What products and services come to your mind when you hear social media promotion? An online movie-watching portal? A restaurant service? A popular soap? Basically, any brand that can be associated with stunning imagery and a story to tell. What about social media promotion for a car wash?
You’re probably chuckling at the idea, wondering how something as unglamorous as a car wash can be promoted successfully on social media. The truth is social media is not just about flashy images and breaking retweet records with viral tweets. It is more about engagement with your customers, offering customer service and finding new customers — which is something any and every product and service can use social media for. Even if your customers are offline, they are asking for suggestions and leaving feedback for your brand online, and that is where you need to be.
It is not merely enough to have a presence on social media, however. You also need to have a definite strategy for engaging your followers and actually getting them to your car wash. This article tells you in detail, how to use social media to market a car wash, covering the five most popular social networks.
How to Use Facebook to Market a Car Wash
Blane Russell, president of Social Eyes Marketing, calls Facebook “the 800-pound gorilla” and insists car wash companies use it in a big way. Facebook appeals to a large demographic, and so does your car wash, so using Facebook helps you reach customers of all ages.
However, simply putting up a Facebook page and expecting customers to throng your car wash won’t do you any good. You need a definitive strategy for marketing on Facebook and seeing tangible results.
Here’s a complete rundown of how can best use Facebook to promote your car wash:
Set up a Memorable Company Page
A company page on Facebook is similar to a personal Facebook profile, except this one is exclusively for companies to share updates with their fans. Members from the Facebook community like the page in order to be notified of their favorite brands’ activities.
When setting up your Facebook page, be sure to fill in all the details accurately. Write a snappy description, put up an appealing cover photo and mention where you’re based. You can set your car wash business’ logo as the primary photo of your page.
Inform Your Customers About Developments
While Facebook allows you to find new customers, it also helps you build a stronger relationship with your current ones. This means you should post regular updates about latest developments in your services, upgrades and special offers. Create some posts exclusively with your current customers in mind to make sure they keep coming back.
What’s worse than not having a Facebook page? Having one and not keeping it updated!
Don’t abandon your Facebook page at any point. It reflects badly on your brand image and indicates that you aren’t serious about marketing your business. Be sure to strike a balance with your posting schedule. Too much will count as spamming, and too little will cause fans to lose interest. You want to post just enough so you’re on top of a user’s mind when they think of getting a car wash. Post regularly and you’re sure to achieve this goal!
Don’t Sell Too Much
One big mistake companies on Facebook make is posting little other than sales pitches. Nothing can be more annoying to a user than seeing post after post talking about how great your car wash services are. Think of social media as a tool for building relationships rather than simply promoting your business.
Keep it interesting for your followers by posting interesting content your potential customers would also find useful. Don’t just think of them as customers of your car wash — try to think of other relevant content they might be interested in and post that as well. Also, infuse some humor in your posts to keep users entertained. Lastly, you can also start a conversation with your followers by asking questions such as, “What features do you wish your car wash service had?” or “Which is your dream car and why?”
Promote Your Facebook Page Offline
You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?” The short answer is yes, but in the initial stages, in order to grow your following, you need your current customers to like and share your Facebook page. Put signs that say, “Like us on Facebook” in your store and on all other marketing materials.
Encourage customers to leave you a review on the platform. These reviews will encourage other customers to choose your services. Remember, your current customers are your best advocates on Facebook, so be sure to keep them informed of your latest updates. If you’re hosting a contest, let them in on it first, and in turn, they’ll promote it to their friends and family.
Host a Giveaway
This one’s a no-brainer and one of the best ways to get new customers for your business. QwikWash America! recommends hosting a free car wash campaign on Facebook that converted well for them. It not only got them new customers, but it also led to recommendations to friends and family.
Try to get as creative as possible with Facebook giveaways. Some ideas include hosting image contests such as before-and-after images of cars, showing results of the car wash. You can also play with upcoming holidays and events and host contests related to them. Take a cue from Splash Car Wash, which has over 8,500 fans on Facebook. They regularly host giveaways such as holiday gift certificates, free car washes for veterans and golden tickets for customers.
Another page to look at is Car Wash Express, with over 3,500 fans. They get creative with their Fast Pass Friday Giveaway and ask users to name their favorite Christmas movie. The idea is simple, fun and requires almost no effort to participate. This is how you want your Facebook giveaways to be — unique and easy to participate in with an element of fun.
Use Visual Content
More and more marketers are veering towards visual content, and for good reason. Try not stuffing your Facebook page with long, wordy posts and let your images do the talking. Visuals are eye-catching and get shared more often.
There’s a plethora of visual content a car wash business can create. You can create an infographic listing the many benefits of choosing your car wash service or post images of your locations. You can also use videos to tell your brand’s story by showcasing your journey, your services, customer testimonials and more. There are various tools such as Canva, Animoto, Promo and Videoshop that make it a breeze to create stunning visual content.
