What Social Media Should Your Dealership Be Leveraging?

By Canada Drives Newsroom | Dealer Services

With new social media apps constantly hitting the scene (TikTok?), it can be challenging for a business to know which social channels they should focus their online marketing efforts on.

From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, each social channel presents a different set of marketing capabilities, engagement tools, and user audience demographics that can be beneficial for a car dealership.

But servicing one, let alone all, is no small ask. Think of each channel as a hungry animal that needs to be fed content on a regular basis. Spreading minimal efforts across all platforms, and getting minimal engagement on each, is not the way to go. Instead, it would be more strategic to narrow down which channel or channels are best for your needs and audience, then zero-in your efforts there. 

We’re going to break down each social media channel, explain their differing characteristics, and hopefully help you understand which channel(s) are right for you and why. 

Social Comparison Quick View

Social Media Channel

Active Users (Canada)

Largest Age Demographic

Facebook:

25M

25-54 (61%)

Instagram:

12.6M 

18-29 (67%)

YouTube:

17M

18-29 (91%)

LinkedIn:

16.5M 

25-34 (57%)

Twitter:

7M

18-29 (38%)

Pinterest:

N/A

18-29 (34%)

1. Facebook

Here’s a social media platform that needs no introduction. Mark Zuckerberg’s monster of a social channel boasts by far the most MAU (monthly active users) at around 2.2 billion, including 25 million users in Canada alone. With that kind of online audience, can you afford not to participate?

Most companies on Facebook will build an audience of followers using a constant stream of organic content mixed with paid advertising. Being present on Facebook is also important because it legitimizes your business. If a customer finds your verified page on Facebook, complete with information about your dealership, reviews and ways to contact you, it will increase their trust in your business, especially among a younger demographic.

How your dealership can leverage Facebook:

  • Expand your online presence organically by creating engaging content that earns more followers, likes, comments, and shares.
  • Upload video and images of vehicle inventory, including 360 video of cars to give potential customers a more engaging look at the vehicle.
  • Post notifications to followers of upcoming discounts, promos, and special offers. 
  • Launch paid advertising campaigns that target high-intent customers who might be in the market for a new or used car.
  • Make it a point of contact for customer service. 
  • Highlight positive reviews from customers to gain trust with new ones.

2. Instagram

This Facebook-owned photo-sharing app has exploded in popularity since being introduced around 2009. It is now up to 1 billion MAU, including 12.6 million users in Canada. In fact, Instagram is the fastest-growing social media channel in Canada, especially among young audiences, most of whom are between the age of 18-29.

Instagram allows you to publish photos, videos, Stories, and what’s called IGTV, which is longer-form videos. For dealerships, Instagram presents an attractive platform to present eye-catching photos and video of cars while also offering an inside look at workplace culture. 

How your dealership can leverage Instagram:

  • Share high-res inventory images to a primarily younger demographic. 
  • Organize paid ads of new car models that target specific regions, age, interests, gender and more.
  • Upload short videos and images of vehicle walkarounds and test drives to spark engagement and interest among high-intent customers. 
  • Post images and videos that showcase workplace culture to build trust and familiarity.

Instagram offers seamless integration with Facebook. Content created and shared on Facebook can be leveraged on your Instagram business account.

3. YouTube

YouTube is probably the only true competitor to Facebook when it comes to user counts. The Google-owned video giant has nearly 2 billion MAU with over a billion hours of video being watched every day. Over 17 million Canadians visit YouTube every month and, according to Nielsen reports, it reaches more young adults between 18-34 than any TV cable network.

YouTube is also known as the second largest search engine after its parent company, Google. Customers searching for particular cars, for example, will likely go to YouTube to get more information about the vehicle. This could come in the form of a video displaying the car’s features and engine specs, for example. 

