A fabulous example of free automotive service advertising from social media. Any automotive repair shop looking for a great example of free auto repair marketing needs to check out this local community forum posting that just keeps on attracting new customers.
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Social Media Marketing
Articles and writing about auto repair shop social media marketing.
When dealing with service failures (screw-ups) and angry customers you really need to think about the long term consequences of how you respond. Social Networking is all about getting people to talk about you. The powerful aspect of this is that what is said lives on the Internet virtually forever. Positive chatter is like a credibility savings account that goes on paying dividends. Negative rants are sticky, reoccurring public relation nightmares that will never go away.
Your online social reputation is quickly becoming the life blood of a strong marketing plan. Consumers are dumping their heavy telephone yellow Pages directories and turning to the Internet – 21 million visited Yelp.com in May 2009 alone! Every auto repair shop should be working hard at building social proof of their competence and trustworthiness.
The new social media websites seem to be a perfect way to connect with new customers but will social media such as Yelp, MerchantCircle, Twitter, or Facebook work for auto repair shops?
Marketing is all about connecting with people. For advertising to be effective you need the person's attention and interest. Social networking can be a fabulous marketing tool if your target market participates and you provide a common 'local' interest to bring them together.
Asking for referrals is a great way to find new customers. But being more referable will work even better according to John Jantsch in his article 7 Signs Your Marketing May Need to Evolve. Once you've got people talking about you stop paying for expensive, ineffective advertising and rely on referrals only marketing!
Social media has given your customers a loudspeaker and you need to monitor what they are saying about you. The Internet provides consumers with limitless vocal power – both positive and negative. Size doesn't matter in this game. Big or small any company can have their reputation damaged by rumors, service complaints, and even malicious competitors. You need to be proactive about building a solid online reputation that can withstand the inevitable service failure complaints of everyday business operations.
Power Of The Collective Voice
On-line Social Networking is a recent phenomenon that has exploded in popularity. One outcome of this new virtual community is a collection of shared consumer experiences. Participants are using these collective reviews of products and services to make informed buying decisions. Auto repair shop owners should be participating in these online communities to promote their businesses.
Are you a low price leader?
Leaders and losers
To thrive in a price driven market you need to to be a low price LEADER. Some auto repair shops know they're leaders. Some think they're leaders. Many don't know they're losers. Consumers know the difference and quickly find the leader. What are you?
A different way of thinking about advertising
Traditional auto repair shop advertising has got it all backwards. Typically you spend huge amounts of largely wasted money attempting spreading your message to everyone. If your lucky you attract a few prospects who are reluctantly interested in what you are offering. The problem is that almost everyone has become numb to the daily bombardment of hit-or-miss advertising. We just plain ignore it. Maybe what you need to do is forget trying to communicate to EVERYONE and make it easier for the TRULY INTERESTED prospects to find YOU.