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Using Social Media as a Promotional Tool

Autosphere » Tires » Using Social Media as a Promotional Tool
Anyone can comment on the quality of service received on social media, a practice that must be supervised by the tire centres and their partners. Photo ShutterStock

Social media management is nothing new. But for a tire centre with the right strategy, it can be a powerful marketing tool.

Consumers are shopping online. Whether they want to buy tires or book maintenance services for their vehicles, they will do their research on the Internet before making their choice.

In this context, social media and Google business pages are also popular sources of information for consumers, as they can measure their reaction to products or to the quality of service provided by the workshops they might contact.

Tire manufacturers and major distributors have long understood the importance of these platforms. This is the case, for example, of Dynamic Tire, which supplies the Canadian market with imported tires.

Jen Duong, the company’s marketing specialist, says that it’s vital for Dynamic Tire to have a strong online presence, as social media is becoming increasingly important even for business-to-business (B2B) relationships.

“We use LinkedIn to share industry news, present general educational content or our new products and also our promotions,” she explains.

Building the brand

Jen Duong, Marketing Specialist at Dynamic Tire, believes it is essential to be active on social media in order to create a community around its brands. Photo Dynamic Tire

For her, this content aims to build the credibility of brands and demonstrate their knowledge of the industry.

“We also use social media to capture questions and discussions about our products and services,” adds Duong. “We actively participate, answering questions, clarifying information and even taking these comments into account in our operations. By being proactive, we demonstrate transparency and a commitment to customer satisfaction.”

We also asked Duong if she had any advice for tire centre owners when it comes to managing the media. Her answers speak for themselves.

“I suggest they start small, if they’re not already active on these platforms. The important thing is to maintain a presence and constantly interact with their audiences. Social media can become a valuable tool for attracting new customers and developing loyalty.”

She goes on to stress the importance of choosing the right platforms. For example, for tire centres, Facebook and Instagram are popular for reaching customers, while she recommends using LinkedIn more for B2B relationships.

Having a strategy

“It’s essential to establish a clear strategy and set objectives to justify their presence on social media,” says Duong. “The content they post can be tailored to reach their targets, whether that’s raising brand awareness or adding value to the customer experience.”

It recommends establishing a dynamic content distribution calendar. You can plan a mix of educational or amusing content, news from the workshop backed up by beautiful photos, or testimonials from satisfied customers that humanize the company.

“Obviously, someone in the team has to oversee these platforms,” says the marketing specialist at Dynamic Tire. “We have to respond quickly to comments, messages and any mentions. This is an opportunity to encourage customers to share their reviews and testimonials. This engagement will build relationships and develop a sense of community.”

Finally, like any commercial operation, the results of social media visibility strategies need to be measured and qualified. “Tires centres need to analyse what works and what doesn’t and adjust their approach accordingly. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different delivery schedules and types of content,” she concludes.

A necessary presence

For the Association des spécialistes de pneu et mécanique du Québec (ASPMQ), social media is crucial for tire centres, offering extensive visibility, enhanced engagement and the creation of a dynamic online community. The right choice of platforms, based on an understanding of the target audience, guides an effective marketing strategy.

“Instagram is best for visual content, while Facebook is best for more complete and interactive messages, for example,” explains Floriane Dedieu, Communications Officer at ASPMQ.

In her opinion, it is essential to give priority to professional images and videos, and avoid limiting yourself to promotional content. Incorporating educational elements, such as practical tips, helps to capture attention in a more diverse way. “The integration of customer testimonials and the promotion of interaction make the content informative and engaging. The diversity of formats, combined with regular publications, creates a dynamic experience that enhances reputation and loyalty. Consistency of publications is essential, adapted to seasonal cycles and customer habits, maximizing relevance. The use of planning tools facilitates strategic implementation,” adds Dedieu.

Encouraging communication

Active interaction with customers is crucial, she adds, building trust and establishing a meaningful connection. Encouraging feedback, responding quickly to questions, using social media as a customer service tool, and highlighting positive testimonials create a vibrant online community.

“Finally, performance analysis, using dedicated tools, refines the strategy based on the data, ensuring an optimal social presence and a lasting connection with the public,” explains Dedieu.

Annie Germain, Director of Marketing and Customer Service for the Ratté Group, talks about her experience with social media.

The Ratté Group, under the Point S banner, has 11 tire and mechanical services outlets, as well as five dedicated HGV centres. Here, social media management is centralized and supervised, and forms part of a broad marketing strategy.

“We have two members of our team dedicated to managing social media and web advertising campaigns,” she explains. Since I joined the organization in 2018, we have made a major shift. We’ve enhanced our presence on an annual basis and fine-tuned the tone, topics covered and approaches to our publications and campaigns.”

Careful monitoring

Annie Germain of Groupe Ratté oversees the company’s social media activities. Photo Groupe Ratté

At Groupe Ratté, we monitor social media on a daily basis, with a web project manager responsible for receiving and responding to comments. But even more strategically, the company has put in place a communications strategy using social media and its blog to inform, entertain and present its customers with special offers.

“It’s an excellent showcase for our personality,” says Germain. “Point S is going to present a more corporate image, while we are working on our side to develop close relationships with our current and potential customers. The important thing is to set objectives and choose messages according to the channels. I always ask myself whether the content we offer on social media would be of interest to me. The content has to be relevant.”

Groupe Ratté’s marketing director understands that a tire and mechanical centre that engages with social media must have a strategy and be sure to respond to comments, whether positive or negative.

“It’s all about the approach. We’re not infallible and sometimes customers aren’t satisfied. I always advocate transparency. We will respond to the situation and visitors will see that we have worked to satisfy demand. With the approach we’ve decided to adopt, often the most virulent critics become our best ambassadors.”

Measuring results

Germain’s advice to workshops that want to use Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for their businesses is to surround themselves with people who know the mechanics of these platforms. Also, to have a game plan on the objectives to be achieved and the tools to measure the results.

“The web is very flexible,” she says. “You have to be able to evolve your messages to stay relevant and keep people interested.” Finally, she notes that a dynamic workshop on social media that knows how to showcase its services and its team stands out from the crowd in the eyes of both potential customers and workers interested in finding a stimulating professional environment.



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