automotive aftermarket organizationsAre you using Facebook to promote your automotive aftermarket organization? If not, you may be missing out on connecting with customers.

Automotive aftermarket organizations tend to assume social media marketing is in the wheelhouse of your retail partners. Not so! Today, customers are driving conversations about retail stocking decisions.

If the customer demands your product, retailers will place it on store shelves. Your marketing strategy should include Facebook, especially to connect with the younger generation.

Create the Automotive Aftermarket Organization Page

Your most important Facebook  tool is your page. Start by logging in to your own profile. Scroll down to the bottom of your wall and select "create page." You will be prompted to categorize your page; at this point, you must make your first strategic decision.

Your most popular individual products could each inhabit their own individual pages. Alternately, you may create a single Facebook page for your company or products as a whole.

Greater segmentation has worked well for large chains such as Whole Foods, but smaller businesses should use a single page.

And now, with the Timeline, you can tell your company's story with historical facts and photos.

Connect with Enthusiasts

Once you have a Facebook page, your next challenge is to attract "likes," subscribers, and other forms of engagement.

One easy way to do that: Like pages related to yours, using the "use Facebook as page" option. If you "like" local car clubs and racetracks, then interact with the content they post, their users will notice your page, too.

You can also use contests and other incentives to encourage potential customers to like and recommend your page. If you sell your products directly, try offering a special discount code available only on your Facebook page. Service providers can use the same strategy by offering a special phrase that result in a discount if mentioned while booking an appointment by telephone.

Engage and Respond

If you do not intend to check your Facebook page daily and answer any questions posted by customers, you probably should not use the tool. Social media users expect instant gratification. There are plenty of companies willing to meet that need, meaning your customers will feel neglected if you make a social media page available but do not maintain it by replying to online queries.

If a question is posted to which you would rather not reply either immediately or at all, you can ask the poster to email your customer support address, or simply respond to acknowledge the question but state that no further information is available. If you leave uncomfortable questions entirely unacknowledged, the poster may repeat them over and over.

Conversely, positive reviews and friendly questions should get a rapid, enthusiastic reply from your team. In fact, customers who share their excitement about your products deserve a reward; if you can tie a post that is especially helpful, such as a picture of your product in use at the track, to an active customer's account, consider surprising him or her with a gift card or free product in the mail.

How do you see other automotive aftermarket organizations using the Facebook Timeline effectively?