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Social media marketing for automotive businesses has changed. There used to be a time when companies did not want their employees to spend time on social media during working hours. Now, the same employees have evolved into the most important asset for social media marketing. If you are still sticking to the old playbook of marketing your automobile dealership – you might want to read this post carefully.

The brands you generally work with are spending millions of dollars in creating brand awareness. What you need is an original, personalized, and relatable medium that breaks the clutter on social media. Employee advocacy can help achieve each of these three goals without skyrocketing your business development costs.

car dealerships social selling

Employee Advocacy and Social Media Marketing for Automotive Industry

Employee advocacy is a broad term. It implies your employees’ inclusion, interests, motives, and opinions in different processes across your dealership. But, it has a very special place in the customer acquisition process within social media marketing.

1. What is Employee Advocacy?

Who would you say is the most vocal and visible brand ambassador in the social media landscape? If you think about an actor or actress, an athlete, or some other celebrity – you might be deviating from the answer. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, would be one of the most visible brand ambassadors. His tweets often send the company’s stock surging or plunging, but it gives him media mentions that would be possible only with hundreds of millions spent in campaigns.

Now, imagine – what if your automotive dealership had its own Elon Musk? Well, you might not have access to millions of followers. But you don’t need millions of followers. It would help if you had an original medium that allows you to talk directly with your customers and show why your automotive dealership is different and trustworthy. When your employees post something positive about your automotive dealership on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, you witness employee advocacy in action.

2. The Promise of Employee Advocacy: What’s In It for You?

The influencer culture has created the space for authenticity and micro-influencers. People trust people who have been through experiences similar to theirs. And that is where employee advocacy on social selling platforms bridges the gap between your dealerships and the prospective leads on social media channels.

The facts can tell a better story on how employee advocacy has fundamentally changed how automotive dealerships market their offerings:

1. Get 4x Better Reach for Your Automotive Dealerships Relationship.

According to data published on Forbes, you can get increase your brand messaging reach by 561% if you create an employee advocacy program. This would mean a fourfold increase in the number of people who can see your brand’s post. By increasing the reach, you increase the probability of engagement and conversions because people trust people within their social circle much more than a random display ad on Google.

2. Increase Your Brand Recognition.

You might be selling a BMW, Mercedes, and Audi or all three brands. But, your customers also care about the brand of your dealership. And that brand recognition can only be obtained by letting your employees be the face of your dealership on social media. A study published by Hinge Marketing Institute shows that 65% of the brands using employee advocacy witness greater brand recognition.

3. Build Deeper Automotive Dealerships Relationship.

The reach and the recognition are great. But, what about the conversions? Your marketing dollars go for a toss if you reach a million customers and no one buys your inventory. Employee advocacy shows its efficacy in this exact situation.

Social media platforms are crowded with ‘machine-like stories’—Brands post on holidays, working days, and all the days in between. But the engagement is abysmal because people have an affinity to connect with people, not just businesses. This is why employee advocacy generates over 8x more engagement with content posted by employees on social media. The messenger is sometimes more important than the message.

4. Lower Your Paid Media Expenses and Still Improve Your Marketing Results.

Paid media is excellent. If you know how to plan things, you can get great returns. But, hundreds of brands bombard millennials with paid media content. Genuine human conversations and stories hence become more valuable.

When your employees post about your dealership on social media, you get what is called ‘earned media’. All you need is one share, forward, or repost on every other piece of content created by your employees. And soon, you will be on the virtuous cycle of getting 4x better returns with earned media.

Inrelay: The Only Tool You Need to Transform Social Media Marketing for Automotive Industry

social media tool for automotive industry

Now that we have explored the promise land, you would want to know – how on Earth do you leverage this thing called ’employee advocacy’? But, before you jump on the wagon, picture this:

  • You will need a list of the emails of all your employees and their social media handles.
  • You will have to create a brief for your employees to post specific content on a particular date in a specific format on one specific platform. You would not want any of this to seem controlled and fake.
  • You roll out your first employee advocacy initiative. Many of your employees show enthusiasm.
  • Your employees start posting left, right, and center. There is no coordination. Random posts go on EQUITY random formats on random days.
  • You get a ton of media attention. And then, your boss calls – some employee posted incorrect information about your brand based on the employee advocacy program you started.

Just like that, on the route to change social media marketing for automotive dealerships, you might hammer the brand you already possess. This happens more frequently than you may imagine because auto dealerships are not using the best tool for the job. They have a collection of email trackers, a spreadsheet, one or two people from the marketing team. If you continue with this arrangement, you might never get great results despite running an employee advocacy program with dozens of posts shared across hundreds of employees. And that is the reason why you need Inrelay.

1. One Social Selling Platform for the Entire Employee Advocacy Program.

Inrelay simplifies employee advocacy. You can manage and coordinate the entire program, no matter how many employees you have, without having to leave Inrelay:

  • Send out invites to all your employees.
  • Get active data on who has accepted the request you have shared.
  • Structure the content to be shared along with the dates of publishing.
  • Monitor the employees who have shared the content in the decided format on the scheduled date.
  • Schedule the posts for your dealership on the same date.
  • Analyze the results of the entire employee advocacy program with advanced analytics.

