Using Social Media to Drive Your Aftermarket Car Parts Business on a Budget

The aftermarket parts industry made approximately 33 billion in 2013. A 3.4 percent increase in 2014 saw profits of almost $42 billion. With a reported almost 253 million cars and light trucks on US roads in 2013, the aftermarket industry is poised to increase even more, especially with the average age of vehicles going to about 11. 7 years by 2019. Also, considering that every age group from 19 to over 65 years lists the Internet as a prime source for vehicle-related information, using social media can be a valuable tool for driving sales and services.

So whether you have been in business for years or you are just joining in the challenge, consider these two ways that social media can help you boost your business in the aftermarket car parts industry, especially if you are unable to hire a marketing professional to do this for you.

Combating negativity

Negative media can have damaging effects on the stakeholders within an industry, and this type of information is quickly circulated through the Internet. For example, when it becomes news that insurance companies may be influencing repair shops to use substandard aftermarket parts to make cheaper repairs, it reflects poorly on aftermarket suppliers as well as the repair shops and insurance companies. Since an average status on such social media sites as Facebook might only be seen for 3 to 4 hours, generating immediate conversation on relevant information about the industry can have a positive influence on your business. This may be especially true if you are able to provide a forum to clear up the impressions garnered by negative press. 

Keeping abreast of breaking news would then need to be part of your routine so that you can get alerts on your niche market. This can be done through the use of alerts from sites such as Google Alert or Technorati for the latest on your brand, business, or industry.

 Driving sales

The average person spends approximately 28 percent of their time online on social media sites. This translates to almost 2 hours of time that is available to get interesting information on your aftermarket parts sales and services to each person. Keep in mind that the number of followers or likes on social media may not be true indicators of the potential for lead generation and actual business transactions and it is therefore more important to generate content that will lead to comments, shares, and re-tweets. Using likes to compare the success of your competitors may also be a false indicator, as these can be bought for roughly $25 to $35 per 500 to 1000 likes.

Instead, think of ways that will showcase the use of aftermarket products that can outshine or outperform original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products in a way that is trendy and appealing and highlight those on your page. Keep them coming, too, so as to compete in catching and keeping the notoriously short attention span of social media users.