News for the Week of 1.27 

Periscope Broadcasts Live on Twitter

brand-new functionality that’s initially rolling out for iOS, Twitter is now making it possible for users to watch Periscope video broadcasts without leaving the Twitter app.  Previously, Twitter users wanting to watch a Periscope broadcast needed to tap a link to open the Periscope app, however, the newest functionality now replaces those links with the broadcast itself, making it quick and easy for users to dive in and see the world from others’ points of view.  For broadcasters, this means potentially reaching an enormous Twitter audience; and Twitter users now have access to experiences directly from their timelines.  Available for iOS, this functionality is soon to be rolling out for Android and web.  Dealerships, keep your eyes on Periscope as a way to build brand recognition and gain the interest of video-driven audiences.  Consider broadcasts like interactive Q&As or behind-the-scenes interviews with your shop professionals to increase engagement.

Twitter Flight School Open for ALL Marketers

Now open for all marketers and available in 16 languages, Twitter Flight School is a way for users to become Twitter experts.  Through the free online education program, marketers are able to learn how to better connect and engage their audiences, as well as build excitement around their products and drive sales.  Previously only open to agency marketers, this service is now available to non-agency marketers who are interested in participating in online tutorials, research, and case studies that will help them develop their skills.  Online courses include Twitter 101, How to Create and Manage Objective-Based Campaigns, How to Integrate Twitter into a TV Campaign, and How to Drive Website Traffic and Conversions.  Upon graduating, marketers will be able to use Twitter to reach goals ranging anywhere from boosting sales to generating brand awareness.  Dealerships, take advantage of the many ways you can put Twitter to work to help you engage your consumer audience.  This platform offers a great opportunity for you to interact with your existing customers, as well as expand your audience, by contributing relevant, timely content.

Facebook Audience Optimization for Publishers

Facebook introduced a new tool to help publishers reach and engage their audiences, as well as gain a greater understanding of their interests.  The new Audience Optimization tool helps publishers improve their posts by gaining a better understanding of who is most likely to interact and engage with them, increasing engagement both at the Page and post levels.  Audience Optimization includes a preferred audience feature, which gives publishers the ability to add tags to their content in order to help Facebook users connect with the topics that are most engaging to them.  Additionally, audience restrictions give publishers the capability of limiting the visibility of posts by selecting audiences that may not find posts appealing or engaging.  An Audience Insights feature offers publishers visibility to their content performance, helping them tailor their posts and understand what specific audiences may be looking for.  Dealerships with a presence on Facebook can look forward to utilizing the Audience Optimization tool to better target consumers and spark conversations that are relevant and interesting to specific shopper groups.  Grab consumer attention by posting content that speaks directly to their areas of interest.

New Features for Facebook Lead Ads

Aimed at helping businesses get even more from their ads, Facebook recently announced its newest features for lead ads, which include context cards and offering availability of ads in the carousel format on desktop or mobile.  Businesses have already reported receiving more high quality leads since Facebook launched lead ads, and with the newest features, businesses can now give people even more information regarding what they’re signing up for—before they submit their lead—making them more likely to sign up.  Context cards are optional and pop up after a lead ad is clicked, giving the business an opportunity to offer more details about what they’re asking consumers to sign up for.  Additionally, with Facebook offering lead ad availability on both desktop and mobile, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to connect with consumers on the device of their choice.  Dealerships, continue to drive brand awareness by interacting with your Facebook audience and offering quality content that drives users to your website.  Use ads to book test drives, service, and even invite shoppers to special events.

