Social Marketing Critical for Body Shops

The Trauma of Auto Accidents

In my many years in the insurance industry there was one thing that was always consistent: the trauma inflicted as the result of an auto accident. It goes far beyond any injuries that may have been suffered or the work missed. It’s the entire experience of going through an accident that is traumatic and puts the person on a path to making a great many decisions in a very short amount of time.

When people get in this state of trying to make all those decisions I noted the other thing that was always consistent: people rely on the opinions of their family and friends above all else. I’ve had people get bad information from family and friends many times and it took a great deal of effort and care on my part to overcome that information and many times I simply wasn’t able to no matter how bad it is.

How does this relate to social marketing you might think? You did see the family and friends part, right? And where do people keep tabs with family and friends? Why on Facebook and other social media outlets of course!

How Social Media is Different for Body Shops

Just like any other industry the collision and auto body repair industry is going through its own evolution in new marketing techniques and letting go of the days of glitzy ad campaigns and relying on DRP agreements to bring in sales. The modern shop needs to have a presence in social and that factor probably matters more than any other area of digital marketing including the shop’s website. It’s because collision repair is a just in time business.

People don’t typically have a laundry list of needs for auto body repair or the regular need for it (if they’re a typical driver anyway!). Inevitably when someone has an accident they share this fact with their friends on social media. Most of the time it’s just to let everyone know he is alright. From there though anything can happen. Let’s take a look at a few types of users critical to you or “personas”.

The Social Media Evangelist

If you’ve really done a great job as a shop you not only satisfied your last customer but you made her an evangelist for your business. When the Evangelist sees the post from a friend that’s been in an accident the response is hopefully a recommendation of your shop. Hitting on those customer touch points and delivering great experiences creates evangelists and they drive your business.

The Trusted Advisor

This person is the genius of their friends group. He is the researcher, the brain, the person with the answers all the time and is the trusted advisor and confidant of their group. You might get this person to refer your business by doing a great job but you probably don’t even need that if this person has seen your website. If your website is full of free helpful content about the industry the Trusted Advisor will become your fast friend referring your wealth of information on to them.

The Reviewer

There’s a growing cadre of people online who live to do reviews. Perhaps this person missed her calling as the next Siskel or Ebert or missed out on that job at Consumer Reports but if there’s a place out there to do a review, the Reviewer is doing it. What impact does this have? Only studies indicating that over 88% of people read a business’ reviews before going there, that’s all. The Reviewer is most likely someone getting a job completed in your shop right now, you better keep her satisfied!

Helpful Content – Not Sales or Services Fuel Social

Keep an eye out for these personas when you’re working on the next marketing plan for your shop. Take a look at where you’re spending money on promotions and sales and how that is working for you. I’m sure before long you will see that you can get a lot more traction by coming up with a plan to generate positive reviews for your shop on social media and generating useful content that will get you found when that new customer just had a really bad day and needs your services.

About The Author

W Guy Finley
Web Design, digital marketing, WordPress, UI/UX Design, content strategy, and general disruption for a cause. Tenacious and passionate about doing things right for my clients and users.