How to Transform the Car Buying Journey With Facebook Messenger

The car buying journey has evolved over the years. In the past, the average automotive consumer would visit an average of five dealerships before deciding which vehicle to purchase. Now, the average auto consumer only visits one or two dealerships. This is because much of their research is now conducted online, so they no longer feel the need to visit multiple dealers to learn more about their options. In fact, 83% of automotive consumers have already decided which vehicle they want and are ready to buy it once they arrive at a dealership.

Based on this data, it’s clear that automotive dealers must connect with potential customers online early in their car buying journey. There are many different ways to establish this online connection, but using Facebook Messenger is one of the most effective.

Facebook Messenger, which was launched in 2011, is an instant messaging service built into Facebook. It was initially designed to help users connect with their friends and family, but now it is often used to help consumers connect with brands. The service has grown exponentially since it was first launched. Now, brands exchange over 20 billion messages with consumers over Facebook Messenger every month.

Although it is just a simple messaging service, Facebook Messenger has the potential to help automotive dealers communicate directly with consumers at every stage of the car buying cycle.

What are the benefits of using Facebook Messenger to connect with auto consumers? How can you use this messaging service to reach your target audience during every stage of their car buying journey? Here’s what you should know:


In general, automotive consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with the idea of purchasing a vehicle online. About half of all consumers would be willing to purchase a vehicle online, and this number increases to 60% among consumers under the age of 40.

Most consumers who aren’t willing to purchase a vehicle online are still interested in moving other aspects of the purchase process online, including research, test drives, and financing. The less time they spend in the dealership, the better.

However, these consumers still want to be able to interact with the dealership as they complete these steps online. When asked why they want to communicate with the dealer online prior to visiting them in person:

  • 48% wanted to ask the dealer questions about specific models or features
  • 48% wanted to learn more about pricing or financing.
  • 40% wanted to check on the availability of a specific model.

One of the best ways to connect with these consumers is through Facebook Messenger. 


There are a number of reasons why auto dealers should use Facebook Messenger to communicate with their target audience.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer instant messaging over emailing or calling. These consumers often contact brands via instant messaging services such as Facebook Messenger. About 65% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand after connecting with them via instant message. About 60% of consumers even consider these instant message conversations when making a purchase decision.

There are several reasons why consumers prefer instant messaging services, specifically, Facebook Messenger. First, it’s convenient. Consumers won’t need to take time out of their schedule to wait on hold. They also can send these messages at any hour–even if the business isn’t open yet. It’s a more direct form of communication than email, and consumers also won’t need to go through the trouble of figuring out how to contact a brand via email.

Plus, most people already have the Facebook and Facebook Messenger apps installed on their smartphones. They won’t need to jump through hoops to download or learn how to use a new app. They already know what they’re doing on Facebook Messenger, which makes it easy to reach out to brands. This explains why 64% of consumers surveyed said they use Facebook Messenger to contact brands simply because they are “always messaging anyways.”

Facebook Messenger can also satisfy the average consumer’s need for instant gratification. Instant messaging shortens the amount of time that consumers must wait between wanting a new vehicle and owning a new vehicle.

Consumers also believe that using Facebook Messenger to communicate with brands improves the quality of their interactions. Facebook surveyed a sample of users who frequently use Facebook Messenger to interact with brands.

This survey revealed that consumers report better response times and customer service when communicating with brands via Facebook Messenger as opposed to other traditional methods. These consumers also believe that they receive more truthful responses from brands when instant messaging. Many consumers also view instant messaging with brands as more meaningful since it is a personal, two-way interaction.

These are some of the many reasons why automotive dealers should tap into the power of Facebook Messenger to reach their target audience.


Every consumer goes through the same series of steps when deciding to purchase a new vehicle. Together, these steps are known as the consumer buying cycle or car buying journey.

There are three steps in the car buying journey. The first is the discovery stage, which is also known as the awareness stage. During this stage, the consumer either becomes aware of a problem or need on their own or is made aware of this problem or need by a brand.

The discovery stage is also where consumers may learn about potential solutions to their problems or ways to meet their needs.

For example, a consumer who is frustrated with the lack of space in their sedan may see an ad for a spacious SUV and realize they need a new, larger vehicle to fit their lifestyle. This ad not only helped the consumer discover their problem, but it also provided the consumer with a solution in the form of a larger SUV. 

The next step of the car buying journey is the consideration stage. During this stage, the consumer will evaluate the options they have to resolve their problem or satisfy their need. Using the same example from above, this consumer may start researching the pros and cons of different makes and models of SUVs during the consideration stage.