Improvements to Facebook Mentions App for iOS

Facebook has improved its Mentions app for iOS, enhancing how users both broadcast and save video after going live.  The newest improvements allow users to record live video by holding their phones in either landscape or portrait mode, with the live video still appearing in square aspect ratio.  Additionally, Facebook has added the capability for users to save finished live videos to Camera Roll, and a high-quality video upload option is available for posts.  It’s also now easier to filter in the Mentions app, either by topic or by source, simply by using the dropdown menu at the top of the Mentions feed.  Users also now have the ability to reply to private message sent to their Pages or profiles from within the Mentions app, simply by visiting the Notifications tab and tapping the Messaging icon.  While Facebook Mentions is directed toward public figures and their followers, likes, and updates, it’s important to you because you’re able to stay up to date with trending stories that your followers might find interesting.  Dealerships, remember to stay current with what’s happening when it comes to trending topics, and be ready to share and discuss the things your followers may be interested in.

Tip of the Week – Shoppers Gravitate to Video

Video continues to grow as a content strategy, and that’s because businesses everywhere recognize the fact that consumers gravitate toward it.  Shoppers today are in a hurry, overwhelmed by products in the marketplace, and accustomed to quick sensory feedback from the many screens they access each day.  Many traditional marketing tactics have gone by the wayside, to be replaced by conveniently-received information in the form of images and videos.  In fact, 50% of all mobile traffic can now be attributed to online video.  Additionally, 65% of viewers who start watching a video will watch over 75% of that video, giving businesses ample time to convey important messages to potential buyers.

The fun thing about video is that there are a LOT of options.  It’s not boring, and no post ever has to be like a previous post.  There is room for creativity, and this is great news for your dealership.  The industry is crowded, and whenever you can do something to stand out from the crowd, you’ll be making gains toward building your customer base and earning loyal shoppers.

Below are 10 fun ideas for video that can give your dealership the boost it needs to stand out on social media:

  1. Interview experts.  Trade shows are a perfect place to run into experts in your industry, but don’t overlook your in-house experts either.  If you have someone who is great at explaining the financing process and simplifying it, invite him or her to give a brief run-down on video.  Leverage your in-house specialists and ask them for short interviews that highlight their areas of expertise.
  2. Put yourself in the hot seat.  (Or any expert at your dealership, for that matter.)  Host a Q&A for your followers at a specific time, and answer questions regarding vehicles, service, shop hours, or financing.
  3. Go behind the scenes.  Uncover the mysteries of the finance manager’s office or follow one of your mechanics under the hood of a car for a live, up-close look at what’s happening at your dealership.
  4. Share news and updates.  Have exciting things happening at your dealership, like construction, expansion, extended hours?  Share the big news via video, and your fans will line up to watch.
  5. Demonstrate what to do.  Consider giving how-to demonstrations that teach or inform.  What about how to check your oil, how to check tire pressure, or how to change a tire?  By sharing valuable information with consumers, you’re positioning yourself as a trusted source for information.
  6. Share the latest makes and models.  Rolling a shiny new model onto the showroom floor?  Catch it on video and highlight some of its best features.  Shoppers will head for your dealership to see what all the hype is about.
  7. Recap your best posts.  If you have a blog post or social post that’s received good feedback or gotten a lot of traction, try recapping it in video format to create even more interest.
  8. Highlight an event at your dealership.  If you hold fundraisers or community events at your dealership, sharing them via video is a great way to get the word out that you are active in the community and engaged with your consumers.  Interact with attendees and get their input on video to share with followers.
  9. Share an opinion.  Do you have an opinion that could help consumers?  For example, what’s your viewpoint on synthetic oil?  When you can objectively share insights and give followers information to help them make decisions, you’ll stand out as a thought leader in the industry.
  10. Offer tips and tricks.  Give consumers a quick rundown of your favorite tips and tricks for a selected topic.  For example, if it’s springtime, consider a short video listing tips and tricks for the best driving vacation.  When you offer useful advice in a quick, fun format, consumers will gravitate toward your content.

Consumers have spoken, and however you decide to leverage video at your dealership, it’s a format that’s here to stay.  Video content will continue to be an integral tool in helping businesses connect, and when your dealership takes advantage of the many ways to create compelling visual content, you’ll see your audience respond with enthusiasm.  Video speaks to shoppers who are in a hurry and consumers who are seeking answers, and it offers a way for you to reach out creatively and form a connection with your audience.

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