Victory Auto Service and Glass Case Study

Auto Repair Goes Social. Victory Auto Service and Glass, founded in 1997 by Jeff Matt, built its base of loyal customers with strong personal relationships. Personal customer service is at the heart of Victory Auto’s business model. The company has five locations and a mobile auto glass service in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, metro area. As the business grew from its first location, Matt found that maintaining the personal relationships with his customers, which was the core of his company’s success, became more difficult to maintain. Matt decided to turn to social media to complement face-to-face connections with Victory Auto’s customers and sought the help of Stephanie Gutierrez, a communications specialist and loyal customer, to help create a social media strategy for Victory Auto. Gutierrez experimented with various social media tactics until she found a strategy that supported the personal connection with customers that Matt relied on to build his company. Facebook is the heart of Victory Auto’s social media strategy. When Gutierrez developed the company’s Facebook page, at first, she posted longer articles with links to articles about cars. However, these posts did not seem to register with the typical customer. Then she took the time to think like the business’s average customer: car owners who were not necessarily interested in cars. Customers typically interact with Victory Auto because they have to, not because they want to. Instead of creating a page with information on cars, Gutierrez added posts related to traffic, commuting, and travel that everyone who owns a car would be interested in reading. She posted much shorter text entries that were written in a personal style with many photos. The second major aspect of Victory Auto’s social media strategy involved YouTube videos. Gutierrez developed several short videos that were geared toward people who did not know much about cars. The videos on Victory Auto’s YouTube channel included short how-to videos and tours of its various store locations around Minneapolis. Its most popular video was one that showed how to top off windshield wiper fluid. Matt believes that success in the auto service business is based on trust and that trust is built by getting to know the people who work at Victory Auto. Many of the social media posts were about employees of Victory Auto, focusing on their birthdays, other celebrations, and day-to-day casual interactions while at work. About 20% of Victory Auto employees are active on Facebook. When they became Facebook and sometimes even personal friends with customers, they were encouraged to share photos on Facebook. These photos could then be tagged to help build more traffic at the Victory Auto Facebook page. Victory Auto Glass used social media to promote various charities, including Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Toys for Tots. A local charity that Victory Auto is heavily involved with is Free2Be, which provides auto care and donated cars for economically disadvantaged people in Anoka County, Minnesota. Volunteers with Free2Be can use the repair bays at Victory Auto free of charge to repair donated cars. Victory Auto also gave free or discounted car repairs for people helped by the Free2Be program. Gutierrez posted some of these stories on the company’s Facebook page to help promote the charity. Results Victory Auto has seen significant returns on its investment in social media. The company has opened two of its five locations since implementing its social media strategy. Most of the customers of the two newest locations heard about Victory Auto from word of mouth or online. More than 60% of fans and people talking about the company’s Facebook page were female. Victory Auto became a certified female-friendly auto repair shop with AskPatty, a website that provides automotive advice for women. The company estimates that 50 to 60% of its customers are female, which is far above the industry average. Victory Auto has more than 1,200 likes on its Facebook page. Identify at least three lessons that entrepreneurs can learn from Victory Auto’s use of social media. Sources: Scarborough, Norman M. Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, 9th Edition. Pearson, 20180110. VitalBook file. Based on Louise Julig, “How an Auto Repair Shop Is Winning Female Customers with Social Media,” Social Media Examiner, September 25, 2013, (Links to an external site.) “About Us,” Victory Auto Service and Glass, n.d., (Links to an external site.) “Victory Auto Service and Glass,” Facebook, n.d., (Links to an external site.) “VictoryAutoService,” YouTube, n.d., (Links to an external site.). (Scarborough 357) DELIVERABLE: Determine how an entrepreneur starting a new business can develop a social media plan to boost its visibility, sales, and profits through a social media strategy. Identify at least three marketing strategies that Victory Auto can use to increase its visibility, sales, and profits. Explain how the company should implement each one.

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