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Facebook Essentials for Body Shops

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Social media helps achieve branding goals. You may not necessarily find people on social media who are in direct need of a collision repair shop at that moment. It’s about building up your brand and positioning your business as a high-quality shop or specialist. Then, when your online listings do come up for someone in immediate need of your services, they’ll know who you are and be more likely to convert.

That’s according to Lee Emmons, creative director of Absolute Perfection Media, an industry marketing firm. Emmons discusses what every Facebook page for a body shop should have.

There have been some significant changes to Facebook that every shop needs to take into consideration when putting together a strategy for that platform.

What I think is the biggest hurdle for a lot of shops is to understand that Facebook is now a paid platform. The cost is very low in comparison to most other forms of advertising, but without any budget it’s very difficult for business Facebook pages to get any exposure. Facebook now will only show your posts to a very small percentage of your page’s followers unless you boost those posts or create Facebook ads. We also have some case studies in which we’ve found that a boost of only $5 can have a huge impact. What happens is that when you don’t boost a post in any way, nobody ever sees it. But if you boost it for only $5, at least enough people see it to start interacting with it, and then people who are connected to them see the ways that they have interacted with it.

Another important change is that, even though posting photos is still important because they’re excellent content for social media, Facebook is only organically delivering photos to an average of 3.73 percent of a page’s followers, which is even less than shared links (5.29 percent) and text-only statuses (5.77 percent). They’re trying to put an emphasis on video, which has an average organic reach of 8.71 percent on Facebook.

Let’s start with the basics, though. Just because there have been changes doesn’t mean that the same principles as before don’t apply. Every Facebook page should have the same name, address and phone number (NAP) as your Google+ page. The reason to have it sync up is because the more places that have the correct NAP will help you show up higher in rankings for your service area. Next, you want a mixture of photos, videos and links.

First, you’ll want good pictures representing yourself on that page. That includes pictures of your staff, your facility and perhaps vehicles you’re working on. Although photos don’t have a huge organic reach, they are still very engaging content.

When you’re creating text posts, post relevant content that is tailored to your customers. Most people aren’t on Facebook to see ads, so be sure not to come across too promotional. Anything you can do to tailor your content to being genuinely interesting or engaging is good. Show personality, post content that is more “fun” and don’t forget to ask questions and listen. You want to foster a community that has interaction.

When it comes to video, I think it’s good to take into consideration that there are a wide range of types of videos that can be made. It’s not just a 30-second commercial and in fact, that type of video is going to perform the least well because it’s not as interesting. It’s good to position yourself as an expert and differentiate yourself from most shops. So, for example, if you do a lot of work on Audis, showcase different types of cars that have gone through there or different maintenance tips. Just keep the videos fairly short and snappy with engaging visuals. No one wants to watch a video where someone is just standing and talking.

Finally, don’t forget about Facebook reviews. Every company should have procedures and possibly a script for replying to reviews, both good and bad. While shops should encourage happy customers to leave reviews on Google My Business, because those reviews are by far the most prominent because of their role in local listings, many people will leave Facebook reviews because it’s one of the easiest ways to do that. So, everyone should monitor those reviews and make sure positive reviews get a thank you, and negative reviews get a response and then are moved offline to a direct email or phone conversation.

If you’re looking to take your Facebook page to the next level, Facebook Ads are the way to go. First, it’s not very expensive. A lot of times, you see people putting a lot of hours into posting stuff to Facebook but they’re not making sure that the stuff they’re doing has some type of reach. They could just be putting a little money into Facebook to have a much bigger impact. As I mentioned before, you can start off by just boosting a post for $5. That will help you get that process started of people liking stuff, sharing it with their friends and getting a bigger reach that way.

However, I would say that you should really be using the Ads Manager and creating targeted ads that go after the people you want. Through that manager on Facebook, you can easily create ads that are targeted to certain people. For example, a lot of shops have certifications and they should be targeting people who are likely to have those cars. Not only do you get the best price per engagement, you are also guaranteeing that the right kind of people are looking at your ad.

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