Running a Shop Sales+Marketing Online Marketing

Market in the Moment

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If you want to, you can decide right now to be an early adopter of social media marketing. It’s never too late because it’s always changing.

The dark side of social media, though, is how easy it is to feel like you’re always behind. There are so many changes happening all at once. It seems like there’s a new platform coming out every week. Just when you start to get a handle on Facebook, here comes Snapchat, Periscope and Vine all vying for your attention. And by the time this article gets published, these might be old news and new ones will be emerging. Each platform promises to have a steep learning curve and a relentless need to be fed. It can easily become overwhelming as the list of new options goes on and on. On top of that, each of the platforms, old and new, release updates or innovations all the time. There is literally no way to stay on top of it all. The good news? You don’t have to.

I have long been an advocate of choosing one or two platforms and doing a really good job of engaging deeply on those one or two. Then, if you want to experiment on a couple others as you have time and desire, it’s OK to tinker. However, tinkering on 10 different platforms and never really investing in any of them will gain you little traction.

You know the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Yep, it applies to social media marketing, as well. For the record, I have chosen to be active on Facebook as it is still the big dog in the game by far. I’m also currently working to expand my reach through new videos on YouTube that will be coming out over the course of this year at the rate of about one per month. That’s it.

There’s one trend that is starting to take shape that will likely change and hopefully enhance the user’s experience of social media. I call it “The Immediacy Perspective.” Jumping on this trend now could pay big dividends in terms of gaining traction with social media marketing and, ultimately, visibility for your shop.

Twitter is a platform that has long played on this idea with their almost moment-by-moment updates on, at times, very mundane aspects of life. We can now all find out what our favorite celebrity ate for breakfast. And this is where many people roll their eyes and start to check out because what smart, professional adult truly cares about what someone has for breakfast? (That is, unless they are a nutrition expert!) I believe the answer lies in what people, especially younger people, want and that is authenticity. They don’t want pre-packaged sales propaganda popping up in their social media feeds. They want raw content that is unfiltered and in the moment. Gaining visibility for your shop means understanding and embracing this trend and adjusting your content strategy accordingly.

Have you heard of Periscope? It is a live video broadcast platform that allows people to give a short, live show. Interestingly, it was recently acquired by Twitter. Facebook saw this trend gaining momentum and jumped on board as well and now offers “Facebook Live.” What this trend reveals to social media marketers is that people want to see authentic “in the moment” glimpses of their friends and the brands they are interested in.

What might this look for body shops? What about capturing your team doing their job and talking about it in brief, live segments? It would likely garner lots of interest, likes, and shares that will ultimately create lots of visibility for your shop. Imagine capturing a painter actually spraying a car, a tech welding a panel with you sharing a little commentary about the repair process, or a detailer buffing and being interviewed about what this part of the process is. While this may be the mundane, routine stuff that makes up our days, to people outside the industry it is an interesting look at what we actually do and the magic of transforming an accident into a beautiful repair.

“It’s not perfection that is most interesting. It’s your perspective in the moment that people want to see.”
—Kevin Rains, owner, Center City Collision

Hopping on this trend on any platform requires that you don’t labor over your content. Just get something out there and see how it lands. The days of pre-scheduled or retrospective content are going away. It’s time to be in the moment and the moments are messy. When you think “I should capture this picture or video to post later on Facebook,” stop. Take the picture or video and post it immediately. Use your phone and just get it posted. Remember: It’s not perfection that is most interesting. It’s your perspective in the moment that people want to see.

Try it right now. Take a short video or picture with your phone and post it immediately. Make it personal and in the moment. Then see how people react to it. Let me know you did it and I’ll be sure to respond with a like and maybe even a share.

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