Jody DeVere: Reaching women via social media in the auto industry
So, it’s 2019 and you’ve finally decided to get your business a Facebook page, or perhaps you’ve just got your automotive business’ social media presence built up to where you want it to be, or some of you may be early adopters just looking to broaden your audience.
Whatever your situation, you should know by now that building a loyal and active following on social media as an automotive business is not as easy as it is for tech companies, restaurants, and those relatives you have who are selling makeup, nail wraps, and supplements.
As an automotive retailer, you walk a fine line between keeping your audience informed and engaged and ensuring that they associate you with great auto service and not, say, quirky photos of cats.
More to the point, as women are the majority decision makers in all automotive purchases – including auto service – the task of reaching women in your social media has never been more important for auto businesses. Women are also the driving force when it comes to utilizing social media to their advantage to decide which provider to use for nearly any service, and that includes auto service and repair.
As an ASA Shop, targeting women in your social media activities in a thoughtful, meaningful, and engaging way can provide you an immediate channel by which you can place your brand, your services, and your team in front of her at those crucial decision-making moments.
When thinking about aiming your social media marketing efforts to women, certain methods need to be adhered to to appeal to your audience. As an automotive service and repair location, it is safe to say that at least half of your customers will likely be female.
First and foremost, understand that just as you’d communicate differently with men and women in your shop, you should communicate differently in the social media sphere as well.
While men on social media, on average, are more interested in gathering information and sharing personal status updates, women in general are more interested in the relationship building, networking applications of social media.
With all these ideas in mind, we’ve put together this small sample of our favorite tips to keep in mind when using your social media presence to drum up some support from the female consumer.
Don’t Think Pink!
Often, when people think of making something appeal to the female eye, the first thing they do is begin designing something with pink. The days of appealing to the female eye using the color pink, lacy gowns, welcoming kitchens, and adorable babies are (thankfully) gone.
Women are very intelligent, and they can spot a marketing trend that’s somehow still lingering ages after the Mad Men era a mile away. Sure, many women do love pink, and gowns, and kitchens, and certainly babies – but they don’t want to be advertised to as nothing more than moms and providers.
Today’s women prefer transparent marketing techniques which are thoughtful and get right to the point.
For example, does your shop have green, eco-friendly practices (you certainly do, if you adhere to national regulations)? Do you offer creature comforts in your waiting room? Do you work hard to minimize the amount of wait time for your customers?
If any or all of these are true, you should be saying so. A strong message with an eye-catching visual (more on these later) that your company is eco-friendly and time-efficient will go a long way to reaching the female audience.
Embrace the Spirit of Giving
Women value cause-focused initiatives. This can be as simple as donating to a local cause or charity with every service visit or could be as involved as sponsoring a local high school’s auto shop class to provide them with insights, tools, and even a vehicle to learn and work on.
Whatever you do, find a way to give back to your community, and make sure you share it loudly!
Embrace Frequent Updates
It’s easy to let your social media pages languish for days or weeks or months. However, women consumers appreciate a company that takes the time to update their social presence. This tells her that you take your role as a communicator and relationship builder seriously.
By offering consistent, interesting, and attractive posts on your social pages, you can help your female audience feel educated and empowered. Car care tips, company news, promotions and discounts are always welcome – however, visual content is key right now, and video content tops all visual content.
With that in mind, consider bringing a smartphone camera into the shop to get some knowledge about commonly overlooked repairs or DIY diagnostic tips straight from the techs themselves. Take a 10-15 second video clip and share it to social – your female audience will thank you!
Be Personal and Personable
First and foremost, women value a personal touch when choosing an automotive service provider.
The more of a personal touch you can give your social media page, the better. Post video profiles for your employees (especially the women).
These could be celebrations of a birthday, a new baby, a marriage, or a new pet. These help to humanize your business.
Women may not be fooled by pink, but like anyone else, women do love beauty.
Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of sources you can use for beautiful, eye-catching and thought-provoking images, from free sources like Pexels to paid services like ShutterStock.
When fleshing out your social schedule, include an image with your post.
If you can find a beautiful, relevant image of a vehicle, great – but if you can’t, natural landscapes, eye-catching cityscapes, or shots of professional women in vehicles can be an excellent way to beautify your social presence.
Jody DeVere, CEO of AskPatty.com, is an authority on marketing to women, as well as an automotive journalist, car-care expert and safety spokesperson for the industry. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.