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Social Media: Word of Mouth Amplified

Since partnering with a social media management service, Butch’s Auto Body & Paint has been able to connect and engage with customers 24/7.

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butch's posted on facebook that their website had been highlighted in bodyshop business, and by boosting the post, it reached more than 20,000 people around butch's hometown over the next 24 hours.On June 6, Butch's posted on Google+ that it was National Donut Day. Fun!Last month, Liz Lebantino, manager of Butch’s Auto Body & Paint, Inc. in Capitol Heights, Md., (www.butchsautobody.com) shared her approach over the years toward getting her website exactly where she wanted it. As she revealed, for over 35 years, Butch’s relied mostly on word of mouth.

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As part of her overall Web presence strategy, Liz says, “Our social media participation is the new word of mouth, only amplified. We partnered with the leading provider of social media management services for the collision repair industry, the same company that built our website. We hesitated to engage in social media if our website wasn’t professional enough looking, so we initiated both at the same time. Our partner provided the concepts and tools to pave the way for our business to cost-effectively harness the marketing power of social media.

“Our business survives mostly through recommendations of our customers to their friends, family and acquaintances. And that’s what effective participation in social media enables us to do. We participate in Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Our partner set up our accounts properly, gave us promotional strategies to gain more ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers,’ and then started boosting and promoting our posts. Social media engulfed us like a tidal wave, kicking our marketing into high gear. We are very impressed with all the calls that we’ve been receiving, and we’ve gotten a lot of business out of it.”

Boosting Your Post
Facebook allows you to boost things that you post and target specific areas around your location. It also allows you to target specific interest areas, age groups and male or females. This past month, Butch’s posted that their website had been highlighted in BodyShop Business, then they boosted that post. They set a budget of $60, and the post was a screenshot of what their new website looked like. It’s important to make your posts graphic because that’s what catches people’s eye. And that’s what this post did.

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In 24 hours, this post reached over 20,000 people in and around Butch’s hometown of Capitol Heights. Butch’s is located right near the border with Washington, D.C., so that was one of many target outreach areas with this post. This post generated 70 clicks to their website, eight new “Likes” for their Facebook page, 24 post “Likes” and seven comments. How do we know? Facebook analytics, called “Insights,” provides comprehensive reports for your review. Comments included great testimonials including a searchable hashtag post, #onlyplaceirecommend, which adds to overall visibility. Liz responded to these comments in a timely manner, fully engaging in the conversation with their fans…all for just $60!

Regular Posting
With their Web presence partner leading the way, Butch’s social media accounts get posts at least 18 times per week and are monitored 365 days a year. Per Google’s recommendations, their Google+ account receives three unique posts per week. Facebook receives at least one post per week, and Twitter gets two per day. In addition, Liz periodically posts on both Facebook and Google+ when she’s got the time and wants to share some information or showcase some of
their work.

“It’s always reassuring to know our partner is going to be posting regularly so that when I’m busy I don’t have to worry about it,” she says. “I know we’re being taken care of.”

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Topics posted on Butch’s social media sites vary greatly. They must vary in order to reach and engage a broad audience, a key to successful social media participation for business. Posting nothing but automotive-related things, like before and after photos or cool cars, won’t ever appeal to a certain percentage of your target audience, or constantly to the rest of them. You need to vary it. For example, on June 6, it was National Donut Day, and that’s what Butch’s posted that day on Google+. Fun!

Social Media Management
Liz clearly sees the benefits of partnering with a social media management service.

“With our partner’s regular posting on our social media, we were able to connect and engage 24/7 with our customers and vice versa. We feel that [customers] already know us even before they call or come in to our shop. There’s an instant relationship of trust being built with our customers with the help of our social media outreach. With our promoted and boosted posts, we’re getting customers all the way from Virginia and D.C.

“In addition to the significant increase in business from our website, we’ve seen increases in our social media followers, interactions, reviews, and most importantly, our revenues. It’s extremely important to give a customer a great experience. If you go an extra step with excellent customer service along with the quality of work we do, you’ll win customers for life and they’ll share their experience with their friends online! Our Web presence and social media no doubt have helped us take our services to the next level.”

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Liz’s shop is in the top 5 percent of the shops my company has come across in regard to their overall Web presence management. They “get it,” and they’re getting cars to fix as a result. Well done, Liz!


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.

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