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Is It Worth My Time to Engage in Social Media?

Is it worth my time to mess around with social media? I’m trying to figure out if any body shops have gained new customers this way.

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BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development, apprenticeships, marketing and Web presence management with SkillsUSA, the I-CAR Education Foundation, Mentors at Work, VeriFacts Automotive and the NABC. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), which provides website design, SEO services and social media management services.

Is it worth my time to mess around with social media? I’m trying to figure out if any body shops have gained new customers this way.

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Question asked by: Tara Hanson, secretary, One and One Auto Paint 

Social media participation isn’t just suggested, it’s a must for small business. With regard to marketing, things have changed dramatically in the last 10 years. We used to be able to pay to get our message and our brand out to people, but today you have to “play” to get it out. By that, I mean participating in the online conversation, having a presence there and getting exposure for your brand.

But just setting up Google+, Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough – you then have to manage them and do so effectively. We suggest posting at least three times a week on Google+, once a week on Facebook and twice a day on Twitter. Millennials (those people under 34) are the largest generation on the planet, and 96 percent of them participate in social media. Got any of that age group as customers?

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After having us set up and manage their social media for them, one of our clients said, “It has been well over three months now, and customer response has dramatically increased.” It’s easy to measure results, too, with the reporting available. But keep in mind that if you’re going to do it, you have to commit to doing it right.

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