2. Get Measurable Results and Insights.

The difference between good marketing and great marketing is that the former relies on creativity while the latter uses data & analysis. Not all of us are creative rockstars like David Ogilvy or David Droga. But we all have access to information on customers, campaigns, and employees. Inrelay helps you bring all of this data in one place and get a full view of what you have achieved with your employee advocacy program.

The advanced analytics feature helps you see the acceptance rate between your employees, posting frequency, and other critical insights on the program. You can use these insights for:

  • Identifying the Acceptance Rate Among Employees: Of the hundreds of requests you have sent, how many employees accepted the employee advocacy program and went ahead with posting content on social media? Doing this can help you identify potential gaps in the relationship between your dealership and its employees. And more often than not, it is just a matter of a conversation with the employees to make them a contributing member of your advocacy community.
  • Measure the Impact of Your Employee Advocacy Program: Do not go solo on the employee advocacy initiative. It should become an essential part of your marketing mix. However, it will always run parallel to other online and offline marketing initiatives. The insights will help you understand how the program performs against your conventional social media marketing for automotive industry methods. You can also use the program results to identify which employees are bringing more traction. As logic dictates, work with these employees on more frequent or essential posts.
  • Reporting and Data Visualization: At the end of the day, you would want to use the data for reporting the impact of your employee advocacy program. Your immediate superiors, the brands you work with, and your investors might have interest in this report. With Inrelay, you can extract the graphs, charts, and data you need on invite acceptance and program performance. No more juggling between a data visualization tool and your social media campaign management platform.

3. Content Management and Scheduling.

Here is the deal – you will have to post content on three to four social media platforms to get good results. LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the more common ones. But then you will face another problem – people check each of these platforms at different hours of the day, week, and month.

  • The best time to post on LinkedIn is between 10:00 AM and 06:00 PM on Tuesdays.
  • Tweets sent out at 05:00 PM get high retweets, and those tweeted between 12:00 and 03:00 in the noon get the highest CTR. Wednesdays and weekend bring more traction.
  • Facebook posts on 08:00 PM Thursdays tend to have high engagement.

Keeping track of all these different hours for different platforms and sending out the same post in the designed format can be a nightmare! While there are platforms like Buffer and Hootsuite which allow you to schedule posts. But why even go to a different platform? Inrelay lets you schedule your posts, track their performance, and measure results – all without leaving your window!

4. Lower Your Cost Per Acquisition for Social Media Marketing for Automotive Dealerships

You can choose to hire dozens of influencers, bloggers, vloggers, and paid media outlets. They will deliver results in one form or another. But, Inrelay can help you get virtually the same results with a lower cost per acquisition.

Your employees will not charge you for posting content. And they have a more trustworthy profile on social media. Imagine this – whom would you trust more, an influencer who works with every second brand for paid posts or an employee of a local business? More often than not, if the influencer is not the subject matter expert, the employee will have the upper hand. Sure, the employee’s reach will be limited, but since the posts are more trustworthy, the conversions are relatively higher. And when you have dozens of employees do

CPA often tends to include the agency costs as well. Inrelay can help you control these costs as well. Inrelay’s Ultimate Subscription will give you access to a dedicated Monthly Account Strategy Meeting and 5 hours of Strategic or Creative Services every month, at no extra cost.

Best Practices that Make Social Media Marketing for Automotive Businesses Work

Lastly, all you have to do is take care of these best practices as you roll out your employee advocacy program. And Inrelay will take care of the rest:

1. Set the KPIs and Measure Them Regularly.
Before you start your program, measure the existing reach, conversions, CPA, and engagement rates. Make sure you frequently measure them and optimize your employee advocacy initiatives accordingly.

2. Identify High Social Impact Employees
At some point, you will identify employees who are bringing increased traction relative to other employees. Make sure these employees are recognized and their presence is utilized in full.

3. Make Inrelay a Central Part of Your Planning Process
Instead of operating different tools and platforms, start your planning process with Inrelay. And soon, you will see the results improving!

car dealership tools

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Inrelay empowers your marketing team to generate more and relevant leads. By shifting the focus on employee-advocacy driven social media conversations, your marketing channel will expand to a wider but more relevant network. In essence, you can expect to generate relevant and incrementally growing leads.

Inrelay is designed to help your dealership lower its cost per acquisition. In line with this, we have special offerings for creatives and strategic planning scheduled on a monthly basis under our Ultimate subscription.

Most social media management tools have analytics and scheduling capabilities. Inrelay goes beyond those two functions. With Inrelay, you will be able to send out employee advocacy requests to all your employees, track the acceptance of such requests, and then distribute content in an organized manner. Once the employees start posting, you will also be able to measure the results. This way, Inrelay can help you manage your entire employee advocacy program on one platform.

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December 2023