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How to Sell New and Used Cars on Instagram for Auto Dealers

how to sell new and used cars with instagram advertising

Life is just more beautiful through the prism of a whimsical Instagram filter.

Unfortunately, glossy photos and stock imagery don’t sell cars — real photos of actual vehicles do. We’ve mentioned this to you before here and here.

Instagram is a social media platform known for eye-catching photos and videos that generate likes, comments, and reposts. The platform is simple and straightforward for users — often used for promoting events, products, sales, and culture.

For auto dealers, Instagram is one of the best mediums to share visuals of vehicles. With an audience of over 400 million users as of September 2015, this social network is on every advertiser’s mind.

Your dealership’s goal on Instagram is to ultimately make sales. So today, we’ll cover three strategies for auto dealers to sell new and used cars on Instagram: promoting sales events, posting during hours of high engagement, and nurturing leads with Instagram ads.

1. Promote Sales Events

If you are running specials or giveaways, definitely post them on Instagram. Also consider running an Instagram-only promotion to show your followers some extra attention.

Post pictures and videos of inventory, and gain recognition with hashtags. For example, if you have an overstock of new or used inventory, you could use hashtags like:

  • #VehicleMake
  • #VehicleModel
  • #LowMileage
  • #NewEngine
  • #ForSale
  • #UsedCarIn[NameOfYourCity]

By mentioning the name of your city in a hashtag, you’re able to engage with your community and pick up on local leads searching for a vehicle in the area.

It can be tough to track conversions from Instagram since you can’t include a hyperlink to your content in an Instagram post, but that does not mean you should shy away from promoting sales.

Customers will appreciate vehicle details in the post’s description without having to click. Be transparent and list the make, model, price, year, mileage, etc. Those who are truly interested will follow up by visiting your website, stopping by your store, or simply commenting on the Instagram post.

If you’re using Instagram to sell new or used cars, be sure to include a link to your website in your bio, like we do at 9 Clouds:

9 Clouds Instagram

2. Post During Peak Traffic Hours

Besides what you post, think of when you post.

Consider peak times throughout the day to post your content. To do this, identify who your ideal target audience is for individual posts. Think of when they’re likely to check Instagram throughout the day.

For example, individuals who work during the day may check their phone in the early morning, mid-afternoon, and evening. College students may be slightly more active during late evening hours.

Start by experimenting with a few time slots. Track the number of likes and comments you receive for particular time slots to find a posting strategy that works best for your dealership.

Make note of hours with the most engagement, and then build on that success for your future posts.

The biggest factor in your success on Instagram can be summed up in one word: activity. You must be active on Instagram in order for leads to want to follow your brand and interact with your content.

Here’s a general list of when to post on Instagram:

  • Mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Midday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

3. Nurture Leads with Instagram Ads

And then there are Instagram ads.

While running a successful Instagram account is a great way to build an audience of loyal enthusiasts for your brand, Instagram ads are focused on converting leads.

Integrate Instagram ads with Facebook ads to cross-promote your content on two major social networks. You can do this with the help of Facebook Business Manager. Here’s how to claim your Instagram account in Business Manager.

Use Power Editor to set up your Instagram ads. Choose between photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads by considering the ultimate goal of your campaign. Here are some examples of common objectives: clicks to website, website conversions, mobile app installs, mobile app engagement, video views, reach and frequency, page post engagement, and mass awareness.

These ads are perfect for businesses with an obvious visual element — like auto dealers. To learn how to build Instagram ads with Power Editor, please read this post.

[eBook] Instagram for Auto Dealers

Download Instagram for Auto Dealers

Visual content has never been more important for dealership marketing. And there is no better way to share your dealership’s visuals than with Instagram.

We created a free guide specifically for dealership marketers. Instagram for Auto Dealers will show you how to start engaging the growing Instagram audience and expand your dealership’s brand awareness on this popular platform.