Facebook Marketing Made Easy
One of my favorite aspects of being able to attend events such as the FenderBender Management Conference is the opportunity to speak with fellow shop owners and marketing directors from across the country.
This year, the majority of those I got to speak with expressed concerns about not knowing what to post on their social media accounts and feeling overwhelmed. This led me to put together a guide to easy, engaging content that you can post on your Facebook account and any other
platforms you decide to utilize such as Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to focus these tips for posting on a Facebook page. In my opinion, Facebook is the best social media platform to get started with because it's relatively easy to manage and provide lots of insights and promoted posts. Plus, there are more people on
Facebook than any other platform. If you do not yet have a business page, it's free to create, and you do so by going on your own personal Facebook account and clicking on "manage pages," "create page." Next, you upload your logo, some photos, fill in basic contact information and voila, it is up and running!
Now, one of the things I recommend when creating a brand-new page is that you skip the option to “invite your friends to like this page” as Facebook will prompt you to do. Instead, I find your success rate to be much higher if you hold off on that, post 10-15 pieces of content, and then invite people to like your page. The reason for this is because no one finds value in a blank page that says “this was created today.” But, if you hold off on inviting people and post a variety of the ideas, then you have a much higher chance of getting people intrigued.
I've split ideas for content into four themes: education, service, employees, and fun/humor.
Content Idea No. 1: Educating Your Followers
Within the education category, I post things that we would consider our competitive advantages. In our shops' market, we had the most certifications, were scanning vehicles, and had a free shuttle service. All of these are advantages that help differentiate us from our competitors. While remembering to keep the text as simple as possible, I posted a photo of one of our techs running a scan, our estimators at out-of-state training, and discussed why certifications are important. Overall, it is pivotal to position yourself as the leader in your market because of your dedication to the safest and proper repairs. Safety is important to everyone and we're ethically responsible for ensuring our customer’s vehicle is going to function as it did originally.
Content Idea No. 2: Serving Your Community
For this topic, I recommend highlighting how your organization is serving the community. This is a good time to highlight volunteer work your team does, organizations you support, big events happening in your city, and causes that are important to those within your operation. This is a great way to easily post photos of your team that will entice comments, shares, and engagement from those in the photos and others in your community. One of the biggest positives of social media is that it helps with the transparency that customers are looking for, and this is a positive way to position your shop as a member in the community.
Content Idea No. 3: Feature Your Team
Featuring your team is the easiest way to engage your followers on social media. And, it's also the most meaningful! Some easy ways to feature your employees is to order a large-scale birthday or anniversary frame from a site like Etsy (cost: around $50) and add a team member’s picture when it's their birthday or anniversary. While needing to be mindful of how many employees you have and not wanting to overwhelm your followers, we decided that with our 80 employees, we would only post anniversary photos to our Facebook page because it helped show the longevity of our team and the culture we had within our shops. If you're a smaller operation, it may be a great idea to post both birthday and anniversary photos as to provide more content for your page. Highlighting your employees not only shows how much you value them but also gives them an opportunity to share the post to their personal page, thus inspiring more engagement and impressions on the post.
If you're not interested in utilizing your team’s birthday or anniversaries, another great option to highlight them is by posting photos of them volunteering, at industry training, or out in the community together. Social media is the best way to bridge the online and offline worlds, so make the most of photos your team may already be taking and share them as part of your rotation of content topics.
Content Idea No. 4: It’s OK to Laugh!
Prior to its recent acquisition, Lefler Collision and Glass Repair Centers’ social media accounts were one of my favorite aspects of what I was involved with. Some of the easiest and most viewed posts were humorous posts I found online, such as the infamous artist Bob Ross painting “happy little potholes” next to his orange barrels, as our Indiana roads are constantly under construction. Another idea is to periodically “Google” what unofficial holiday it is, such as “National Donut Day” or “National Ice Cream Day”. This year on National Donut Day, we took donuts to all of our locations and took photos of our employees getting their "(w)hole foods in for the day." It was a lighthearted post that allowed us to engage with our followers on something not directly tied to collision repair while featuring our entire team.
I know that it's easy to feel that social media is overwhelming but, by starting with these simple steps, you'll gain attention and engagement from your community while also showing your team how much you appreciate them.
One final tip is that Facebook allows you to schedule posts in advance, if that's something that will make it easier for you to upkeep. However, I don't recommend scheduling more than a week or two out in advance because it becomes easy to become detached as to what is going on.
When in doubt, highlight your team, post some before and after photos, and show your followers why you're the best at what you do!