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Social media marketing changes every year – Facebook algorithms are realigned, Twitter trends come and go, and new mediums gain popularity. For automobile dealers, finding ways to use social media for automotive advertising is one way to build their audience, and advertise their latest inventory.

When auto dealers begin each new social media campaign, they need to keep these six rules in mind:

Keep your fans engaged: Most fans and followers of auto dealers on social media are in the market for a new car. But, how do dealers keep them engaged once they’ve already purchased a vehicle? This is where content creation and storytelling become key. Offer facts about various makes and models, share photos from the lot, and keep posts interesting. Focus your posts on car lovers, not just car buyers.

Use dealers to tap into their personal networks: Though it’s important to build up brand social media pages, using individual sales people’s social networks are a good way to reach a wider audience. Have everyone on staff post about sales, specials, and new cars – the more people who can see your posts, the better. You never know where your next sale will come from, and widening your audience is a great way to find potential customers.

Test social media audience ads: Facebook and Twitter offer business pages tools to promote their ads to a wider audience than you could organically reach. It’s important to test these ads to see what is working for your particular brand, and what is not. Experiment with different target audiences, locations, key words, and budgets – this will help you to better understand what is effective, and what is getting ignored.

Keep copy simple: Most car buyers aren’t well-versed in the automotive industry, and don’t understand a lot of mechanical jargon. Keep your posts simple, and your copy clean. Make it easy for everyone to understand, and follow your posts.

Show off the cars: Visual imagery in automotive advertising – and that means that dealers should feel free to show off those cars. Learn how to take beautiful photos of the exterior and interior of cars, and don’t be afraid to drive them off the lot to get a unique shot. Photos get more shares, likes, and engagement than any other kind of post, and should be a cornerstone of any social media campaign.

Promote contests: Social media contests are a great way to keep people involved and interested in your posts. One easy contest to run on Twitter is to promote a specific hashtag (make sure that you check to make sure that it’s not used for anything else, or has a different meaning that you want it to be), and ask your followers to Tweet using that hashtag, and a relevant post. Set a deadline, and randomly select a winner from those who have tweeted using the hashtag. It’s an extremely easy and effective contest, and doesn’t involve using a third-party app.

With these simple social media tools, automotive marketing can use integrated, content-based advertising to find a wider audience of people, and expand their reach.  Search engine optimization and car dealer advertising often go hand in hand; click here to find out more.