In the past few years, Instagram has quickly grown to be one of the hottest apps on the market and currently has over 600 million monthly users. Not only did it rise to fame quickly, but it is still growing at an extremely high rate. As depicted in the chart below, Instagram has the highest percentage of month-to-month audience growth of any popular social media channel on the web.
In case you’re new to Instagram, it is the Polaroid picture of the future. And yes, there is more to it than just posting pictures of your food. Instagram is a photo-sharing app that recently added features for small businesses to visually represent their company to potential customers. Snap a fun picture of your business, add a special effect filter, write a caption and you’re done! Instagram is a free and easy tool that your auto shop needs to be using. (Trust us!)
Instagram recently announced that it has more than 1 million monthly advertisers, up five times from a year ago. When it comes to small businesses, Instagram has also become a crucial addition to marketing strategy. There are now 8 million business profiles on the app, up about five times since September. When you combine the number of Instagram’s users with its free, easy-to-use business tools, Instagram is an obvious choice.
Picture source: Daze Info
A study conducted by ScienceDaily found that 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35, and therefore fall into the “millennial” generation. We know you’re probably wondering “why do I need to market my auto repair shop to millennials? They aren't my normal customer demographic.” We totally understand your thinking, but we want to shed some light on just how valuable your millennial customers are and how important they are going to be to your business within the next few years.
A University of North Carolina Business School study projected that “by 2020 nearly half (46 percent) of all U.S. workers will be millennials. By comparison, the generation before them, Generation X, represents only 16 percent of today’s workforce.” As these millennials are entering the workforce, they are subject to the world of commuting, which is resulting in a higher number of millennial drivers. To prove this thought, millennials were projected to account for 30 percent of the new vehicle sales in the U.S., second to the Baby Boomer generation.
That means that in just a few years, the majority of the people who are going to be paying for your services will be millennials. Your shop should start marketing to and developing relationships with them now so that when they’re the breadwinner of their family they’ll already have your auto shop in mind whenever they need a tune up.
How do I use Instagram for my Auto Shop?
About 80 percent of all Instagram users follow a business on Instagram, which provides many businesses with an excellent opportunity to directly interact with their customers. Instagram offers the option to purchase ads that will be placed on viewer’s feeds across Instagram, but there’s also tons of ways to promote your auto shop using Instagram at no cost. We’ve listed three tips for ways that you can use Instagram photos to better your business.
Promote Deals at Your Shop
Posting about any specials your shop has is a great way to let the public know about the deals you’re currently running. This will not only give customers a way to know how to save money on their auto repairs when coming to your shop, but it will also make customers think that you have their best interest in mind. By showcasing the deals that your shop is running, you’re giving your customers a chance to save money, which they will appreciate immensely. You could also consider running special Instagram promotions, to encourage your customers to follow your shop’s account in order to receive the discount and get future promotions.
Use Hashtags to Stay in the Conversation
Just like Twitter, you can help extend the reach of your auto shop by using relevant hashtags in your Instagram photo’s captions. Users can search certain hashtags and the results page will be comprised of any photo that includes that specific hashtag in their caption. By using relevant hashtags like #autoshop or #carrepair, users will be able to find your shop’s post whether or not they follow your auto shop’s account. You can also post about current pop culture trends and use popular hashtags to gain more exposure to people who aren't necessarily searching for your specific industry.
Take Viewers Behind the Scene and Introduce Your Staff
There’s no better way to create a positive image of your shop than showing your customers who will actually be working on their cars. Doing staff member shoutouts or posting “a day in the life” pictures make your customers feel like they really know your shop and the people who work there. Not only is this effective, but it's also very easy to do. Simply post a picture every few days of your team at work or one of your staff with a blurb about why they like working at your shop and you’ll quickly create a good rapport with your followers.
We hope our beginner tips have helped shed some light on how you can use Instagram to promote your auto shop. For more advanced Instagram tips, subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss future posts!
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