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Why are so few car repair shops making use of social media marketing?


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Today, we simply cannot ignore social media, everyone is using it whether you are a fan or not. Personally, I think it has its negative and positive sides. 

I have been looking at 100+ car repair shops and noticed that only a hand full are using social media marketing, for example, Facebook advertising. 

Why are so few car repair shops making use of this, in my opinion, great opportunity to increase car count? 

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Personally, I don't want the caliber of clientele, aka consumers, who would come in from social media, self-absorbed and narcissistic.  Yes, I know this is a general notion and that there are many people who are not that way.  Maybe it's the 80/20 rule, 80% will be great, 20% will be the ones who consume you. 
Consider this, if you run your own social media campaign, how much will it cost you to have a presence on all of the social media platforms that are out there and that are emerging?

Consider this, if you hire an outside firm to do your social media marketing, what caliber will it be?  How much will that cost you and how often will the posts be made?
Consider this, if you were to advertise in every possible online forum, outlet, social media page and search engine, how much time will it take you to make sure you are on all of them and how much will it cost you to make sure you have a compelling presence?

ONLY those who have a vested interest in separating a shop owner from their money through advertising will ever argue that we must advertise or have a presence in any specific arena or site. Other than that, how a shop owner markets their business will depend on the caliber of clientele they want.  Any shop owner who has been around understands that there are good advertising investments and bad ones.  That shop owner also understands that new is not always better and that the tried and true may eventually falter.  The shop owner also knows that what worked last week might not work today but might work fantastically next week. 

Bottom line is, YES! We can ignore social media but we do so at our peril and have to find other avenues of marketing to replace the worthless (and expensive) "Spaghetti at the wall" advertising of social media. Social media marketing is not just posting to your account once a week and hoping people see it in their feeds and don't just scroll on by, because that is what most do.  But the likes of farcebook and TWITter and the like will tell you that you had 80 bazillion gazillion "views," even though the user just scrolled right past your ad or post.
Why don't shops advertise on billboards, those are seen by people who own cars, right?  Why don't shops advertise with matchbooks anymore?  Social media is seen by people who own cars, who don't own cars, who don't own anything but a phone, but it's somehow valuable to advertise to those people?  ONLY to those who have a vested interest in selling advertising and marketing.  If a shop is big enough to support a full-time social media person, go for it.  But to pay someone other than an employee to create and publish your social media posts and then to pay to "boost" your impressions gets VERY costly and for what kind of return?

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18 hours ago, TheTrustedMechanic said:

Personally, I don't want the caliber of clientele, aka consumers, who would come in from social media, self-absorbed and narcissistic.  Yes, I know this is a general notion and that there are many people who are not that way.  Maybe it's the 80/20 rule, 80% will be great, 20% will be the ones who consume you. 
Consider this, if you run your own social media campaign, how much will it cost you to have a presence on all of the social media platforms that are out there and that are emerging?

Consider this, if you hire an outside firm to do your social media marketing, what caliber will it be?  How much will that cost you and how often will the posts be made?
Consider this, if you were to advertise in every possible online forum, outlet, social media page and search engine, how much time will it take you to make sure you are on all of them and how much will it cost you to make sure you have a compelling presence?

ONLY those who have a vested interest in separating a shop owner from their money through advertising will ever argue that we must advertise or have a presence in any specific arena or site. Other than that, how a shop owner markets their business will depend on the caliber of clientele they want.  Any shop owner who has been around understands that there are good advertising investments and bad ones.  That shop owner also understands that new is not always better and that the tried and true may eventually falter.  The shop owner also knows that what worked last week might not work today but might work fantastically next week. 

Bottom line is, YES! We can ignore social media but we do so at our peril and have to find other avenues of marketing to replace the worthless (and expensive) "Spaghetti at the wall" advertising of social media. Social media marketing is not just posting to your account once a week and hoping people see it in their feeds and don't just scroll on by, because that is what most do.  But the likes of farcebook and TWITter and the like will tell you that you had 80 bazillion gazillion "views," even though the user just scrolled right past your ad or post.
Why don't shops advertise on billboards, those are seen by people who own cars, right?  Why don't shops advertise with matchbooks anymore?  Social media is seen by people who own cars, who don't own cars, who don't own anything but a phone, but it's somehow valuable to advertise to those people?  ONLY to those who have a vested interest in selling advertising and marketing.  If a shop is big enough to support a full-time social media person, go for it.  But to pay someone other than an employee to create and publish your social media posts and then to pay to "boost" your impressions gets VERY costly and for what kind of return?

There are a few things that stand out to me from your message that I would like to address. First of all, it seems to me that you have the opinion that (most) new customers gotten from social media are bad. I am wondering why you think that is. The same people that are on social media may Google for a car repair shop, come across your website, and become a customer that way. 

Secondly, advertising on social media can cost you as much as your budget allows in other words, you determine how much it cost. The big question is, how much do you need to spend in order to see the results you want? This comes down to testing what works and what doesn't work. Instead of trying yourself, you could outsource social media advertising and let an expert do the work. This would require additional cost but will deliver you better results and probably saves you money compared to trying it yourself. Also, when you outsource it you have experts dealing with changing trends as you refer to as "The shop owner knows that what worked last week might not work today but might work fantastically next week". 

The beauty of social media advertising is that you can advertise to the customer you would like to have. Since you are able to provide information regarding people you would like to advertise to. There is also much more to it than just getting likes and views. Instead, you call for an action in your ad, for example, you could ask the viewer to fill in a form with their name, phone number, and email address. If a viewer fills out that form it means he is interested + you have their contact information enabling you to reach out. 

Lastly, I would like to mention that social media advertising allows you to closely monitor a variety of metrics and in fact is the only advertising method that shows your ROI as opposed to the advertising methods you mention: advertising via billboards or matchbooks. It is true that your ad will be shown to people not owning a car (but isn't that the case with most type of advertising?), but that takes time for the AI algorithm to optimize for that. 

 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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