First Things First
There’s no denying the power of social media as a sales tool, especially since paid ads within automotive social channels can drive some of the highest ROI. Even with restrictions placed on user data in recent years, we can still see the clear journey from the Facebook ad to the purchase. So, organic posts should deliver similar results at little to no cost, right? Not really, and here are a few reasons why.
We are bound by the almighty algorithm, especially on Meta-owned platforms like Facebook and Instagram. If you post regularly, a good number of your followers will see your posts and, with engagement, that visibility will expand organically…but that’s where it stops. We can’t control it or overpower it, but we can learn from it.
Pull the metrics on your top-performing paid post and compare them to those of your top-performing organic post. Look at what is increasing your reach and what is not. In doing so, you’ll find a blueprint for historical success and can replicate the efforts that deliver success and expand your organic reach.
Another factor in the efficacy of your organic ads is location, with visibility being influenced by who engages with those ads and who sees them as a result of that engagement.
Case in point: I grew up in Georgia, and most of my Facebook friends still live there, but I live in Maine now. That said, I might see organic posts from local businesses that my friends in Georgia engage with. It won’t turn a profit for those businesses because it’s irrelevant to me, but there are two key benefits. First, since other friends of mine still live there, my engagement might increase organic reach. Second, there’s no wasted spend because it’s organic. It’s a free snowball effect…and you can trust me when I reference snow because I’m buried in it four months out of the year!
Organic social content is great at capturing impulse purchases. For example, I’m wearing a t-shirt right now that I saw on an organic Instagram post. Saw it. Liked it. Clicked the link. Textbook impulse buy. (…and it’s a Tears For Fears shirt. Thanks for asking!)
There’s a difference in automotive, though. A vehicle purchase normally includes a research period, eliminating the opportunity to capture impulse buyers. Plus, you can’t target in-market or high-intent users with organic posts the way you can with paid ones.
What you can do is put your brand in front of them through regular posts. This will lay a foundation through engagement that keeps you front of mind for service needs and, eventually, opportunities to put people into a new vehicle.
Is Organic Worth the Time and Effort?
Absolutely. Organic posts are a living, breathing billboard helping to build your brand, engage your community and set your dealership apart from your competitors. Is an in-store event coming up? Post about it! Employee anniversary? Post about it! Are you accepting Toys for Tots donations? Post about it! The importance comes in understanding the value of this type of content and its place within your greater marketing strategy.
Bottom line: In automotive, organic posts are about brand awareness.
Where Do You Start?
Just start posting and be open to trying new types of content. Learn from what others are doing well and what resonates with you as a consumer. Pay attention to engagement and audience metrics to see what resonates with (and helps to grow) your audience.
When it comes to organic, just temper an awareness of any limitations with the potential benefits:
• You can’t choose your audience size, but you can grow it over time.
• You have no control over the location of your audience, but there’s no harm because you’re not paying anything for them to see it.
• You can’t target based on intent, but you can build brand recognition, trust and generate service opportunities.
If it fits your brand and engages your community, run with it. Organic social is the most fun branding tool you have, so don’t be shy about using it.