6 Cost-effective Social Media Marketing Tips for Auto Shops

August 2, 2022
Advice, Automotive

The key to a successful marketing campaign is to promote your business wherever your ideal customers spend their time. In 2022, it’s all about social media.

There are currently 4.89 billion active social media users around the globe, which is more than half of the world’s population! While you might not be interested in fixing cars in another country, that incredible number of users means customers in your area are likely using social media. For shops on a budget, here are six cost-effective social media marketing strategies for car mechanics.

1. Post high-quality pictures of your high-quality work

Social media is all about visual content. Text alone isn’t enough to capture attention on social media — especially if you use visual-centric platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Luckily, it’s easy (and inexpensive) to snap a few pictures or videos around the shop and upload them to your social media platforms.

There’s a lot of content out there, so when you take pictures and videos, make sure they’re high-quality. There are tons of free editing apps where you can brush up your photos or add filters to make them look like they were taken by a pro.

Social media is also meant to be engaging, so think about what kind of photos you want to capture. Many people who follow car shops like to see unique or creative builds, modifications, or just funny mechanic situations. Show off how you and your team have fun at work, or post a few pictures of that wild custom build or colorful paint job you’ve been working on.

2. Share user-generated content

The term “cost-effective” usually just refers to money. But as any car mechanic knows, time and effort are considered as much of a cost as any dollar figure. So when it comes to cost-effective social media strategies, sharing user-generated content is about as good as it gets.

When you do a good job at the shop (like always, of course), your customers might be tempted to post a picture of how great their car turned out and post it to their social media account. To turn this into a marketing strategy, all you have to do is hit the share button.

Their post is shared to your feed, and you get a high-quality post praising your work that you spend no time or money to create!

As an added bonus, customers find user-generated content to be 9.8 times more impactful than influencer or business-made content because it’s more authentic. Cheap, easy, and effective. What more could you want in a social media marketing campaign!?

3. Run social-only promotions

Showing off your work is great and all, but marketing is about bringing new customers into your shop, after all. To really draw in the crowds, run social-only promotions.

Social-only promotions are deals or discounts given to just your social media followers. For example, post a flyer on your Facebook page that offers something like “10% off your next oil change if you book your appointment online with the code TENOFF.”

This strategy does several things. First, it makes your existing social media followers feel special and gives them an incentive to make an appointment right away. Second, it makes them want to share your post with their friends and family, increasing your online reach and hopefully gaining a few more followers.

Finally, you can promote your social-only deals in the shop. Put up a sign that says something like, “Follow us on social media for exclusive deals and discounts.” Anyone who sees the sign will follow your pages on social media, growing your following even more!

Since social media is still about the visual, you can’t just make a text-only post revealing your deal. You still need a high-quality visual. And since you’re busy fixing cars, it’s always best to use a car service flyer template to help build professional-level flyers without needing professional-level graphic design skills.

4. Engage with followers

Social media is just that: social. While you can just make posts and go about your business, one of the most effective ways to create loyal customers is to engage with your audience.

Whenever there’s a slow time in the shop, scroll through your various social media feeds and comment, like, or share relevant content and respond to any reviews or direct messages you get. By talking to your social media followers directly, you can build a stronger relationship and make customers for life. People are more loyal to brands they like, so make your customers like you!

It’s free to engage with your audience, so this social media marketing strategy is great for any mechanic shop on a budget.

5. Promote local events and charities

While social media marketing is certainly effective, it’s not always easy to connect with people in your area. The internet is a big place! Since your shop’s main goal is to bring in local business (nobody is going to drive across state or country borders just for an oil change), promoting local events or charities will get your shop in front of local customers.

Sponsor community events or even put on some of your own. Car shows are a great way to bring the community together, raise funds for a local charity, and attract like-minded people to your mechanic business.

Even if you don’t have the funds to sponsor an event or charity directly, even sharing another event’s social media posts to your page will make your shop look good and increase your reach in the community.

6. Be consistent

There’s a lot of content on social media. If you don’t post regularly, there’s a good chance your followers will forget about you. The key to any social media marketing strategy is consistency. Create a post schedule and make new content on a regular basis.

Of course, consistency means more than just posting frequency. You should also be consistent with all auto repair shop marketing best practices and your brand’s voice or image. Don’t be serious in two posts, then be silly in the next three. Think of how you want your shop to be portrayed and stick with that image.

Promote your shop online

Every business owner knows they have to market their company to get customers, but not everyone has the money to spend on marketing campaigns that may or may not even work. Luckily, there are plenty of cost-effective (or even free) social media marketing strategies car mechanics can use to promote their shops online.

If you can post high-quality content, share user-generated content, run social media promotions, engage with your followers, promote local events, and be consistent with your social media marketing, you can really grow your online following and get more customers into your mechanic shop.