Does your business come to mind almost immediately when consumers think about tires?
When it comes to marketing, everything you do will be coloured by the fact that yours is a needs-based business. People don’t tire-shop for pleasure because it overall isn’t exciting (except for a few enthusiasts, of course, but they don’t need your marketing efforts. They’re looking for you).
That makes Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) essential. If you’re Old Navy, for example, people who like to shop will come wandering past you in the mall, see something they like in the window, meander inside and spend money. The same is not true of your tire shop and its three-streets-behind-the-main-street location on the outskirts of an industrial park. A TOMA campaign must be consistent and ongoing so that when they do need new tires, they think of you first.
Don’t wear out your welcome
You may worry a campaign to keep your business top of mind will wear on your customers, and they’ll feel like they’re being spammed, but well curated content will help make sure that doesn’t happen.
A good rule of thumb is 80/20: keep your posting of coupons, rebates and the like to about 20 percent, and 80 percent of the time be posting educational, enjoyable and relatable content that will spark imagination and conversation. (Remember, too, that social media platforms’ algorithms mean followers likely won’t see all your posts anyway. According to research by LinkedIn, only about seven percent of your followers on Facebook see your posts.)
Done well, a top of mind oriented marketing plan can be cheap, quick, fun and best of all, effective.
The right platforms
Facebook and Twitter will form the core of your TOMA campaign. Other platforms may fit as well, depending on what you’re up to. For example, Snapchat is a great one to share customer appreciation events, and Instagram may suit you if you’ve got an artistic eye and like to take pictures.
It’s important to make sure you have someone in the shop who is dedicated to developing and maintaining your social media. It will take frequent posting, which means you’ll need to be forever on the hunt for, or in the process of, creating engaging, relevant content. You want to become more than a tire shop to your followers—you want to be a fun place to hang out.
Whether it’s cute dog memes or slick pics of the high-end performance cars that come into your shop, be genuine. Don’t get in the habit of posting dogs if you don’t love dogs. People are good at sniffing out any lack of authenticity. Also, you want to make sure you’re enjoying yourself. If your enthusiasm wanes, imagine how your followers will feel.
Start a dialogue
Your posts shouldn’t be one-sided. Good social media is a dialogue. Ask for opinions and encourage your followers to come up with captions. Get involved with community events that interest you and are complementary to the shop. Maybe there’s a local motorcycle club you’d like to check out, or the cruise nights at the local diner. Try snapping pics of the interesting cars you spot on your evening walk. People are more likely to follow your business when they connect on a personal level.
Get to work on your own Top of Mind Awareness Campaign and you’ll soon see that what’s fun and engaging for your followers can be equally enjoyable for you.