When a car breaks, people who want to buy the parts they need online don’t go to Facebook or Twitter to order a replacement. Instead, they go to Google (or Bing) and search. So, if you’re an online parts retailer, the best place to acquire new customers is from a search engine.

Likewise, if you’re going to keep the customers you already have, you need to do that with something like social media. That’s because you don’t want the customer going back to Google or Bing the next time they have a problem – you want them remembering your company and going right to your website.

So, with the understanding that social media isn’t so much about acquisition as it is about loyalty (at least if you’re a replacement parts retailer), here is a suggested social media marketing strategy for replacement parts retailers.

Foster Trust and Facilitate Loyalty With Fun Posts

A lot of the companies selling replacement parts online treat their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles like the classifieds section of the newspaper. Every other day, there are posts in there about sales, deals, clearance items. etc. This is the wrong way to use social media.

Instead, posts to Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc. should be about news that’s relevant to your customers, interesting pictures/videos that appeal to their interests, memes that make DIYers chuckle, etc. Also, post frequency is important – post too often, and you risk “burning out” your biggest fans. Post too little, and you risk your fans forgetting who your are.

Some general best practices:

  1. To reach most auto parts buyers, focus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  2. Make sure your posts aren’t about selling parts – make them about your customers and their interests. If you’re selling replacement parts for Ford, post news stories about Ford (for example).
  3. Post 2-3 times a week, and perhaps daily if you have a very big following. When you post something to Facebook, boost the post for $5-10.
  4. If you don’t want to spend the money to boost your Facebook, don’t post whatever you’re thinking you want to post. It’s probably not good content.
  5. Monitor your posts for questions, comments, and complaints. Respond as soon as possible.

What If You Can’t Manage Your Social Media?

Auto part ecommerce website managers are busy folk. To save time, there are a few things you can do:

  1. It doesn’t take a committee. If everyone at the office tries to contribute to social media, there will be debate about who’s going to post when, what, and so on, with everyone saying “I thought so-and-so was doing it today,” when a post is missed. So, rather than divvy up the work, have one social media manager who knows how to cull ideas from the team. This could easily be a cashier or office clerk – don’t overlook office staff!
  2. Outsource it. Marketing agencies often have social media marketing and brand monitoring packages. There are also independent copywriters, photographers, and graphic designers who could help you create content, too.
  3. Keep an idea log. When an idea hits, make a note, bookmark a link, or whatever you need to do to remember.
  4. Schedule posts in advance. While social media posts perform best when published in real time, there are tools that allow you to schedule posts. A scheduled post is better than nothing!

What Should A Replacement Parts Ecommerce Business Post On Social Media?

Guy looking intense while offering an answer to a car question

© Frank Derks

Like most things in marketing, you’ll have to test what content resonates with your audience the best, but here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Introduce members of your team
  • Show pictures of work behind-the-scenes at your shop or parts store
  • Post trivia questions that will appeal to your more knowledgeable customers (don’t make them too easy)
  • Post funny memes about the dangers and challenges of working on your own vehicle
  • Post news about new vehicles that your customers will find interesting
  • Post pictures of classic cars and trucks that your customers will find interesting
  • Share photos of customer vehicles (with permission of course)

Want more social media guidance? Check out our Social Media Marketing Beginners Guide.
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