Facebook is the most popular social media platform and counts more than 2.9 billion monthly active users. While individuals use the platform to stay connected and communicate with friends and family, businesses utilize Facebook as another tool for connecting to the public and marketing their products, too.
While car dealerships might establish a Facebook page to communicate with followers, promote new models and introduce sales and other offerings, Facebook also lets dealerships create targeted advertisements and post available inventory via Facebook Marketplace. Facebook car sales via the Marketplace are becoming popular, here’s what dealerships need to know about this hub.
Facebook Dealer Opportunities for Advertising
Car dealerships have many unique advertising opportunities to increase their visibility and highlight their offerings via Facebook. The social media platform lets businesses set specific parameters for their ad related to a target demographic or geographic location. These ads can zero in on the right audience for a product, and only Facebook users that fall in the ad’s specifications will see the ad.
Facebook, like many online advertisers, lets businesses set their ad budget and then create the best campaign to fit into this budget. Facebook offers a Dealer Hub that helps car dealerships understand different ways to utilize Facebook to help boost business. In addition, Facebook offers a simplistic resource center that businesses can use when they want to launch an ad campaign on the platform.
The platform walks the dealership through the ad creation process starting with selecting an objective, which can be related to traffic, leads, sales, etc. The dealership then can choose its audience and select where it wishes to launch their ad. Then dealerships simply need to set the budget and launch the ad. Facebook also lets businesses monitor their ad’s success and make any necessary changes.
Dealerships might create a targeted ad that features multiple vehicles in a carousel format. This ad design lets consumers scroll through a series of vehicles; they can click on a car they like, and the ad will direct them to a page about the car or a page that lets them enter their information. Each image or product can link to a different page.
Dealerships also could focus on advertising a new model. This ad might link to a page that lets consumers enter their information. Ads also could be designed to draw awareness to a specific promotion.
Facebook Dealership Sales Opportunities
Dealerships can use Facebook to directly sell their cars to consumers. The Marketplace lets dealerships and even private sellers list their vehicles; this ‘classifieds’ section of Facebook lets consumers find vehicles, home rentals and other goods/services in their area, too. Potential buyers can message the dealership via the online listing.
Does Facebook Let Dealerships Sell Vehicles Online?
Buying a car completely online is a reality, and many companies offer this service to accommodate buyers who would rather not visit a car dealership. Facebook’s Marketplace doesn’t let consumers buy a car remotely or completely online; instead it serves as an online catalog or ‘classifieds section’ that lets consumers peruse the available vehicles in their area.
Individuals who are interested in moving forward with a purchase will need to reach out to the seller via the listing. From there, buyers might have to visit a dealership or, in the case of a private seller, meet up at a public place to check out the vehicle.
For car dealerships, the Marketplace is another resource for showcasing available inventory. Dealerships could focus their Marketplace offerings to models that have been more difficult to sell or those that are lower-budget options for consumers who are looking for a deal.
Facebook Ads and Augmented Reality
Facebook is owned by Meta, and the rebranded name nods to the ‘metaverse.’ What is the metaverse? The term has different meanings, but it typically focuses on the environments and universes created using technology like augmented reality and virtual reality.
The metaverse exists in a virtual space. Meta is now focused on delivering experiences in this space and creating products that enable consumers to enter the metaverse. Meta offers a virtual reality headset called Oculus, but there have been rumblings about the company creating augmented reality glasses, too.
Facebook has embraced augmented reality technology and advertisers can create ad experiences that integrate augmented reality. This technology is more accessible than virtual reality; consumers only need access to a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet that offers a camera. Using the camera, consumers can capture their environment and select their space to preview products from any location.
With augmented reality experiences, tables can appear virtually in a living room, paint colors can be viewed on a wall in a bedroom and consumers can even swipe on cosmetics without leaving home. All these products appear with the aid of computer graphics and offer a unique and immersive ‘try on’ or preview experience.
Dealerships can utilize augmented reality, too. With augmented reality, a selected vehicle model can appear in a garage, driveway or any selected space. In addition, consumers also could walk around the graphic depiction of the vehicle to explore it; some augmented reality experiences even let consumers look inside the car or change the paint color.
For dealerships that are interested in launching these immersive augmented reality ad campaigns or experiences, EVOX Images offers a library of car stock photos that are compatible with both augmented reality and virtual reality. Peruse these high-resolution images to choose the best options for a unique and exploratory augmented reality ad campaign.
Use Facebook for Outreach
There are many paid opportunities for advertising and marketing campaigns via Facebook and Instagram. Dealerships should not forget, though, that simply having a Facebook and Instagram account also are essential and beneficial tools for daily marketing and communications outreach.
Facebook lets companies post lengthy text updates about sales/promotions and other company news. In addition, dealerships can keep posts brief while also including images and photos. In addition, Facebook offers the Facebook Live function; this lets companies create videos that can be utilized to advertise new products and services or provide updates to followers.
How often should dealerships update their Facebook page? Ideally, aim to update the page daily. However, not all dealerships have the time to provide constant updates to social media accounts. Try to post updates as often as possible; if posting daily isn’t feasible, try to post a few times per week.
Don’t worry about the length of posts. Just login and post a quick update to greet followers and show off a few pictures of new inventory. If the dealership is about to launch a promotion related to a holiday sale, be sure to reach out on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Facebook also can help dealerships find out what’s working for their customers and what needs to be changed. Facebook lets businesses create polls that can provide valuable customer insight. Ask customers about the car shopping experience, and survey them about extending hours or what they like/dislike when at the dealership.
Business pages on Facebook also give consumers an option to leave a review. Dealerships should try to respond to all reviews proactively and positively.
Instagram vs. Facebook: Use Both to Promote Inventory
Instagram and Facebook are both owned by Meta. While Facebook lets businesses and individuals post a variety of content, Instagram focuses on photos and short videos. Instagram is ideal for including a slideshow of images to promote a new model or for posting a short video about a new model.
Both platforms have different strengths and content strategies. For some dealerships, Facebook might be the sole focus of social media outreach and activity. However, Instagram offers a visually dominant format, and it is the space for posting compelling imagery—especially of cool new cars.
Like Facebook, Instagram also offers advertising opportunities. Dealerships can choose to advertise on both platforms through Meta’s advertising campaigns; dealerships should research Instagram and Facebook to understand which one is ideal for their ad campaign.
Are Facebook Car Sales Popular?
As more consumers start their car search online, hubs like Facebook Marketplace provide a simple space for searching for available models and inventory in the area. Marketplace also lets consumers quickly reach out to a seller, schedule a meet up and move ahead with the buying process.
However, Facebook’s Marketplace should not be conflated with online car buying companies like Carvana. The Marketplace is designed like a classified section; consumers can search for the products they want in their area to better understand what is available.
While the Marketplace isn’t a virtual buying platform in the sense that the entire transaction takes place online, it is a popular option for buyers who want to spend less time at a car dealership and conduct more of their research from home.
For dealerships, Facebook offers numerous opportunities for marketing and advertising products and services. Explore paid advertising opportunities and Marketplace listing options; dealerships also should continue to stay active on Facebook to reach out to customers and stay visible in the social media space.