viewers’ attention.

Use hashtags that make sense. Don’t forget the pound signs (although you may not want to continue calling them that). Hashtags are searchable and make it easier for consumers to find you. Don’t just think about the obvious. Research what people are using and add those to your Tweets and Instagram posts. Also, keep the hashtags under control. Two to three hashtags are fine.

Be consistent.  Post consistently and keep content updated. Fresh content keeps visitors coming back and helps search engines bring you new visitors. Top-quality content may also give you the opportunity to be cited by another source leading their visitors to your site. Any mentions you get from others can mean more eyeballs on your content that you can turn into leads to pursue.

Don’t be “salesy” but let readers know how to buy from you, online and in person. Instagram has a shop button for businesses. You can’t sell a car on Instagram, but you can sell accessories, make connections, and build relationships.

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