Social networking is a form of marketing that enables you to publicize your auto body shop or collision repair business at no cost on one or more Web 2.0 platforms. For most people, the wonderful part of Web 2.0 applications is interactivity./ Blogs, wiki’s, social networking sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Collision Hub and LinkedIn, (among many, many others) not only disseminate information, but invite feedback and communication. With so many possibilities, how do you know where to go? Should you have a presence on one? More than one? What are the benefits and drawbacks of social networking sites?
When you are researching your approach to building your social network, first determine your target audience. To whom do you want to promote your collision repair services? You are looking for a social networking site whose mission will complement that of your business. Look at the features the site offers and determine if they meet your needs. Next, create a profile page that will be attractive to your customers and a true reflection of the mission of your shop, and what makes you stand out. Most social networking sites allow photos and videos among other links. Provide images of your products, and include a call to action. You could also embed a video with a link to your website.
Flickr is a particularly good choice for marketing your auto body repair or restoration business. Dedicated to photography, you could post before and after pictures of repairs or restorations (be sure you have your client’s permission, however) and invite feedback and publicize what a great job your body shop does. Let’s say you specialize in Mercedes. If you post pictures of different models, anybody who searches “Mercedes” is going to find a link to your Flickr page. So be sure that your profile and other information is clear and encourages people to contact you.
Other networking sites auto body and repair shops may want to consider include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace. Twitter can give your followers quick news, special offers and events. LinkedIn, being more business and less socially oriented, is a great way to scope out the competition and conduct market research by seeing what kind of demand there may be for a product or service. Your Facebook or MySpace page can be a great place to advertise for potential customers and to encourage word of mouth promotion. Setting up and maintaining a presence in the Web 2.0 world can be time consuming, but there are ways to automate. Find out what your customers are using. Those sites may work especially well for you. http://www.web-est.com/2009/11/17/using-social-media-to-promote-your-business.aspx