How to promote your car dealership with social media


Social media can be much more than just an online marketplace for your vehicles. It allows you to converse with your customers and showcase your company in creative, engaging ways.

Read on for our guide to accelerating your business with social media, and protecting it with motor trade insurance.

Know your channels and audiences

If you’re pushed for time and inspiration, there are platforms you can use that will share the same posts across all your social media channels like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, among others.

But ideally, you should be tailoring your message to suit different platforms and the people who are most likely to use them.

Instagram is all about photos, and is where you’ll reach Millennials (those born in the early 1980s) and Generation Z (those born in the mid-late 1990s). How about posting photos of smaller models here, perhaps those that would be suitable as a new driver’s first car?

Facebook is the channel for speaking to older Baby Boomers and Generation X, so SUVs and other family cars could receive a lot of ‘likes’ here. 

Interact with your customers

Traditional marketing is a one-way street: it lets you talk about your goods and services to people, but doesn’t let them to talk to you.

The real beauty of social media is that it allows you to start a conversation with people, getting feedback on your offering and building a relationship with existing and potential customers.

So encourage comments on your posts, and be ready to answer questions. Be polite, but don’t be afraid to be humorous. The very best social media marketing will often show a more human side to your business than is possible with traditional marketing.

Competitions and promotions can also encourage interaction, and maybe win you some new trade.

By networking with relevant businesses, particularly on Twitter, you can keep abreast of current conversations and join in with your own view.

Be warned – running social media channels can be time consuming and the route to success is being consistent. Many businesses employ freelancers or agencies to do this work for them, often as part of a larger marketing strategy.

A hand holding a customer icon against a blue sky

Include customer testimonials

Social media is all about the human touch. So if you can show that real-life people have been pleased with the car they bought and the service you provided, that counts for a huge amount.

Ask your satisfied customers to leave reviews on Facebook, or even send you photos of their new vehicles in action.

If you get negative feedback, respond promptly and courteously. Ask them to contact you directly offline. You can disable or delete comments, but such actions risk making a bad impression.

Target the right people with advertising

Facebook allows you to take out adverts. Whereas traditional advertising can be somewhat scattergun, with Facebook you can pinpoint your target demographic and location more precisely.

So if you’ve got a promotion coming up, then social media is a cost-effective way of getting it in front of the people in your area who might be interested.
That could entice them to your forecourt, where you can offer them a test drive and hopefully make a sale.

Provide information

When buying a big-ticket item such as a car, most customers will carry out a fair amount of research. You want your social media sites to be part of their background reading.

So if you really want to drive business growth, then use your motoring expertise to write blogs for your website and even make videos for YouTube. Link to them from all your social media sites.

Provide links to external review sites and motoring magazines, too, so customers know you’re happy to give them a balanced view.

A car dealership with new cars lining the showroom

Tell a story

One of the beauties of social media is that it gives customers a glimpse behind your corporate façade into the workings of your dealership.
That humanises your operation, and makes you look like car salesmen that people can trust.

So don’t limit your social media posts to simple facts about the cars you have in stock. Talk a little about what makes your dealership tick.

That could be excitement about new models arriving, introductions to new members of staff, or celebrations to mark your dealership’s anniversaries.

Remember to include good photos – pictures really do say a thousand words, particularly on Instagram.


Highlight your good works

Of course, your focus is on the motor trade – it’s where your expertise lies. Ultimately, you want to sell cars.

But if your dealership does community engagement or charitable work, then make sure you showcase it on your social media.

Again, it’s all about giving a good impression of your organisation, and presenting you as trustworthy, community-minded people.

You should then be front of mind the next time someone in your neighbourhood wants to buy a car, so make sure you’ve got suitable motor trade insurance to cover public visits to your forecourt.

Keep it updated

Setting up social media sites is simple. Keeping them supplied with fresh and engaging content is another matter.

Set up a schedule a few months in advance. Think of promotions and competitions you could run, dates you might mark, and events you want to highlight. You don’t need to overload your followers with posts – just a couple a week is fine to get started.

Remember that posts grow old very quickly. If you’re running a major promotion, you’ll need to post about it several times, preferably thinking of slight twists each time.

It’s by no means easy, which is why many companies employ a social media manager on a permanent or freelance basis. But if you get your social media game right, you’ll help shift your business into a higher gear.

A mobile phone with the Facebook login screen on it next to scrabble tiles spelling out social media

Is your motor trade insurance up to date?

Running a dealership is a demanding job. That’s why it’s important to feel confident in your motor trade insurance policy.

Insurance Choice Commercial has been arranging low-cost, high-quality motor trade insurance for over 20 years. We can find policies tailored to your business requirements and budget.

Contact us today for a free quote.


Frequently asked questions


Should social media be used promote a car dealership?

Utilising social media as a promotional tool for a car dealership offers a multitude of advantages that can significantly enhance the dealership's market presence and customer engagement. In today’s digital age, the vast majority of consumers rely on online platforms to research and make purchasing decisions.

By leveraging social media, car dealerships can showcase their inventory, highlight special offers, and share customer testimonials to a broad audience. Moreover, social media allows for direct interaction with potential buyers, enabling dealerships to answer queries, address concerns, and build relationships in real-time. Therefore, incorporating social media into the marketing strategy of a car dealership is not only advisable but essential for staying competitive in the current market landscape.


What is the best social media platform for car dealerships?

The best social media platform for car dealerships is arguably Facebook. With its extensive user base and advanced targeting capabilities, Facebook allows dealerships to reach a broad and diverse audience. The platform's advertising tools enable precise social media strategy, audience segmentation, ensuring that promotional social media posts are seen by potential buyers most likely to convert.


How do you market a car dealership?

Marketing a car dealership requires a strategic blend of traditional and digital approaches to effectively reach potential customers. Traditional methods, including local events, print advertisements, and partnerships with local businesses, remain valuable for establishing a community presence. Offering exceptional customer service, showcasing testimonials, and providing special promotions or financing options can further attract and retain clientele.


How can a car dealership find their target audience on social media?

A car dealers can find their target audience on social media by leveraging data analytics and targeted advertising. By analysing user demographics, interests, and online behaviours, dealerships can tailor their content to resonate with potential buyers. Engaging content, such as virtual tours, customer testimonials, and promotional offers, can further attract and retain the audience. Additionally, monitoring social media interactions and feedback allows dealerships to refine their strategies and ensure they are effectively reaching their desired market.