Every small business needs to have a presence on social media, and that includes auto repair shops.

What’s the benefit of automotive social media? Being on Facebook and Instagram can not only boost your company’s visibility and strengthen your connection to the community, but it can also help you generate new leads and grow your customer base.

To get noticed and drive more prospective customers to your automotive business, you need to be strategic about how you spend your social media budget, whom you’re targeting with your ads, and even what you choose to post.

As a company that has helped more than 5,000 auto repair shops grow their customer bases, we know how to unleash the power of social media to help you reach your business goals. Here’s what we recommend:

Use Paid Social Ads to Reach Your Best Potential Customers

Social media ads are one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for small businesses. Given that the average person spends two hours and 27 minutes a day on social media, it makes sense to reach potential customers near you in a place where they’re spending so much time.

By uploading your current customer database into Facebook and Instagram, we can target your ads to other people in your area who have the same demographics and purchasing habits as your loyal customers.

In addition, if your ad includes an offer for a discount, such as $20 off an oil change, we can block your current customers from seeing and taking advantage of that ad, which would be a loss leader.

The flip side is that you can create ads that are seen only by people in your current customer database. This way, you can reward your most loyal customers with offers such as $50 off any service. Both of these kinds of targeted ads will generate response and provide traffic, but neither will cut into your margins the way other, nontargeted ads might do.

Don’t Spend a Lot of Money on Organic Social Media Marketing

Think about what people do on social media. Most of the time, they’re there to watch cat videos, see what their friends and family are up to, and wish people a happy birthday. The average person is not scrolling through their feed looking for a post from their local auto repair shop.

That’s why we tell auto repair shops not to make a big investment in organic social media. We know from research that the average organic Facebook reach, for example, is only 4% of your followers. So if you have 500 followers, only 20 of them will see that post. And even if potential customers do see it, they probably won’t take any action because of it.

Use Posts to Highlight Your Connections to the Community 

While we don’t recommend spending much of your marketing budget on organic social media, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it altogether. But you do need to be discerning about what you post. Nobody will care about your generic “TGIF!” or “Taco Tuesday” messages, and you may actually turn people off with posts that have nothing to do with your business.

Instead, use your Facebook and Instagram posts to highlight your affiliations within your community, whether that’s sponsoring a Little League team, contributing to a food drive, or collaborating with the local volunteer fire department on a fundraiser. You want potential customers to know that you’re not just an auto repair shop — you’re also an active and involved part of the community fabric. Those kinds of posts will go much further than talking about Taco Tuesday.

And there’s another benefit to putting the spotlight on your community affiliations in your social media posts. When people think about auto repair, it’s not usually in a positive way: Their car doesn’t work, it’s going to cost them money, and it’s going to be a major inconvenience to be without an automobile for a few days.

Social media posts that focus on the good you’re doing in the community will help put people in a positive mindset when they’re considering doing business with you.

To learn more about how to effectively use social media to grow your auto repair business, contact the team at UpSwell for a free marketing assessment.

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*This offer is for customers who have not previously used UpSwell’s digital marketing services for PPC Search or Social Media Ads. The Digital Splash promotion requires a minimum 3-month commitment to either social media ads or pay-per-click, and a media spend of at least $1,000 per channel. A one-time new customer set up fee of $150 will be charged upon signature of the contract. Contact UpSwell Marketing for details.