The final step in the car buying journey is the decision stage, which is when the consumer narrows down their options and decides which vehicle to purchase.

You can use Facebook Messenger to connect with your target audience during all three of these stages of the buying cycle. The secret is running “Click to Messenger” Facebook ads that encourage consumers to click on a button to start communicating directly with your company via Facebook Messenger. Here’s how you can use these ads at each stage of the buying cycle:


During this stage, the goal is to help consumers realize their problem and understand how your dealership can resolve it. To reach these consumers, you may want to run Click to Messenger Facebook ads that direct consumers to contact you to learn more about specific vehicles or vehicle features. You can also direct them to contact you to find out whether or not a specific vehicle is available at your dealership.

Some examples of the text you can use on the call-to-action button in your ad include:

  • Click to Message
  • Make An Inquiry
  • Check Availability
  • Request Information


Automotive consumers in this stage are considering all of their options, so it’s up to you to set yourself apart from your competitors.

Make it easy for potential customers to evaluate their options by creating ads that encourage them to contact you via Messenger to book in-person showroom appointments at your dealership. You should also consider allowing consumers to book in-person test drives through Facebook Messenger.

Some customers prefer evaluating their options online rather than in-person. In this case, use Facebook Messenger to send potential customers high quality photos of a vehicle’s interior and exterior. Highlight the most exciting features of the vehicle and explain how it compares to other similar models.

This is also the time to run ads that encourage customers to contact you via Facebook Messenger to discuss promotions, discounts, and deals with interested consumers. Remember, consumers are in the process of weighing their options, so learning about these special offers could influence their purchase decision.

Some examples of the text you can use on the call-to-action button in your ad include:

  • Schedule An Appointment
  • Reserve Your Spot
  • Book Now
  • Take A Test Drive
  • Compare Your Options
  • Explore More


Reach consumers who are in the decision stage of the buying cycle by running ads that encourage them to close the deal via Facebook Messenger.

These ads should direct consumers to instant message you to make a payment, sign documents, or schedule the delivery of their new vehicle. Highlight the fact that completing these steps online is far more convenient than doing it at a dealership.

You should also run ads that direct consumers to instant message you via Messenger to start the process of applying for financing. This is a great way to establish or maintain a relationship with a customer who is in the final stage of their buying cycle.

Some examples of the text you can use on the call-to-action button in your ad include:

  • Make A Payment
  • Buy Now
  • Apply for Financing
  • Schedule A Delivery
  • Check Your Delivery Status
  • Sign Your Paperwork

Running these ads will encourage Facebook users to contact you via Messenger, where you can provide them with the customer service, information, and advice they need to make a purchase decision.


At this point, you should understand the importance of using Facebook Messenger to reach your target audience at each stage of the consumer buying cycle. The next step is setting up Facebook Messenger so you are ready to use this service to communicate with potential customers.

Every Facebook business page has access to Facebook Messenger. You must have a Facebook page to use Messenger, so if you don’t have one set up for your dealership yet, now is the time to create it.

If you already have a Facebook business page, follow these steps to start using Facebook Messenger:

  1. Confirm that Facebook Messenger is enabled for your page by visiting General Settings. In the “Messages” section, make sure there is a checkmark next to “Allow people to contact my page privately.”
  2. Add a Facebook Messenger link to your website and newsletters. You can find a direct link by visiting the Messaging tab on your page’s General Settings. 
  3. Make it easy for Facebook users to contact you via Messenger by adding a “Send Message” button to your business page. To do this, click on “Add A Button” under your business page’s cover photo. Select “Contact You,” then “Messenger,” then “Finish.” Now, Facebook users will be able to send you a direct message by tapping this button.
  4. Create a custom greeting. This greeting will appear the second a Facebook user opens a conversation with you in Messenger, before they even send their first message to you. You can create this greeting by visiting the Messaging tab on your page’s General settings.
  5. Set up an automatic reply. If you want to send an automatic reply to users who contact you for the first time, visit the Messaging tab on your page’s General Settings. You may want to customize your auto reply to thank the user for contacting you or to tell them when they should expect a response. 
  6. Create automatic responses that will be sent to users who ask frequently asked questions. To do this, go to your page’s inbox and click on “Automated Responses” then “Frequently Asked Questions.” Enter the question and answer into the text box and click “Save.” This prevents you from having to answer the same question over and over again. It also ensures that users get answers to these frequently asked questions as quickly as possible.

Now you’re ready to start using Facebook Messenger to connect with your target audience. By following this advice, you can establish a meaningful and lasting relationship with consumers at every stage of their consumer buying cycle.

3 thoughts on “How to Transform the Car Buying Journey With Facebook Messenger”

Comments are closed.