Visual Marketing

6 Smart Social Media Lessons for Small Business from a Car Dealer

By July 15, 2016 No Comments

Do you want to learn some instantly actionable, smart social media lessons for small business?

In this post, I share some super simple strategies that a car dealer in Portland is using to drive engagement and traffic on social media.

You can use these strategies in your business too!

6 Smart Social Media Lessons for Small Business from a Car DealerImage by Shutterstock

Last year, I received a thank you for following a Twitter account on Twitter.  I get many of these every day but this one really stuck out and caught my attention.

The reply was from one of the team members at a Lexus Dealership in Portland, USA.

This was the reply from Nicole at Kuni Lexus of Portland:

In fact, personalised video messages on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram are pretty rare. Which is why I wanted to write this post.

I noticed Nicole and her message amongst a sea of tweets because it really stood out as a great example of engagement.

So with that, let’s jump into the 3 Social Media Lessons for Small Business from this Lexus Dealership – things they are doing very well that you can implement in your own business.  

5 Smart Social Media Lessons for Small Business from Kuni Lexus of Portland

1  Be Human and Be Yourself

The last thing I expected from a car dealer was a personalised video message that was authentic, friendly and warm.  

Wouldn’t you like to buy a car from Nicole?  Now, Nicole may not be the actual car dealer, as she might have a different role in the business….but she sure does give the dealership a good name!

And of course I went surfing on their Twitter feed after receiving this to see that it was not only Nicole that did the shout outs – other team members did too!

Which brings me to No 2:

2  Develop a Culture of Being Social

Lexus of Portland obviously have a culture of being social in that they involve their entire team. Don’t wait to “do” social. Involve your team from the Outset.

It takes just a few minutes to grab a smart phone, film a short video and upload it.  A team that knows they can ALL do this, is a team that actually does it.  

Here’s another thankyou from one of the team members to “Brian”. They even comment about the Brian’s article on Forbes about Content Marketing!

Even the General Manager takes the time out of his busy day to send a thank you tweet to a local restaurant who followed (one that he loves to eat at!)

Check out more of these at their hashtag #KuniShoutOut.  Yes, they have their own Shout Out Hashtag. That’s commitment to being social!  

Get to know your team and what their strengths are – if someone loves video then encourage them to make short videos – either thank you’s like this one or perhaps short training or tip videos, or answering customer questions.

Maybe someone else is an Instagram ninja – encourage them to post on the Instagram account. Be creative with the talents you have!

3  Don’t Just Tweet about Your Cars

If you look a little closer you will see that Lexus of Portland’s Twitter account is about more than just cars.

Yes… there are cars, lots of Sexy Lexus-y cars. You can see them all right here.

But there are also loads of posts about life in Portland and in Oregon.  From food festivals to ways to relax and revive to activities in the local area… this account is not just about cars.

It’s about YOU.  Whether it’s a recipe you might like:

Or what about a little backpacking in Oregon State:

Lexus of Portland is not just establishing themselves as a source of great cars. They are establishing themselves as a source for Portland and the State of Oregon.  

Take note of their Social Media Lessons for Small Business – and apply them to your own business.  What can you tweet about that helps your ideal customer in some way (that might not be about your product or service).  

4  Showcase Your Team

Their team features heavily on the Twitter feed too – whether it’s an employee BBQ or some other “behind the scenes” activity: 

Or introducing a car salesperson:

Wouldn’t you rather buy from a company that you feel you “know”.  Kuni Lexus of Portland does this well!

5  Cross Promote with Class

There’s one thing that drivers me BONKERS on Twitter – Auto Direct Messages, and even worse, the idea of sending an Auto DM and then telling me that I should come and follow someone over on Facebook or LinkedIn.  I just met them!

I love that these guys don’t do that. They sent the initial video messages as a tweet and it’s obviously not automated.  Then we had a discussion that went like this:

Kuni Lexus of Portland Twitter Post

Note how they said they pride themselves on being socially relevant?  Boom!

… and then… and only then after some engagement happened, did they let me know they were on Instagram too!

Nice move:

Cross Promote Your Social Media Platforms: 5 Smart Social Media Lessons for Small Business from a Car DealerPick the right time to cross promote your social media platforms

And if you check out their Instagram account you will notice that, again, it is not all about cars.

Their profile states that they post about community events, outdoor events and employee highlights!

Kuni Lexus of Portland on Instagram: 5 Smart Social Media Lessons for Small Business from a Car DealerA car dealer on Instagram? You Betcha!

6  Start Blogging…

If you know my blog by now you will know I am a HUGE fan of blogging to grow your business.   In fact it’s one of my biggest social media lessons for small business:  post regulalry on yoru website on a blog.

So I tentatively looked up their website hoping there would be a blog, but suspecting there wouldn’t be – I don’t see many small businesses do this at all, let alone a car dealership… but guess what?

Blog!  You can check it out here.

They post about their cars, road trips, local designers and even Portland Beer!

Kuni Lexus of Portland Blog - 5 Smart Social Media Lessons for Small Business from a Car DealerA small business blog will drive traffic to your site

A small business blog not only helps your ideal audience to know more about your products and services (yes, they blog about cars too) but can establish you as an expert authority in your local area.

And Google loves helpful, easy to read, useful content.  In fact, small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads!

Over to You

Do you know of a small business that has embraced social media for positive results, like Kuni Lexus of Portland?  

I’d love to hear who they are – what social media lessons from small business can you share? Comment below!

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Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, the Business Category Winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition. Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more reach, referrals and results in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online, Social Media Examiner and Social Fresh, and has been featured in Forbes, NBC and Yahoo.

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