Promote Your Posts
It’s no secret that organic reach on Facebook has declined, so you might want to invest in paid promotions for gaining new customers. Cost of promoted posts on Facebook is low, and you are fully in control of who your campaign gets promoted to. All you have to do is write up your ad, set a budget for your campaign and push your ads to users who don’t follow your car wash business. By clicking on your post, users are taken to your website or a landing page.
There are other tools you can use, such as creating coupons on Facebook and promoting to new customers. Be sure to target your ads carefully, as Facebook has elaborate options for promoting your ad to just your potential customers. It is best to invest in ads that lead users to your website or give them coupons for your business, as opposed to increasing your Facebook likes alone.
How to Use Twitter to Market a Car Wash
Twitter is a great platform for building customers’ relationships, answering their queries and making contact with influencers in an industry. As opposed to other social media platforms, Twitter is a great way to interact with your car wash customers and start conversations with them.
Here’s a complete guide to using Twitter to promote your car wash on Twitter:
Set up an Appealing Twitter Profile
While completing your Twitter profile seems like an obvious first step, you’d be surprised at how many businesses falter at this stage. Keep your Twitter name or handle, as they call it, the same as your car wash business’ name so users can easily identify it. Next, set your business logo as your Twitter profile photo and a picture of your car wash location as your cover photo.
Write up a great Twitter bio for your business. Remember, you have few words, so make each of them count. List as briefly as possible your best services, your USP and your locations. Make use of hashtags such as #carwash and #autodetailing so people looking for these services can easily find you. Also, be sure to put in the location of your business so local customers can easily find you on Twitter.
Share Useful Tips and Information
The key to cut through the noise on Twitter is to offer useful information and content to customers. Simply sending out “Buy Me” tweets won’t do the trick. Informational blog posts, infographics and links to other useful resources for car lovers are some things you can share on Twitter to keep your followers engaged.
Develop Relationships With Influencers
Here’s why influencers matter: In a survey conducted by Twitter, 54% of users stated that when they see a brand mentioned in tweets, they take actions such as visiting their website, searching for them online and considering purchasing the brand.
If you want your Twitter engagement to rise in a big way, you need influencers talking about you rather than you simply sharing your own content. Cultivate relationships with influencers by retweeting them, leaving insightful comments on their tweets and liking their content. Be sure not to spam them, though, or overdo this strategy. Pick three or four influencers in the auto and auto detailing industry and focus on them alone.
Use Hashtags Wisely
Hashtags can be thought of as keywords that help users find tweets about a particular topic. Take a look at some of the most popular car wash brands on the platform and figure out which hashtags resonate with your audience. Think of the phrases your customers are likely to use while finding car wash services and include hashtags in your tweets accordingly.
Be careful not to stuff your tweets with hashtags, though — too many of them will put off your audience. Any more than two hashtags in a tweet will reduce your engagement on Twitter.
Offer Customer Support and Get Feedback
Twitter is the best tool to offer customer support to customers. Consumers frequently use Twitter to ask companies for information about their product. They also use the platform to share feedback about the product, both good and bad. Thus, this gives you an opportunity to jump into conversations and solve customers’ problems.
In fact, 77% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand if they’ve had a personalized customer service interaction on the platform. Be prompt and personal with your Twitter interactions and make customers feel like your car wash truly cares.
Track All Twitter Conversations About Your Brand
One of the main reasons brands use Twitter is to monitor conversations about them and their competition on the platform. This is important as it helps you garner feedback, know what people are saying about other companies and which brands are currently ruling the roost.
There are various tools for listening to conversations on Twitter such as Mention, Hootsuite and Brandwatch. Implement Twitter listening carefully and get useful customer feedback.
Host Contests and Giveaways
Contests are always a good way for a brand to increase its engagement and find new customers. Think of offers your audience would really find interesting, such as a free full-service car detail or free fabric protection, and give them an incentive to retweet your offer. If it’s a truly exciting offer, you’ll get many retweets, and a large number of new audiences will see your tweets!
Post Images and GIFs
Tweets with images get 18% more clicks, 89% more likes and 150% more retweets. There are various ways you can incorporate images in your tweets such as infographics, customer testimonials, quotes from your blog content, images of your car wash services and before-and-after pictures of serviced vehicles.
Want to take your visual content to the next level? Use GIFs that entertain and amuse your audience.
Promote Your Tweets
Promoted users can be used by businesses to reach new users or increase levels of engagement from their current audience. Promoted tweets are generally seen in search results, in a user’s timeline and on user profiles.
