Research by Crowdtap reveals that 87% of auto buyers research potential car purchases on social media prior to making a decision. This means virtually every auto dealer should actively look for better ways to leverage social media to reach customers.
Facebook is the most popular social media network among car buyers—84% of them use it, per Dealer.com and GfK Automotive Research, with the average user checking Facebook 15 to 20 times a day. The best part for advertisers: Because Facebook is an app, no ad blockers are in use.
Facebook Ads allow dealers to finely segment and target customers, and to get relevant messages in front of the right people. Facebook also makes it very easy for advertisers to throttle their spend, so dealers can start small and experiment before moving on to larger campaigns.
In an era where social media has surpassed email in terms of daily time spent online, Facebook advertising is becoming increasingly effective and important. The four main benefits for dealers:
- Reaching the unreachables in their databases—chiefly, customers for whom they have no email address or that have not responded via email.
- Keeping active shoppers engaged, by retargeting consumers who interact in other channels and with dealers’ websites.
- Engaging net-new prospects that are in-market.
- Enticing lapsed service customers back to their service bays with great offers and an easy way to schedule an appointment from within the ad.
If you have been thinking about trying Facebook Ads, here is some advice to help you get started.
Make them part of a cross-channel effort
Offers on Facebook Ads should be consistent with the ones that you’re extending elsewhere.
This is not only less confusing for customers, but will also allow you to compare campaign success across channels, so you can do more of what works best.
Leverage Facebook’s Audience Insights
Facebook’s Audience Insights is a free tool for advertisers that allows you to learn about audiences before risking budget or targeting those consumers.
Audience Insights mines available Facebook data and shows you exactly who your target market should be, based on people who already like your page. It can really help you define the right audience for your campaign.
Incorporate data to target campaigns
You can create an email list in your CRM/DMS and then use the Facebook Ad Creation tool or Power Editor to match your list with Facebook users and send a campaign to them via Facebook.
This is a very powerful way to reach prospects for whom you don’t have an email address, or those who haven’t opened an email in a while.
If you’re wary of tackling Facebook Ads on your own, there are new tools available that help bridge the technology gap between your CRM/DMS and Facebook, providing the structure, guidance, and analytics that dealers need to get measurable results from Facebook Ads campaigns.
Like the old joke about why burglars target banks (“it’s where the money is”), auto dealers can’t afford to ignore Facebook: It’s where the customers are.
Valerie Vallancourt is a dynamic, strategic marketing professional with expertise in creating and executing marketing strategies for revenue growth. Valerie has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, and is currently vice president of marketing at Outsell, which helps auto dealers drive more revenue by transforming how they engage customers and prospects throughout their life cycle.
Latest posts by Valerie Vallancourt
- How to Turn One-Time Buyers Into Customers for Life - October 6, 2018
- Go Where the Buyers Are: Why Dealers Need Facebook Ads - May 2, 2017
- Why Amazon Vehicles Doesn’t Have to Mean the Demise of Auto Sales Professionals - April 14, 2017