Allow me to introduce you to Kate Frost of Kate Frost Inc and Polished Digital. As mutual respect and professional admiration has evolved into a friendship, I thought I’d ask her to share some social media best practices with our blog’s growing number of subscribers. For the benefit of our followers, I’m going to tap this resource and let words of wisdom pour out.
Joe: Kate, You know that I’m of the Facebook generation (and, to age myself, even sold cars and accessories off of Myspace on behalf of my dealership back in the day). Nowadays, though, I’m a bit obsessed with Instagram. I find it to be the first app I open every time I pick up my phone. There’s no explaining this new prioritization in my life. Because of this shifting trend in my own personal life, I’ve been urging our progressive dealer clients to spend more attention to Instagram and create content just for that community.
From the retail world, your prowess in social media has allowed you to start your own soc med management company, Kate Frost Inc. Over time, your focus and success with Instagram as a platform has parlayed your automotive-focused company into starting a second, heath & beauty industry-focused company in Polished Digital. So let me start by asking…
What is it about Instagram that has more and more people gravitating toward it?
Kate: I think because it’s all about great visual – be that in a filtered photo or a quick video. It’s a platform that allows us to share beautiful images and curate a gallery of our own. As a society, we’re reading less and Instagram plays to that. You don’t have to write anything. You just need to have a great picture.
Joe: With Instagram for Business rolling out, should corporations use this differently than they do their own personal Instagram accounts?
Kate: Absolutely! A business account allows you to have your contact information (address, email and phone number) at the top of your page – next to the “Follow” button. It also gives you the ability to “promote” your pictures and view insights similar to Facebook’s “boost” feature.
Kate: It’s way higher if you’re doing it right. If you’re a business on Facebook, it’s definitely a pay to play if you want engagement. With Instagram however, it’s still organic. I’ve seen the same post for a dealer get 127 likes on Instagram and 2 likes on Facebook. We see the same thing in the beauty industry, which is why their primary focus is Instagram.
Joe: My sole utilization of Snapchat has been to communicate with my little brother in college. However, I’d still occasionally watch Snapchat Stories. With IG (Instagram) rolling out their Instastories, what are some ways dealers/companies can leverage this to their benefit? (And is Snapchat still relevant?)
Kate: If a dealer isn’t currently using Snapchat, I don’t see the point in starting an account. Selfishly, I was delighted when Instagram rolled out this feature because as a marketer I can tap in to an existing audience rather than having to create a brand new one on a separate platform. I think it allows dealers another way to connect to their customers. I would encourage dealers to share photos of customers at the time of delivery, day-in-the-life videos, local events, quick how-to videos, meet the staff and Q&As. The stories only last 24 hours so don’t overthink it or over produce it.
Joe: If the goal of Instagram for a company would be growing their follower base, and increasing viewership, what are some best practices they can employ to help with their posts? For instance, how do hashtags play a role on Instagram, different from that of Facebook or Twitter?
Kate: Hashtags are the beginning and end of increasing viewership and growing your followers on Instagram. Instagram limits you to 30 hashtags per post and I would tell everyone reading this to use all 30. Instagram will also tell you how many times that hashtag has been used (hit search / tags). Use the most popular ones for your brand and picture to increase visibility.
Joe: I’m a bit of a filter junkie. Either I’m trying to make a pic look unique with interesting filters or shadows, or I’m trying to fix the color of my skin so as not to look jaundiced at all times. What are your thoughts on filters or editing of photos for social media?
Kate: I think you’re crazy if you don’t. Maybe every 1 out of 100 photos requires #nofilter (maybe), but for the other 99 I would encourage you to use either one of Instagram’s filters or a separate app for color correction. My current favorite is “A Color Story” for all photo editing.
Kate: Social media isn’t going away. It’s going to continue to grow in audience size and marketing importance. The best thing a company can do is get involved. Use the platforms personally and see what appeals to you. Don’t just look to your competitors and others in the industry. See how celebrities, Fortune 100 businesses and social media stars are using the platforms and adjust the content and concepts to your own business.
Joe: Let’s say you continue to become massively successful, retiring at the age of 45, and tragically dying just a year or two after. What social media words of wisdom would you like etched on your gravestone so others can get a glimpse into your philosophy of a socially-connected life?
Kate: Been there, posted that!
Joe: Then I’d piggyback on yours, and mine would be tongue-in-cheek, like “been there, tagged that.” You see, I’m a people person. Thanks for your time, Kate. Where can dealers or companies reach you if they want to know more? Or should they just follow you?
Joe: Perfect! And as a shout-out for someone to follow, here are a couple posts of a DealerKnows client that does it right. Big hugs to Christina Colosimo at Oak Lawn Toyota. I feel Christina does a great job with consistency of posts, utilization of video, and sharing evergreen content to build her dealership’s brand on Instagram. Definitely follow them on their Oak Lawn Toyota Instagram page!