They are best used when you want to drive a particular action such as participating in sales and giveaways or driving engagement with your content such as blog posts. As a car wash service, you can use Twitter to drive new customers by promoting your sales and coupons on Twitter.
How to Use Pinterest to Market a Car Wash
Pinterest is a platform to save your favorite things on the internet called pins and arrange them into collections called boards. The platform has more than 100 million monthly active users and is a great way to bring more traffic to your site.
Here’s all you need to know about using Pinterest to market your car wash:
Set up a Good Pinterest Profile
You can set up a business account on Pinterest that has access to features such as analytics. Write up a description for your business, upload a profile photo and mention your location. You can create your own boards on Pinterest by filling out a name, category and description. Fill in these fields properly so it’s easy for people to find your board.
Next, add pins to your boards. You can either post your own content or repin other people’s post. To add your own content, enter a URL from the web or select from your computer.
Publish Relevant Content With Your Images
This one’s super crucial so as not to disappoint audiences that like your pins. When posting images of cars or fun facts, link them to relevant sources or landing pages that are specifically designed for them. Pinterest allows you to monitor how many times your content has been pinned and repinned on Pinterest, so you know its reach.
Come up With Unique Image Ideas
While Pinterest is for sharing links, it’s the images that catch users’ attention. Simply bombarding users with images of cars alone won’t do the trick. A successful pin must inspire users and be useful to them — only then will they repin it.
Think of what might interest your car wash audience. They may be interested in pictures of classic cars, movies with cars as major elements or cool facts about their favorite vehicles. Think outside the box and post images that catch the eye.
Simply offering a free car wash might not cut it on Pinterest. You need to get creative with your contests and offers. Consider a special lady’s giveaway on Pinterest, as 85% of the platform’s users are females. You can offer them full-service car detailing and interior cleaning as a prize.
How to Use Instagram to Market a Car Wash
While Instagram is a relatively new platform compared to Facebook and Twitter, it is quickly growing in popularity and is a platform worth investing in. Instagram allows you to post images and videos, and they are then seen by people who follow you. It’s easy to use to generate buzz about your car wash.
Here is how you can leverage Instagram to promote your car wash business:
Connect Instagram and Facebook
You can connect your Instagram account to Facebook so updates you share on the latter are automatically shared on the former. As a new Instagram user, this is a great way to build your audience on the platform if you already enjoy a large Facebook following.
Integrate Instagram With Other Platforms
Since Instagram is only for pictures and videos, it is important to integrate your Instagram strategy with other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, you can use Facebook and Twitter to promote an event and then post pictures of that event on Instagram. This way you’re in touch with your audiences on all three platforms.
Make Use of Popular Hashtags
Similar to Twitter, hashtags on Instagram help users find particular topics and products on Instagram. There various ways you can put them to use. Use witty hashtags such as #dirtiestcarever or #beforeandafterwash to go with your pictures. Hashtags are also helpful when you run contests on Instagram.
Like other social media platforms, contests are a popular way of reaching new followers on Instagram. Since Instagram is picture only, you can get creative with your contests, such as asking users to share a picture of the dirtiest car they’ve seen or their favorite car.
You can also ask them to tag their friends and dedicate specific hashtags for the contest. You can repost their pictures to your account and showcase contest winners.
How to Use LinkedIn to Market a Car Wash
While the other platforms mentioned in this article are good for directly interacting with your customers, LinkedIn is a platform for making contact with your potential business partners and employees. If you’re looking to collaborate with other car wash businesses or establish strategic partnerships, LinkedIn is the way to go.
Here is a detailed look at how you can use LinkedIn to promote your car wash:
Set up a Robust LinkedIn Profile
There are two pages you can set up on LinkedIn — a personal profile and a company page. Your personal profile allows you to share your professional credentials and achievements. Think of it as a virtual resume. It will be handy for establishing personal relationships on LinkedIn.
A company page, on the other hand, allows you to share updates about your car wash. Share your company developments and let your followers know about the milestones you achieve.
Ask for Recommendations
Word of mouth is still the most popular way of instilling confidence in your brand, and thus it’s important not to shy away from asking for recommendations. Recommendations on LinkedIn show prospective business associates that you are trustworthy and suitable to do business with.
Send Direct Messages
While the basic version of LinkedIn is free, there is also a premium account that lets you send a direct message to anyone on the platform. This is a good opportunity for you to establish contact with prospective business partners.
Think of companies that may have a large fleet of cars in need of car wash services and maintenance. The best part about LinkedIn is it is meant for businesses, and you can get to the point easily with a direct message.
While this article discusses in detail how to use social media to promote a car wash, it is best to select three social networks that work well for your business and focus all your efforts on them. Social media requires time and effort to see tangible results, and it’s important to keep at it for a while before expecting any results.
Post consistently, engage honestly and let those retweets, favorites and car wash requests pour in!