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Emmons in Hammer & Dolly: How to use Facebook for your auto body shop

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Associations | Business Practices | Education | Market Trends
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Hammer & Dolly, a joint production of Thomas Greco Publishing and the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association, has graciously allowed us to reprint excerpts of some of its past few months’ articles speaking to some of the hottest issues in collision repair.

Among the must-reads for shops is the November 2016 column from AP Media Chief Marketing Officer Lee Emmons on how a shop might use Facebook. Here’s an excerpt:

For years, you’ve heard that your auto body shop had to have a Facebook business page. Between the marketing consultants you’d run into at workshops, emails from vendors with marketing tips or the sales calls you’d receive several times a week, the message was clear – Internet marketing was going to make or break your business. And if you didn’t even have a Facebook page? You were in serious trouble. So, naturally, you set up a Facebook page for your shop. Now what? …

Think of Your Audience as a Community!

Facebook presents a great opportunity to engage with potential customers in your service area. Conventional wisdom dictates that the average collision customer is willing to travel between seven to 10 miles for auto body repair. This hyper-local focus is an advantage that every regional shop has over every national chain.

What Should You Post?

Even if you have a strong feeling for your local market, it can be challenging to come up with new ideas for posts, especially for an auto body shop. If you don’t offer mechanical services, how do you create coupons or offers on collision repairs? Most independent shops, very understandably, don’t want to get into the business of doing self-pay all-over paint jobs – so you can’t make an offer related to that.

These are all good questions, but again we’re kind of missing the point. Your primary goal on Facebook should be to engage like a friend, not sell. Think of yourself as a curator of interesting, useful and fun content. Once you open up your sources for posts beyond the immediate concerns and needs of your business, you’ll find that there are so many things you can post to your Facebook page.

Find out more starting on Page 36 of the November 2016 issue. Read it here.

More information:

“Rethinking your shop’s Facebook page”

Lee Emmons in Hammer & Dolly, November 2016

Featured image: A user selects Facebook on the iPhone 6 on Sept. 18, 2015. (HStocks/iStock)

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