Instagramming your carwash

Instagramming your carwash

Where carwash owners should start with their social media presence.

Social media is key to any businesses success today and many use Instagram to quickly advertise their business in a more visual format that grabs the attention of potential customers.  You may think because you run a carwash that this form of media is not for you, but the visual component of Instagram actually works well in conjunction to any business.  Here are some ways to get you started on Instagram.

Develop your strategy

The first thing to do, no matter the platform you will be using, is to take time to work out your approach to social media and what your goals are. From here, set out clear details on what is an acceptable post and work on your style and voice to get the tone right.  Make sure all people who will be posting on your Instagram on behalf of the company have clear guidelines on what they should post to avoid accidental missteps and inappropriate content being shared.

It is important to work out here the tone you want to portray to your audience. For a carwash, perhaps you want to give off a family run business feel or maybe a fun yet professional environment to encourage people to try out your business.

Create a good bio

The next step once you have your tone is to create your profile.  Instagram allows you to create a short, snappy 150-character bio and you should take advantage of this.  If you have a company slogan already that fits the character limit then you’re all set, but if you don’t, think about the tone you’ve chosen and work from there.  For a more fun tone try “Let’s keep this clean” or for a more professional tone you could use “Your cleaning and detailing solution”.   Keep the text itself short and you can include contact details to help potential customers stay in touch.

Remember to choose a good profile picture — if you have a company logo, use it.  Take advantage of the fact that you can now share a website separate to your bio in order to make it easy for customers to get all the details about your service they need with a simple click.

Start posting

Keep a regular posting schedule and use appealing images in order to attract attention. Speak to your employees and find out if they are willing to have their pictures taken … if they are then you can include them in your posts in various ways.  When starting out you can use their pictures as a way to introduce the team to potential customers which gives off a friendly and local vibe that may attract people looking for a more personal touch.

If you have offers or special events, promote them with your Instagram by sharing either poster designs or images of employees hanging up posters to grab people’s attention.  You may also want to consider pictures relating to the offers, like the before and after of a car for detailing and such services.

Create unique hashtags and use them to expand your business. If you have a clear hashtag, customers may start using it when posting their own pictures of their cars if you’ve done a good job. This gets your brand wider reach and may attract more people in. Look for ideas on Instagram with already existing car pages and see what you can come up with.

Be creative and have fun with it. Keep the captions on your pictures true to the tone you’ve set and keep it short and snappy so people don’t glaze over reading it. Keep hashtags short and to a minimum to prevent overcrowding in the text space and try out some emojis to give a bit more fun vibe.

The most important part of posting, however, is making sure you use appealing pictures.  You do not need a professional photographer or expensive camera to do this, just consider what you would want to see and cater to that. Don’t post pictures that may make your business look unprofessional or unappealing. The right picture will grab a potential customer’s attention and make them want to find out more.

Customer interaction

Once you’ve started posting, start looking to interact with your followers and customers.  The benefit of Instagram is that it makes people feel connected to your business and that you aren’t a faceless conglomerate.  Thank people for commenting or sharing your post and interact appropriately with people’s comments.

Keep an eye on comments to make sure there’s nothing egregious there and don’t get baited by trolls looking to start something an argument you. Again, it’s all about the tone you’ve decided on and keeping it professional.

Encourage customers to share their experience and ask if you can share pictures of their cars on your profile. If a customer has left you a glowing review, share that in your Instagram stories and even save it to a highlight reel so that people can see what others have said about your company in the past.  Don’t forget to thank that customer for their review.

If a customer is leaving a not-so glowing review, comment an apology on their page and offer something to bring them back while staying professional. Some customers won’t be happy no matter what you do, but if you stay professional and apologize for mistakes, you’ll be surprised how many potential customers view this in a positive light.

Use the tools available

Instagram has a wide variety of tools available for you to use, and you absolutely should do so.  Use the story options to create quick messages to keep your followers up to date on what is going on and save stories that hold particularly good information to highlight reels.

Use videos to show off your skills and abilities to draw in customers — some of us forget that Instagram now offers this and stick to static images. Create interesting before and after image posts using their multi-pic options and play around with photo editing to title them.

Overall, there is a lot that Instagram can offer your carwash, and it’s worth taking a few minutes to play around and see what’s there.

Sara Sparrow is a technical writer and project coordinator and works at Order essay.

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