How to Succeed on Instagram: An Informal Case Study

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how-to-succeed-on-instagramIf you’re like many business owners or managers, navigating Social Media for business can be a mystery. It’s difficult to know where to start or which platform to leverage. Many are looking for ways on how to succeed on Instagram and I found one car dealership who’s not only figured it out but who’s had great results.

While Facebook is usually the best platform to start your Social Media marketing (because it’s the biggest and Facebook ads can’t be beat for generating traffic, leads and sales), there will soon come a time that you’ll want to venture out into the other channels. Instagram is ideal for many businesses and it can be very confusing, especially if you aren’t a regular user. The results (re: ROI) you get are a direct consequence of a winning (or losing) content strategy.

I have a client who’s been able to quickly get the results they wanted and I’d like to share some of the simple yet profound actions they took to get there. Like so many other endeavors, it’s not so hard once you know what you’re doing.

RC Lacy Ford Lincoln Subaru is located in the small town of Catskill, NY. They’ve been in business since 1914 (yes, 100 years) and the 3rd generation of the Lacy family now owns/manages it. They’re unique in that they understood quickly how valuable social and online marketing can be and they’ve just recently started utilizing Instagram to show another side of their business’ personality.

Lacy’s staff includes an Internet Sales Director, a Business Development Center with four team members who develop leads and a Marketing Manager who handles all Social Media content and community management. Lacy’s has a solid content strategy: they tell the story of their dealership, what it’s like to buy there (why people buy from them) and they provide valuable information to help customers solve problems.

Instagram is an image-driven platform and as such, the content you share must tell a story through the image. If you’re thinking about leveraging it and want to know how to succeed on Instagram or want to improve on what you’re doing, check out Lacy’s profile. How can you tell your story with images?

Lacy’s Instagram Content: Telling Their Story

Lacy’s heritage (for Throwback Thursday). It gives the viewer an idea of just how long they’ve been selling and servicing cars:

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Lacy’s Showroom 1968

This vintage ad for another #TBT Throwback Thursday. It shows their employee-centric approach to customer service and their consistent message of “Service Comes First” beginning all those years ago:

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Lacy’s Ad c. 1970’s: “And a Service Dept. that Can’t Be Beat!”

Lacy’s place in the community. Dealership personnel are on the volunteer Fire Dept. and they regularly host events:

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Catskill NY Fire Dept Truck in Parade

Lacy’s “You’re Always Welcome” customer experience. This customer’s pet named “Angie” visits regularly!

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Angie dropped by today to say hi!

Lacy’s facility expansion. Growth is a great indicator of successful business practices. They also like to keep everyone up-to-date:

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The New Subaru Building with Dan Lacy

This is a nice example of their simple yet profound strategy. What looks like a random shot of Lacy’s salesperson enjoying his coffee and some sunshine, turned into a lead for Lacy’s. A customer saw this picture on Instagram. She’d been looking for a Subaru Impreza and came down to make a deal:

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Leads happen in the most amazing ways!

It’s not easy knowing how to succeed on Instagram for business. Start with a solid content strategy with an end goal of developing relationships that turn into leads. Think about ways your business can show another side of its personality. Customers are out there looking for reasons to buy from you. Make it easy by standing out on Instagram.

Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse is an Automotive Social Media Marketing Expert, Blogger, Speaker, Coach, Author and Founder of Kruse Control Inc. Born in the heart of Los Angeles to a family of “car people”, Kathi’s passion for the car business spans a 30-year career managing successful dealerships in Southern California. Kathi is the author of “Automotive Social Business – How to Captivate Your Customers, Sell More Cars & Be Generally Remarkable on Social Media”. Her Kruse Control Blog is the leading Automotive Social Media blog in the US.
Kathi Kruse

@kathikruse

Automotive Social Media, Online Reputation Marketing/Coaching/Training. Blogger, Speaker, Author: AUTOMOTIVE SOCIAL BUSINESS. Founder/CEO Kruse Control Inc
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Kathi Kruse
Kathi Kruse
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  • David Sharp

    This is great, Kathi! Thanks for sharing this insight into Instagram. I have held off on trying to get going on there because of the reason that you gave earlier, I don’t really know what to do there. (Okay, maybe that is more of an excuse than a reason, but it is mine.)
    I guess another thing that has kept me from branching out is simply the time factor, not enough to try to handle everything that I have to accomplish each day. (I see a copy of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey headed my way…if I can just find the time to read it :)). Since I’m on that topic, do you have any other books, webinars, etc., that might be good to help someone like myself on time management?
    As always, great info! Thanks!

    • http://www.krusecontrolinc.com krusecontrol

      Hi David, time management is always a great practice. Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4 Hour Work Week” is good. However, I also know you have your hands full with everything else you do. It might be time to hire a content creator and go for it!

  • Jenn Mears

    Love this, great article!
    We’ve recently been playing around with a new app by Instagram called Hyperlapse. It allows you to shoot a lapse video and then speed it up from 1x-12x the speed of the actual video. From there you can upload the Hyperlapse video right into your Instagram feed. It also has a built-in stabilization tool. We will definitely be trying it out soon! http://instagram.com/rc_lacy !

    • http://www.krusecontrolinc.com krusecontrol

      You guys do an awesome job! I saw a few Hyperlapse videos yesterday and they were very cool! I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with.

  • Mike theCarGuy

    Great post, as always, I have been a big fan of the ole Instagram for a long time and have been wanting to create a dealership account to do some similar stuff. Great example of how it can be done right Kathi!

    • http://www.krusecontrolinc.com krusecontrol

      Thanks Mike! You’ve always done an awesome job on the ole Instagram yourself so you’re skills are perfect for the dealership account. Raceway Ford participates a lot in charity and community events so you’ve got some great content to work with.

  • Penelope

    Great article! A few friends suggested that I explore the Instagram platform, but I didn’t quite understand how it works.