Instagram is a fairly new platform to the social media lineup, but it is seriously underutilized when it comes to marketing. For those who do not know, Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share images with their friends in a fun and quirky way. Businesses have increasingly become aware of Instagram and its possibilities when it comes to marketing to their target audience. Are you one of these businesses?You may ask yourself how a simple image can be used to sell more cars and the answer is simple. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can use Instagram to reach a wider audience. With the ability to access Instagram from mobile devices like iPhones and Androids, and now the ability to access the social app on computers, more users are right at your fingertips giving you more marketing power.

Instagram is a powerhouse containing more than 200 million users. Businesses such as automotive dealerships can leverage their profile to create a collage giving customers insight into your company. You can also share your story, and place strategic images on your profile. Your dealership may also consider including images with calls to action on your profile to keep them engaged.

Create excitement and interaction. Use Instagram to promote a sales event at your dealership, or service coupons in your Service Department. Offer contests to keep your customers engaged with your dealership. You can ask customers to take a picture with a hashtag to tag their pictures and then have other users vote on their images to choose the winner. For instance, ask customers to take a picture with their vehicle, or wearing dealership apparel and have users vote.

Give users a reward for following your dealership on Instagram. Offer promotion codes that they can use for discounts in your dealership. You can offer free oil changes in the service department, or 5% off of the purchase of accessories and parts. When you reward your followers, they are bound to keep coming back for more, and share with their friends and family, which in return will result in more followers for you!

Do you feature your customers on your dealership website when they have purchased a new or used car, truck, or SUV? Why not feature them on Instagram. Let your followers know how happy your customers are with your dealership and use them for free promotion. There is no better advertising than happy customers that are willing to shout it from the rooftops. You can also include images of reviews from real customers on your profile.

Finally, does your dealership hold special events? Do you support a certain charity that is near and dear to your heart? Why not share them with your Instagram followers. Promote the event prior to the occasion to generate interest. Follow up with photos of the event showing your users what a great time your guests had attending your soiree. Post a photo with a call to action to donate to your charity. Show them the human side of your business.

Excellent Instagram usage example courtesy of MikeTheCarGuy.

With social media becoming a powerhouse for marketing, it is important to include Instagram in your bag of tricks. When you keep up with your customers on the latest social media outlets, you will reach a larger target audience, which will generate more revenue for your dealership, and promote your brand. Be sure to stand out when you use Instagram to market to car buyers and be creative in your marketing strategies.