Let’s address something right off the top: the whole “there’s no ROI on Facebook'' argument. It’s a common argument when determining how much time and resources to pour into social media.
But according to Jennifer Filzen? That’s simply not true.
“[Customers] see the post and go ‘wow’, they think about it, and a couple days later, they can’t remember where they saw the ad, so they Google it,” she says. “The sales conversion rate was from Google, not Facebook, in that case, but it’s unfair to say Facebook doesn’t do a good job.”
It’s the community building arm, she argues, and anyway, it’s short-sighted to look at marketing as purely tangible ROI.
“There’s tangible ROI and intangible ROI. They forget the warm fuzzies and the feelgoods are the intangibles,” says Filzen, an author and the president of Rock Star Marketing. “How do you track that? Before you vilify, ask them where they found you. Close the loop. You’ll be surprised by what you find.”
Has Filzen convinced you yet? We hope so, because read on for the six keys to mastering social media language.
1) Build community around your brand.
Above all else, doing the above is your goal. An audience is obviously the first step, Filzen says, but it doesn’t become a community until they evolve from just receiving the message to actually engaging with it. The real community building is when you’re having conversations with them and anything you can do to put them into conversation, is going to be a win. Something as simple as, “At this quick lube, we love working on this type of car. When was the first time you owned this type of car and what color was it?”
“Classic cars pluck at the heart strings,” Filzen says. “It’s a very easy go-to.”
2) Move away from “buy from me.”
The issue with a constant “buy from me” approach is that it’s terribly obvious to today’s conscious consumers. There are different types of marketing and advertising where that’s naturally the best approach, but the whole point of social media is engagement and conversation. If you’re wondering why you don’t see an ROI from social media, that’s probably why, Filzen says.
“They’re just receiving until they start making commentary,” she says. “They share it, write about it, etc. The real community building is when you’re having conversations with them.”
3) Welcome customers into the family.
Don’t think of social media as just a siloed part of your marketing; it can augment other efforts, as well, Filzen says. For example, there’s no better time than now to host a fundraiser or in-person event—”People miss hugs,” Filzen says—and you can use social media to promote that community-building event.
“This is a great opportunity for any shop—minor services, major services—to connect with your community,” she says. “Especially for summer and fall: snow cones, ice cream, hot dogs, back to school. Even something as simple as a canned food drive or ‘bring a picture of your most recent road trip’ contest.”
The point is that combining efforts is a win-win; you’re able to promote another marketing effort, and create genuinely community-building social media content.
4) Make your clients raving fans.
“If you want to dominate your market, you want to show your community how much you love them,” Filzen says. “It’s not just beating someone at the game.”
To do that, you need to have the right attitude and she believes that’s a “I want to serve the world” attitude. And that’s not just on social media; the posts have to match the in-person experience, too.
“Build rapport. It’s super critical,” she says. “People say they don’t have time, but if you take that extra minute to be personal and connect, the customer will be a thrilled, raving fan.”
Be honest and take a genuine look at your in-person experience: Are there bad attitudes? Can your front counter people be dismissive? If so, it must be eradicated. If a customer sees on social media how much you promote a friendly atmosphere and then comes in to find it’s the opposite, well, you just lost a potentially lifelong customer, Filzen says.
5) Be genuinely authentic.
One of the most common refrains about dominating social media is conveying authenticity. But there’s a catch, Filzen says; it has to be genuine.
“If you’re at the zoo, can you tell the penguins apart? No way!” she says. “To anyone cruising through social media, you look like a darn penguin. That’s why it’s so important to show your culture.”
Figure out your super powers, she says, and lean into that. Customer testimonials, for example, are a great way to convey that via a quick video.
What makes you different? Why are you the quick lube a customer should pull up to, and not one down the street? An easy place to start is your company’s “why.”
“What is it, deep down, that gets you out of bed every day?” Filzen says. “Ask the owner what that ‘why’ is. Knowing what you stand for is what’s going to help you look different.”
6) Be persistent.
Sounds obvious, right? It’s all too common to see quick lube operators’ Facebook pages fall off, and it does come with a price, Filzen says.
“You’ll fall off the radar,” she says. “Consistent persistence is what you need. It’s like brushing your teeth––you have to do it.”
To customers, if they see a shop posting once per year or it’s hot and heavy for a few months and then dormant, they won’t notice you. And Filzen means that literally; the social media algorithms quite literally will not put you front and center.
She acknowledges that it can be tough if there’s no one in charge of social media, or if it’s not your forte, but she argues that someone on your team more than likely loves YouTube, social media, or talking to customers. Use that person and leverage their interest to create a social media page that someone is updating with enthusiasm.