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Why Instagram matters for your dealership

By Lauren McLean

Instagram is a wildly popular social media platform, and one that many of your customers and potentials often use – especially the younger people in your target audience, AKA those coming up in the new generation of buyers for your business.

It’s important to have a presence on Instagram because there are a lot of people using it every day. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a marketer is failing to have any type of presence on a major platform. Instagram is free, plus quick and easy to use, so why not utilize it? Even if the majority of your audience are late to jump on new trends and aren’t on Instagram, you don’t want to lose those prospects who are.

Most people think of Instagram as just a gallery for pictures. While a well-managed account with great boat imagery could certainly help to promote your dealership, it can’t do much else for your business.

Instagram has now given users the ability to create a business profile. The biggest difference between this type of profile and a regular account is the “contact” button, which allows users to submit leads. In addition, you can categorize your business, provide directions, and utilize call-to-action buttons.

Like Facebook, Instagram can provide both analytics and insight so that you can better optimize your posts. Instagram can tell you the locations, genders, and ages of your followers, plus who is and is not active on your account. In addition to “likes,” you can see the number of impressions your posts are receiving – that means people who view your Instagram post without clicking “like,” and it’s a valuable number to know! All of this information makes it simple for you to tailor your posts to your most interactive, interested audience members and also draw in more followers.

It’s easy to set up and manage an account, as long as you download the app and make yourself the Admin of your dealership’s Facebook page first:

  1. instagram for your dealership imageOpen Instagram and choose to create your account.
  2. Claim your dealership name as your username – for example, BobsBoats. If it’s taken, choose something very close like Bobs_Boats.
  3. Visit your user profile and click on the gear icon in the top right corner.
  4. Under “Account,” tap the button that says “Switch to Business Profile.”
  5. If you are already logged into your dealership’s Facebook page, you can click to connect your dealership’s Instagram account to your Facebook account.
    1. This is recommended best practice! Having these two social media platforms linked ensures that your posts get maximum visibility.
    2. Another perk: Instagram will automatically load business information from your Facebook page into your Instagram business account. Things like contact number, email address, physical address, and more.

Now, customers and others who view your Instagram account can directly contact you when they see images of your inventory that they are interested in. Also, you can easily run ads, boost certain posts, and access analytics right from the Instagram app in order to gain and keep more followers.

It’s important to have an active presence on the social media platforms your customers use, and Instagram is a BIG one. Representing your dealership as a business rather than a collection of cool images is crucial if you want to see increased leads and sales as a result of your social media marketing strategy.

Lauren McLean is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit www.DealerSpikeMarine.com or call 800-288-5917.

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