The new role of social media: How to... GET IT RIGHT

Find out why social media is playing an important role for the garage industry, and get some top tips on making sure your messaging works

Published:  22 September, 2020

We have seen lockdown restrictions being lifted, but, the next few months will come with its own set of challenges for the aftermarket.
A backlog of jobs, social distancing rules, and safety restrictions means providing new and old customers with a quality service can be challenging. However, an effective social media strategy can help.

The right message
The pandemic has changed the way customers, suppliers and the entire supply chain functions. With face-to-face interactions limited, digital touch points for customers are increasing and social media now plays an important role in how businesses keep in touch. Getting your social strategy right can mean the difference between making a future sale or seeing a customer go to a competitor.
It’s important to make sure your messaging is clear, concise and reassuring for the customer. With many seeing reduced income due to the pandemic, motor-related issues are likely to be far more stressful than usual. Alleviating this, for example by making sure information is easy to find, will go a long way in improving the experience, and help to secure new customers.
Creating content that appeals to users who are in the research phase will also help businesses. Market shifts resulting from the pandemic means people will be open to new alternatives. Ensuring your social media feeds have engaging and informative top funnel content, will put you in a better position for becoming the preferred alternative supplier.

Key considerations
Your social media strategy should add value to the lives of your audience and customers –by providing helpful information, offering respite from everyday stresses through engaging and entertaining content, or educating your community.
Focus during the next few months should be on stress reduction for your customers. This might look like clear communication of essential information such as whether your business has reopened, what your opening hours are and if these have changed, and how you are adhering to social distancing rules, or it could be through sharing promotional offers and payment plans which relieve final stress. In addition to sharing information about your establishment, use your social channels to keep customers up to date on important industry announcements; this will help to position your business as a trusted industry leader.
To stand out from your competitors, consider using your social channels to add value to prospects and customers – for example, through the use of educational content such as how to guides for easy car maintenance.  

Messaging to avoid
The world is still recovering from the impact of Coronavirus, and many of your audience may be finding their feet again. Taking an over-promotional approach, particularly when it comes to messaging around Coronavirus, can negatively impact on the favorability of your businesses and serve as a deterrent to potential customers.
Too many sales messages can have a similar effect too; your customers don’t want to be inundated with deals and products during a time where purchasing power may still be diminished. It’s also worth bearing in mind the mental impact the whole situation will have had on your community; it’s been a difficult and confusing time.
The steps you’ve taken during lockdown are ones which you should continue to bear in mind for the coming months, and beyond. It’s likely the aftermarket will take some time to fully recover, but by paying attention to digital strategy – and in particular your social media presence – you stand your business in very good stead for being a favoured brand on the other side.

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