Once upon a time, Facebook was pretty cool.
It helped people connect with far-off friends and family members and gave you an important space to post pictures of your meals. If you had a business, you could create a page where your customers could hang out and learn about you. And if you advertised, you had all kinds of levers to pull that allowed you to target very specific audiences.
You can still do a lot of that stuff, so we’re not here to tell you Facebook doesn’t serve a purpose. But a lot of commercial repair shops are using Facebook, and only Facebook, to handle their marketing—and that’s a habit we would like to curb.
Trust us—for the good of your shop and the good of the universe, you should not just hand off your marketing to Facebook.
Limiting your presence to Facebook is not going to generate the kind of trust you want potential customers to develop. Not these days, anyway. Think about it—when you book a service or purchase something online, you’re almost always doing it through that brand’s own website, right? You probably wouldn’t book through their Facebook page.
A professional website indicates to a potential customer that you take your business (and therefore the work that you do) seriously. You want them to know you take it seriously.
Lead capture is tough
If customers are messaging you on Facebook to book an appointment…it can get messy. Integrating it into your shop’s workflow can take away a lot of time that could be otherwise spent in the bay. You’ll need to delegate people to log into the platform and check/exchange messages, and if there’s multiple people handling communications, your staff will need to remember who’s talking to who. If you only have one person managing Facebook and booking appointments through it, what happens when that person leaves? To say nothing of inputting any confirmed appointments into your existing system…
In other words, it’s a lot of work.
People go to Google first
Where do most potential customers go when they’re looking for a repair shop? Google. They’re looking for “diesel truck repair near me” or “diesel repair near [this town]” if they’re broken down by the side of the road. They likely aren’t plugging in your shop’s name because they don’t know it.
This is a problem if you’re only on Facebook. Facebook runs searches differently—a customer will have to plug your shop’s name directly into its search bar. If they don’t have your name and are just looking for a shop…well, guess what—they’re going to have a harder time finding you, specifically, if Facebook is your only web presence. The platform doesn’t allow you to do any SEO optimization, which is critical to getting your shop to show up at the top of any search engine results list.
And if someone links to your shop’s Facebook page in a mention or industry publication? That’s great, but that link staying alive depends on Facebook keeping your page up. You’re putting your livelihood in the hands of one web platform.
That’s not to say you can’t reach some people through the customers who are already visiting your Facebook page and liking your posts. But overall, it’s not a solid way to get traffic.
Facebook isn’t a long-term strategy
Facebook’s popularity and profitability tend to go up and down based on what’s going on in the world, but most of us can agree it’s not the powerhouse it used to be. Even its powerful targeting tools have taken a hit (largely—and rightfully—due to privacy concerns around the globe). As things continue to change, it makes sense that Facebook’s marketing tools, and Facebook itself, may look very different in five years—or may not be around at all.
A website, however, can adapt and evolve. You’re not at the mercy of a platform that can change its terms of service or regulations on a whim—you own the domain and the site, so your only barrier to updating and changing it is your knowledge of Wordpress or HTML.
If you’ve been on the fence about Facebook and are ready to look into other solutions for your shop’s marketing, we’ve got a suggestion. Go for a marketing and website provider (like, say, Dieselmatic) that integrates directly with your shop management software (like Fullbay!). We’ll build you a slick, professional website and handle your Google and social media marketing, so your shop can actually put Facebook to proper use—through lead gen ads, driving customer and new customer engagement, and so on.
Better yet, any service requests will go directly into your software, making it much easier to delegate to your staff and build your business. In short, we’re pretty cool, and we aren’t just saying that—our customers say so, too. Contact us today to learn more.