Since 2019 began, the hot topic at Dealer Authority has been Instagram for the Automotive Industry. Our social strategists continue to see the value that Instagram brings to the table for car dealers through enhanced brand awareness, community engagement, and targeted audiences that have a specific interest in your brand – and in the end, helps you sell more cars!

We couldn’t think of a better topic to highlight in our latest video series, Coffee + Conversions, with Social Strategist, Emily Bower and SEO Strategist, Kayla Maneen. In this series, Kayla and Emily will be chatting about all things digital marketing for the automotive industry… and Episode One is all about Instagram.

Let’s take a moment and look at the statistics on Instagram specifically for the automotive industry.

Instagram was so kind as to put in a lot of leg work for us! Out of the 800 million Instagram users that interact with the platform on a daily basis, there are 3.5 million that are auto-enthusiasts. That’s 3.5 million people that most likely know nothing about your dealership, but they could – through a simple Instagram post.

Now, getting the attention of this 3.5-million-person audience doesn’t happen overnight.  In order to grab the attention of this audience, you need to take the first step and set up your account, then consistently (at Dealer Authority, we post 3 times per week) post content that shows the personality of your dealership.

The images and videos that you post to Instagram are just as important as the images you choose to put in a print ad. There is a happy medium between posting original content (photos on the lot, behind the scenes video, shots of happy customers) and utilizing stock photography for your post. Today, most individuals that are using social media on a daily basis can easily spot stock photography as they scroll through their feeds.  If you don’t have a content library that you can quickly pull from on a weekly basis, feel free to use stock – but mix it up with original images and video, that are onsite at your dealership.

Utilizing Hashtags

It’s also crucial to add hashtags to your posts. Think of hashtags as a digital road map that can lead Instagram users to profiles that showcase products aligned with their interests.  By adding a specific hashtag to you post, you are linking your content to content that has the same hashtag. A few examples of hashtags that carry a lot of weight for the automotive industry on Instagram are:

  • #carsales
  • #dealership
  • #instacar
  • #instasales

What’s so great about Instagram is that you aren’t locked into using hashtags that are specific to the automotive industry.  You can also look to trending hashtags to generate traffic to your brand-new Instagram profile. These include:

  • #MondayMotivation
  • #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT
  • #photooftheday
  • #instagood
  • #WednesdayWisdom

Let’s take your posts to the next level! Ready to connect to your OEM for no additional cost to your dealership? Tag them. By simply adding @honda, @subaru_usa, or @nissan_usa, you are linking your dealership to your specific OEM. Now you have the potential to pull from their Instagram audience that reaches into the hundreds of thousands.

Instagram Stories for Dealerships

Instagram also lets automotive dealers harness the power of real-time posting by implementing Stories. Think of your individual dealership posts as stationary content and Stories as direct messages that are pushed out to all of your followers at once. This is a perfect place to showcase video from the showroom floor, the interior of new inventory, or even post a poll to your surrounding community. Our society generally enjoys instant gratification, and Stories allows you to do just that – instantly engage with the people around you that have the most interest in your brand.

Social media advertising has so many impactful benefits for the automotive industry and you shouldn’t limit your social media marketing efforts to Facebook alone. Instagram’s largest age demographic is between the ages of 25 – 34 and these individuals are prime suspects for their first new car purchase. If you’d like to learn more about how to get your dealership’s Instagram started, just give us a shout! Dealer Authority has the resources available to enhance your dealership’s social media game in 2019.