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While many of North America’s top automotive OEM suppliers have increased and improved upon their use of social media in the past year, they can kick up the horsepower of their social media programs by following seven simple tips.
Our second annual 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 results with a similar 2014 study.
Bianchi PR’s seven tips for better auto supplier social media effectiveness in 2016 are:
1) Plan, don’t just react – Many suppliers post sporadically and reactively, often neglecting their followers for days, weeks or even months at a time. To build engagement and relationships, it requires a steady cadence. By using editorial calendars and planning tools now supplier social media managers can post with a consistent rhythm to reach and engage their communities.
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 and strive to have three audience-focused posts for every one self-focused post. For example, acknowledge a customer contact, vendor or partner; share industry news that gives your followers perspective; run photos of customer people or facilities your employees visit; make it about them.
3) Employ more posts that beg interaction – 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.
4) Share more of your company’s positive media coverage – There’s nothing as powerful as the third-party credibility and validation offered by coverage of your company by a trusted media source. Share that coverage via your social channels with followers, leverage that credibility and extend the story’s reach. Sharing the links to online stories also builds goodwill with the reporters, who are increasingly being measured by the volume of traffic and engagement their online stories generate.
5) Post on LinkedIn more frequently – Not only is LinkedIn by far the largest professional network going, it’s also the social channel where the typical auto supplier has the largest following – an average of more than 110,000 followers who are professionally interested in them. By sharing more useful content on LinkedIn, suppliers can better leverage that reach and natural interest.
6) Customize posts for each platform – While tools such as Hootsuite make it quick and easy to share one post across multiple social media platforms, what works on Twitter may not be effective on Facebook. Consider the characteristics of the platform – such as the 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 or humorous posts, LinkedIn for more professional interactions, and Twitter for quick updates or breaking news.
7) Use more visuals with your posts – Everyone ‘reads’ pictures. Studies show that posts with visuals get at least twice as much engagement as those without. So taking the time to find (or create) a photo, chart, infographic or video that catches attention and illustrates your story, is well worth the extra effort.
Overall, success with social media revolves around the four C’s: Consistency of effort, Content, Consideration for the audience and Customization to fit the unique environment of each platform.