How Dealerships Can Get Leads with Facebook Ads


Facebook ads can help customers find cars and car dealerships in their area. For dealerships, these ads can help generate leads and sales by delivering the dealership’s messages and brand to new potential customers.  

Some car dealerships might not advertise on social media and may be unsure if this is the platform for them. Advertising and marketing strategies depend on the dealership, and preferences on how to best reach customers can vary for each business. For those interested in advertising via Facebook, here’s how dealerships can get leads with Facebook ads.

Let’s explore the world of Facebook, the platform’s reach and what it offers for dealerships via advertising opportunities.

All About Facebook

While most everyone has heard of Facebook, some may still be unfamiliar with the social media platform. Using the platform is one of the best ways to figure out how it works, but many Facebook pages are public so individuals unfamiliar with Facebook might play around on the site to get an idea about what Facebook engagement looks like.

Facebook is one of the original social media sites; the site came into popularity after MySpace. Originally, Facebook was designed for college students as a means of interacting and connecting. However, as the company and its reach expanded, so, too, did its offerings to the general public. In 2006, Facebook became open to anyone who wanted a page. Businesses even started their own pages to connect with customers.

Facebook’s Reach and Demographic

What is Facebook’s reach and demographic now? According to Statista, Facebook is used by more than 2.7 billion people each month globally. The social media site tends to be used most by Millennials (ages 25 to 34), and also is popular with older males in Generation Z (18 to 24). More than half of users are between the ages of 18 and 34.

While the site also is popular with Generation X, Facebook’s largest reach tends to lean Millennial and older Zoomer. Understanding this data can be crucial for those interested in advertising a specific demographic. Although Generation X and some Baby Boomers are on Facebook, they aren’t among the most active on the site.

In general, men tend to be more active on Facebook than women. And the United States isn’t the dominant country for Facebook…India would be the top country for the site. Facebook’s users also are spread across all economic levels; according to SproutSocial: “The distribution of internet users using Facebook is relatively similar among all U.S. household income levels. The lowest percentage is 81% of $60–$70k earners and the highest is 88% of $30–$60k earners.” However, those interested in better understanding the demographic spread can review key data via SproutSocial.

Advertising on Facebook

Facebook is a great way to reach a fairly diverse demographic, which makes it appealing for businesses to advertise. Facebook ads can be specific to certain audiences in specific geographic locations. Dealerships can zero in on their key audience with the site, and Facebook offers a lot of advertising options.

Facebook offers a page devoted to Lead ads for auto. This is the one-stop shop for dealerships to find out what ads they can create and how they can begin advertising on Facebook. Dealerships that have a social media presence on Facebook might already be familiar with Facebook’s ad designs.

The allure of Facebook ads is that they can be customized, and they also can offer a call-to-action for those who click on the ads. These are not just plain or boring banner ads that when clicked might just lead to a web page.

Facebook lets dealerships create unique ads with a specific purpose. For example, the ads can let users add their email to the dealership’s list for updates on promotions, newsletters, etc. The ad can prompt the user to enter this info.

Facebook ads also can be customized in many ways. Facebook explains that dealerships can add “Locate your dealer” information, which helps customers find dealerships close to them. Facebook also includes features to simplify contacting the dealership; this is the “click to call or message” option.

Users also could enjoy a full-screen ad experience (if that’s the dealership’s preference). Ads also could include ways to allow potential customers to schedule test drives or other appointments by adding in time-frame options. In addition, Facebook also gives dealerships the option of including a screen that includes a ‘thank you’ after info is entered. Of course, Facebook also offers other options, too, as dealerships can customize and get creative with their ads!

Can Dealerships Sell Cars on Facebook?

There is an online marketplace via Facebook where cars can be sold. And, yes, Facebook offers an info page about it! This is Facebook’s platform, and dealerships would have to contact Facebook to begin selling via the Marketplace.

However, as more and more customers are looking to buy online, this could be an option for smaller dealerships who might wish to move inventory and have online visibility. Dealerships also can download Facebook’s Automotive Playbook for Dealers.

How Does Advertising on Facebook Increase Leads?

Depending on the type of ad the dealership chooses, there are a number of ways that Facebook ads actually could help the dealership get more leads. Calls-to-action within ads can prompt potential customers to enter info about their preferred car, and this can prompt the sales team to get in touch. The ad also could simply allow the user to enter an email to be placed on a mailing list for promotions. Of course, dealerships also could create their own unique ad with a different type of call to action.

The key to the success of many Facebook ads may be the simple click with the prompt to enter additional information.

Cost of Facebook Ads

While Facebook ads might seem like the ideal way to score some fresh leads and possibly move some inventory, dealerships may wonder about the cost of advertising. Unfortunately, to get an estimate, dealerships may need to reach out to Facebook.

Dealers United compiled a list of costs associated with Facebook ads, and the good news is that the cost seems to have dropped. Dealers United reports that the cost per lead is around $13, while the cost per click is about a quarter and the “cost per 1,000 shopper impressions” rings in at $5.32.

Dealerships that search around the web about advertising via Facebook might have articles related to budget projections related to advertising on the social media site. For some dealerships, though, the advertising budget could be limited.

If dealerships have a certain amount that they can spend, they might contact advertising reps via Facebook and go over what ad strategy would work for their budget. This may help dealerships better understand what they can get with their ad dollars.

Stay Social

For dealerships that absolutely cannot afford to spend more money on advertising, remaining active on social media might be yet another way to help generate leads and stay in front of potential customers. Dealerships may be active on more than one social media site, and some may even have ventured into TikTok (this is the site for Gen Z!).

Maintaining content on social media sites can be a full-time job. Some dealerships have employees whose jobs are solely focused on marketing, but smaller dealerships might have to allocate social media posts to the owner or managers.

To keep a sharp focus on social media content, dealerships might consider creating an editorial calendar. This is a monthly plan that lists out posts and content every day (or each week) during the month. This can help employees in charge of social media better understand how to target their messaging.

Posts don’t have to be all about sales or promotions. Reach out to customers with fun polls. Ask them about their dream car. Introduce Facebook followers to the staff and/or sales team. And use social media to keep followers up to date on dealership hours, promotions and events.

Facebook posts also can include fun videos from the dealership’s YouTube channel (if the dealership has one). Links within posts also can help draw Facebook followers to the dealership’s website.

Other Marketing Ideas

To dovetail on advertising and social media efforts, dealerships also can launch other marketing initiatives. Dealerships might increase their visibility in the community by hosting a booth at an event, sponsoring a local sports team, or creating a float in a yearly parade.

Dealerships also could decide to host special events that include sales and activities for kids or families. Events could even be themed! Maybe the dealership includes branded dealership swag to give away to customers during the event.

When creating any marketing message—including advertising!—dealerships should try to remain consistent. Stick to the dealership’s brand. This could be a specific voice or maybe a certain mascot. Dealerships may use a particular spokesperson. The dealership also could be known for a certain tagline.

The brand helps customers easily identify the company associated with it. Consistency ensures that the brand identity isn’t lost or watered down in the message.

While deploying an ad strategy via Facebook might help generate leads, dealerships interested in pursuing ad opportunities on Facebook might want to reach out to the site’s ad team for additional info. For dealerships unsure about Facebook ads, the site offers many resources to further research Facebook’s advertising offerings and how these ads might help automotive dealerships.

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