Many carwash owners struggle with getting on the social media bandwagon. What do I post and where? How many times should I post? How do I create content? What are keywords? It can all be very confusing.
This article will give you five social media habits to help you grow and brand your business. Carwash owners need to set out there and brand their businesses to stay in front of current and potential customers. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and others, allow carwash owners to effectively connect and engage with a wider audience of potential customers.
The importance of social media marketing is that 78% of consumers are more willing to buy from a company and 77% will choose a company over its competition after a positive experience with it on social media. Let’s dive into the five habits you can do to enhance your brand and drive your social media presence to increase business.
Habit 1: Do your research
When I get a new client, I always ask, “Who is your customer?” and I usually hear the answer, “Everyone.” No, it is not everyone. Each business has a core customer base, and this is the group businesses need to focus their marketing efforts on.
Business executives should start with creating buyer personas for their businesses. A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents your ideal customers’ characteristics. You’ll give this customer persona a name, demographic details, interests and behavioral traits. Once you understand the persona’s goals, pain points and buying patterns, you can begin to narrow the focus of your marketing efforts.
Related: What customers want
It is important to note popular phrases and keywords people use when searching for businesses in your industry. A keyword is a term used in digital marketing to describe a word or a group of words a consumer uses to perform a search in a search engine. Once you identify which keywords are being used when people look up the types of services you offer, you can then use those words to market to your ideal customer.
Here are some examples I found: “carwash near me,” “self carwash,” “hand carwash,” “automatic carwash,” among others. There are a lot of sites to help with keywords, such as Google Search Console, Ahrefs Keywords Explorer, Keyword.io, Wordstream.com and many others. The best thing to do is to find which one works the best for your business.
Make sure you create goals and a content strategy. Plan out themes, topics, posts, etc. According to Hootsuite, if you’re starting from scratch and you’re not sure what types of content to post, try the 80-20 rule:
- 80% of your posts should inform, educate or entertain your audience.
- 20% can directly promote your brand.
Habit 2: Connect on a more personal level
Monitor and adjust marketing efforts as needed.
Most consumers care about their communities, and what better way to get in front of your customer than to be involved in the community? When a business is active in the community, it increases brand awareness, and it shows consumers that you care about where they live.
How do you connect with consumers and your community? Try the following:
- Share community events on your social media channels, and tag the event location.
- Hold events at your carwash (e.g. chamber events), and then co-market with the city or business. Use the Event feature on Facebook.
- Sponsor a car show or kids sporting league, or invite a local food truck to stop by. Make sure you post these events in advance on social media and frequently co-market with the other organization.
- Share photos of events and people (make sure you have their permission) at the events on social media. Ask people at the event to tag your carwash if they post any of their pictures to their personal social media platforms.
Habit 3: Provide relevant, consistent content
Do not post just to post. That is a bad idea. Instead, plan your content for at least 30 days, and make sure your content is about your customers’ needs and wants, not yours. The consumer will know if you put no thought into your content and will stop engaging with your posts, unfollow you or just plain ignore your posts. What kind of content do you want to post?
- Share a post about events (see Habit 2).
- Use humor. People love humor, but remember to make sure the humor won’t be misinterpreted, and use the appropriate tone for your customer base.
- Share fun facts about the carwash industry or your business.
- Ask questions to get people engaged. Take a poll or ask such questions as, “Which is your favorite car fragrance?” or “What is your favorite part of getting your car washed?” High engagement is much better than a lot of followers who do not engage.
- Research what is the best time to post and on what platform. Several good websites provide that information, such as Later, CoSchedule, Sprout Social, etc.
- Set posts to “public” to gain traction with followers.
Do not always be selling, selling, selling. People hate that. They don’t want to be sold to; they want to get to know you and your business. The consumer will most likely use your carwash if they know you and trust you and your business. Here are some best practices:
- Get to know your social media followers and customers as real people with real wants and needs, and then you will know more about how to engage them.
- Don’t post giveaways or contests on Instagram. The new 2021 algorithms will not recommend the post.
- Think about your customers’ desires, fears, dreams and worries, then address those in your posts. I know this is going to sound harsh, but they don’t care about you; when looking to buy, they think of themselves. Make them the hero of your post.
Habit 4: Get reviews and always respond
Reviews are important. They improve your search engine optimization (SEO), increase customer trust, make your business more visible and are essential to your brand. Nearly nine in 10 consumers dictate that an online review is as important as a personal recommendation. Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with “excellent” reviews.
Most companies get good and bad reviews. The trick to turning bad reviews around is to respond to them. If you only respond to the good reviews and ignore the bad, it is not good business. So, if you get a bad review, respond. Be professional and empathetic. Then, find out how to fix the customer’s concern. The same goes for Google reviews. According to Qberlo statistics:
- 97% of consumers who read online reviews also read responses from businesses.
- Nearly nine out of 10 consumers read reviews prior to making the purchase.
- 62% of consumers say they will not buy from companies that censor online reviews.
Talk to customers about their experiences at your carwash. If a customer is happy, ask him or her to leave a review.
Habit 5: Go live
Consumers want to know the face behind any business. When customers see you live, they start to feel like they know you and trust you. This is the key to building a brand. So, go live on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc.
Zoom also has a feature where you can go live on Facebook right from its platform. Want to save time and go live on multiple channels at the same time? Check out Streamyard. Streamyard lets you brand your live events and answer questions live, and you can see how many people are watching and on which social platforms.
I get it. A lot of business owners don’t want to go live, but this is where digital marketing is headed. To make it easy, use your smartphone, buy an inexpensive video lighting kit, write out a script and record. You may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but trust me, it does get easier.
In doing these five, easy steps, you can improve your social media marketing results, build your brand and drive more traffic to your business. Remember, consistency is key. Now, let’s get back to business.
Dr. Colleen Meyer is the president of Meyer and Mintz LLC.