How your dealership can leverage YouTube:

  • Create a YouTube channel where you can upload videos of your vehicle inventory for users to view, like, and comment.
  • Plan video ad and image ad campaigns that target interested buyers.
  • Create educational videos that will position you as an authority in your industry. For example, how to check the oil on a new Ford F150. This will increase brand trust and awareness. 
  • Use YouTube to host car videos that are also embedded on your website. This will lead traffic to your YouTube channel and vice versa. 
  • Leverage your YouTube channel to showcase workplace culture.

4. LinkedIn

This business-based social media platform, owned by Microsoft, always had a certain amount of confusion about what exactly its purpose is. Is it a place for job seekers? A way for professionals to network? Somewhere to post content that is educational, teachable, or sparks ideas? The answer is all of the above.

It is unlikely that a dealership will find an audience of eager car buyers on LinkedIn. The social platform claims over 600 million users, including an impressive 16.5 million in Canada. But LinkedIn users don’t often engage with the platform looking for purchase opportunities. It’s best utilized for human resource purposes and B2B communication.

How your dealership can leverage LinkedIn:

  • Create a LinkedIn page so potential partners, collaborators, and employees can find your dealership and learn more about your business.
  • Post content that favourably reflects your company’s values and work culture. 
  • Consider any B2B content for this space. Examples might include creating your own original content or reposting third-party content from a partner or a specialized media outlet. 

5. Twitter

The popular microblogging app has always been somewhat of a head-scratcher when it comes to marketing. Because Twitter, which has 335 million MAU, including nearly 7 million in Canada, thrives on immediate information such as news, politics, sports, and entertainment, it can be a challenge for businesses to make marketing inroads.

Twitter users demand real-time information and use the platform to voice their concerns. A popular use of Twitter, for good or bad, is publicly calling out a business for bad customer service. This presents an opportunity for businesses to respond publicly, show they care, and display transparency in their customer interactions.

How your dealership can leverage Twitter:

  • Set up an account that is customer-service focused and respond to any mentions or direct messages. Show publicly that you are a responsive dealership that puts customers first.
  • Retweet positive interactions with customers to show you are a liked business. 
  • Tweet new promotions or offers and use hashtags to get traction on the campaigns.
  • Post photos or videos of premium cars to earn likes and retweets.
  • Advertise your business on Twitter, if you feel there will be a solid ROI (return on investment).

6. Pinterest 

Pinterest doesn’t get nearly the attention as the other social platforms, but you could say it is quietly successful with 335 million MAU. Pinterest’s audience comes from high-income households with almost half saying shopping is a top priority on the platform.

For those unfamiliar with Pinterest, it’s a social platform that allows users to “pin” content like images, videos or infographics on a virtual board. Think of it as like an old-school corkboard.

Another key demographic stat for this social platform is its gender composition. Pinterest users are mostly women, nearly two-thirds of the users, and 80% (U.S. data) of those “Pinners” are moms. So, it’s good to know your audience before deciding if this platform is right for your car dealership.

How your dealership can leverage Pinterest:

  • Create a Pinterest business profile and erect a board where you can pin offers, deals, promos and featured cars.
  • Promote pins that appear where users are likely to see them. 
  • Offer ideas that will inspire users to share the idea with others. Maybe this is a simple car maintenance tip or something a user should know about inspecting a new vehicle.

So which social media channels are right for you? 

We’ve covered a lot of ground and hopefully given you some ideas on how your dealership can leverage these various social media channels. Does it make sense to service one channel while ignoring the others? If that’s the case, you will want to choose Facebook as it has the most power in terms of reach and marketing potential. 

But consider casting your net as wide as possible and running a combination of, say, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, then seeing what kind of results you get. If you find success, perhaps venture into the other platforms. Before you know it, you are reaching as many users as possible with a full suite of social channels. Just remember to make your content as engaging as possible; give buyers a reason to care about your business and tell others about you.

Boost your online presence with Canada Drives

With Canada Drives’ innovative marketing expertise and tech-savvy methods, you can leverage our digital strengths to attract more leads and sell more cars. Speak to one of our account managers today to discuss how we can work with your dealership.




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