Instagram launched a completely new feature set called Instagram Stories this week and we're really excited about what this can do for you!
Instagram describes stories as "a new feature that lets you share all the moments of your day, not just the ones you want to keep on your profile. As you share multiple photos and videos, they appear together in a slideshow format: your story."
Prior to the update, Instagram was a social network for sharing one sixty-second video or one image with your choice of a personalized caption and hashtags (i.e. #ilovemynewcar). Now, you can record video, add it to your story, and it stays there for 24 hours before it expires. The features that Instagram Stories introduced are similar to another popular social network, Snapchat.
Once you create a story, there is a message button, which allows your customers to communicate with you. Think of it as a way to have a conversation that leads to conversions and sales. Think of conversations leading to conversions or sales. Make sure you ask questions to elicit responses.
You can learn more about Instagram Stories here.
How can I use Instagram Stories for my Dealership?
Instagram Stories will help your dealership engage with your prospects on the social networks that they hang out on every day. Here are 5 ways you can use Instagram Stories in your overall social media strategy.
Are you capitalizing on your happy customers? A good strategy is to take their picture next to their recent purchase and post it on your dealership Facebook Page. “Here’s John, another happy customer”.
A better strategy is to encourage your happy customer to upload a 60 second video using Instagram Stories, which shares their excitement to their friends for the next 24 hours.
Having them share it, sends that story to their friends, which could lead to potential new customers for your dealership. The videos can also be saved and subsequently uploaded to your dealership Instagram account and Business Facebook Page. Keep in mind you may need to offer an incentive to motivate your customer to take this sort of action. The opportunities are endless!
24-Hour Flash Sales
Is your dealership running a promotion? Make your followers on Instagram feel special by offering an exclusive sale for the next 24 hours just for followers on Instagram. You can film a quick video using Instagram Stories to get the message out. To measure your response rate, make sure to remind them to mention the special they saw on Instagram.
People love to win things and social media is a fantastic way to facilitate a contest. Encourage your fans to post a picture, to either Facebook or Instagram, with what they purchased from you and to tag your dealership. For example, you could offer a free oil change or an accessory, but keep in mind, their profile needs to be public in order for you to see their post.
Once the winner comes in to claim their prize, you can post their excitement to your Instagram Story. If you can find a way to engage your customers online, they’re more likely to engage with you offline as well (at your dealership). Again, this is a great opportunity to save these videos and upload them to your Instagram account and Business Facebook Page.
People like to do business with people. Showcase your staff by featuring them on your Story. Ask them questions about what they like to do on their free time, hobbies, what future features or models they’re looking forward to. These are just a few ideas and opportunities to keep you engaged with your audience. The more you can humanize your dealership using social media, the more relatable you become, which will aid in the sales process.
If you can teach your audience something, they’ll keep coming back for more, just make sure you keep it consistent and educational. Providing value is a great way to keep your customers and prospects engaged on social media. Solely being sales focused is how you will alienate your audience.
Overall Social Media Strategy
If you think social media is a vehicle for driving sales, you are half right. Social media is also a way to engage your customers in places they are spending their time (i.e. Facebook and Instagram). With roughly 430 Million Active Monthly Users (AMU) according to socialnomics.com, they may not be in the market for something now, but if you stay top of mind with your social media efforts, you’ll earn yourself customers in the future.
If you would like to learn more about Instagram Stories, try using them on your personal account before you use it for your dealership. We recommend that you experiment with the application first to avoid mistakes.