Let’s Get Engaged- Online With Our Target Audience That Is

Part 2 of 2

Last time we discussed the importance of getting engaged with your target audience, especially as it relates to your website. Click HERE to read part 1.  This time we cover getting engaged with your social media followers, measuring your success and how to take your relationship from engagement to something even more important… customers for life. So, let’s get right to it…

Getting Engaged On Social Media

Social media for a body shop is a different animal. You aren’t a restaurant or bar, event center or anything else that people want or need every week or month. No, your target audience only needs you once every seven years or so. So why is most of the posting we see shops do on social media trying to advertise to people who don’t need them? Before and after photos, reviews, OEM certifications and photos of paint booths, racks and other “inside baseball” stuff. NEWS FLASH… The public doesn’t care about all that if they don’t need a body shop right now. If that’s all a shop posts, you’ll get virtually no engagement and lose followers.

Instead, a collision repair center should post things on social media that engages the target audience in between times they need a body shop. These kinds of things give them reason to follow the shop, they add value to the relationship you are trying to build and gets them engaged with your brand. We suggest posting things like:

  • Car care tips
  • Driving tips
  • Your community service (your audience will love this)
  • Weather alerts and events
  • Local events
  • The time changes
  • School closings
  • Fun facts
  • Funny stuff, memes
  • Prom season safety tips
  • National First Responders Day (which is October 28th, 2023 this year)
  • Video (gets the best engagement of all types of posts)
  • Occasional posts like reviews, before and after photos, OEM certification promos, etc. Suggested no more than about once a month.

Measuring Engagement

Anything worth doing is worth measuring. To understand how well you are engaging your audience, look no further than Google Analytics and the reporting Facebook and Instagram provides. With Google Analytics you want to measure bounce rate, the time people spend on your site and how many pages they view.

Bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who hit the back button quickly and also don’t go beyond the home page of a site. Lower rate = Better. For reference, the average bounce rate for our industry is 70-80%.

The time spent on a website averages about 57 seconds for a body shop, so if they leave before that, the site isn’t engaging and isn’t likely keeping them on the site long enough to take the next steps. Your site needs to be engaging enough to keep your visitors on your site longer so they can take those important next steps.

The page views on a Google Analytics report will tell you the number of pages your visitors average going to. For collision repair shops that number is 1.7 pages. That means everyone comes to the home page but not everyone goes to a second page. That means we had better hit a home run with our home page and have everything they need at the top of the home page.

For social media you want to measure followers, views, Likes, comments and shares. Facebook Insights tells you a lot about engagement with your followers. You should look at this every month and see what is working best, and then give your audience more of it.  That’s active engagement with an audience who probably don’t need your services right now, but they will someday.

For Instagram it is a bit more involved. You want to calculate the number of Likes you have gotten recently. Take your most recent posts, skip over 1,2 and 3, then look at posts 4 through 10, add the total Likes and divide that by 7. This provides the best snapshot of your engagement at the present time. Keep track of that number month to month. You should also divide the average number of Likes by the total followers your Instagram page has. The higher the better of course. 12% or more is considered top engagement and it takes a lot of time and effort to reach this level.

Important Distinction!

Here’s the most important point of all. I really want you to get this. Ready? Here it is…

People come to your website because THEY NEED YOU

You come to your target audience on social media

Because YOU NEED THEM (someday)

Adjust your content accordingly.

From Engagement to Relationship

The ultimate goal is to engage with your target audience and, at some point, move from engagement to a relationship, hopefully a long-term one. Continue to deliver great service, seek followers and keep them engaged until they need you, or need you again and again. Or maybe a family member or friend needs a body shop and you’ll get a referral.  All of this requires some skill and knowledge, not to mention a lot of work. But, as with any relationship, if you want to keep it you have to work at it. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do all of this yourself, remember you can outsource to the true professionals like my experienced team here at Optima Automotive. How can we help you?