As you work to set up your auto shop’s presence on Instagram, take a few seconds to think about the platform’s attributes. Use what you know to inform your approach (or check out these helpful stats if you feel like you’re totally in the dark).
To put it in the simplest possible terms, Instagram is a social media tool with a twist—it is primarily image-based. Although other social networking titans like Twitter and Facebook offer users the capability to share images, the media type just isn’t at the core of their ethos in quite the same way.
If you keep this in mind when planning your Instagram strategy, it should quickly become apparent that simply copying and pasting the content you posted on other social networks won’t work. Rather, you need to play toward Instagram’s strengths in order to attract a following on the medium.
Here are some Instagram tips for auto shops that will help you get the most out of your business account:
1) Offer day-in-the-life snapshots to strengthen engagement
Everyone loves to go behind the scenes and view the moving parts that make a well-oiled machine run so smoothly. In fact, if you ask your mechanics, they’ll probably tell you that’s how they first got interested in cars. Give your Instagram followers a glimpse of the world behind the curtain by presenting your shop in a light they’d never otherwise see.
What are your mechanics currently working on? What does the garage look like first thing in the morning or last thing at night, devoid of the daytime hustle and bustle? What do the areas where you store spare parts and hang up tools look like? If one of your mechanics has a toolbox covered with bumper stickers, snap a pic and show the world – provided all the slogans being featured are appropriate, of course.
2) Update regularly (but still in moderation)
It’s safe to say that people who believe you can’t get too much of a good thing have never encountered Insta-spam. Insta-spam occurs when a single account hijacks its followers’ photo timelines with a burst of images posted in quick succession – essentially, it’s the Instagram equivalent of standing up in front of a crowd and yelling into a megaphone. For many Instagram users, this type of behavior merits an instant “unfollow” of the offending account, so be sure to keep the frequency of your posts in check.
That being said, not posting often enough is no good either. When potential followers check out your profile only to find that your most recent image was uploaded 46 weeks ago, that’s not exactly a powerful motivator for them to hit the “Follow” button. Remember, every post of yours that shows up on your followers’ timelines acts as a reminder that your auto shop exists – no posts, no reminders.
3) Tag and geotag your posts
Because you run an auto shop, it’s almost a given that images of cars and their assorted parts will end up on your Instagram at some point – and probably sooner rather than later. Use hashtags to include information about make, model and other pertinent details, and you’ll be surprised at how many likes and comments you get from auto enthusiasts all over the country – and, indeed, the world.
To make sure you’re also reaching an audience closer to home, enable the app’s location-tracking feature, and take advantage of the “Add to Photo Map” function. There’s nothing quite like a little free localized marketing.
Is your auto shop active on Instagram? What tactics do you use to engage customers and car enthusiasts? Or do you still feel like you’re in the dark? Don’t be shy—ask an expert.
Look out for more Instagram tips later this month!