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While many of North America’s top automotive suppliers have increased their use of social media in the past year significantly, there’s still room to boost the horsepower of their social media programs in 2016, based on our second annual study of auto supplier social media habits.
(Bianchi PR’s proprietary study, “Social Media and Automotive Supplier Habits 2.0™” — SMaASH 2.0™, analyzed social media usage by the top 25 North American automotive OEM suppliers during the first six months of 2015, and compared/contrasted results with the 2014 study.)
To leap to the next level, there are several key steps managers can take that will help supercharge their social media effectiveness in 2016:
1) Share more of your positive media coverage – There’s nothing as powerful as the third-party credibility and validation provided by coverage in a trusted media source. Share that media coverage via your social channels to leverage that credibility and extend the story’s reach. Sharing inks to your online stories also builds goodwill with the reporters, who are increasingly being measured by the volume of traffic and engagement
their online stories generate.
2) Make more of your posts NOT about your company – No one wants to be in a relationship when one party talks only about himself. Be considerate of your audience: strive to have three audience-focused posts for every one that is self-focused. How? You can acknowledge a customer contact, vendor or partner; share industry trend or issue news that offers your followers insight or perspective; post photos of your customer’s people, products or facilities. Make it about them.
3) Use LinkedIn more – LinkedIn is, by far, the largest professional network going, but more important, it’s also the social channel where the typical auto supplier has the largest following – an average of more than 110,000 followers … who have a professional interest in the supplier. Leverage that reach and natural interest by sharing more useful content on LinkedIn.
4) Use more visuals to enhance your posts – Everyone ‘reads’ pictures. Posts with visuals get at least twice as much engagement as those without. So take the time to find (or create) a photo, chart, infographic or video that catches attention and illustrates your story. It will be well worth the extra effort.
5) Customize posts for each platform – Tools such as Hootsuite make it quick and easy to share one post across multiple social media platforms, BUT what works on Twitter may not be effective on Facebook. Consider the unique characteristics of the platform – i.e. ease of posting video on Facebook or the 140-character limit of Twitter – as well as the tone and audience of the channel … and tune your posts to fit accordingly. You may want to use Facebook for more fun, humorous or people-focused posts, LinkedIn for more professional interactions, and Twitter for quick updates, links to trend info or breaking news.
6) Make more of your posts interactive – Solicit your followers’ opinions, ideas, suggestions and nominations. Conduct one-question surveys or simple polls on industry issues; ask them to pick which product design, color or layout they like best; ask them to nominate your best customer service rep; ask them to share their success stories. Everyone has a story, encourage your followers to tell theirs by posing a question.
7) Plan, don’t just react – Many suppliers post sporadically and reactively, often neglecting their followers for days, weeks or even months at a time. Building engagement and relationships requires a steady, consistent effort. By using planning tools and editorial calendars now, supplier social media managers can post with a consistent rhythm to reach and engage their communities.
Overall, success with social media for auto suppliers – or almost any business-to-business enterprise – revolves around the four C’s: Consistency of effort, Content, Consideration for the audience and Customization to fit the unique environment of each platform.
For more information on the study, visit http://www.bianchipr.com/article/automotive-world-article-top-u-s-suppliers-increase-social-media-activity-144-2015/ or email email@example.com.