Facebook Ads Success Story – Hub City Ford
154 leads generated in 60 days
34 cars sold in that time
22% of Facebook leads result in a sale
December, 2017, Number One sales month ever!
There are a lot of Facebook ads success stories that you’ll hear if you surf the internet. Many of them are a bit dubious. You aren’t given a lot of facts and the sources might be a bit questionable.
The story of Hub City Ford in Lafayette, Louisiana, comes directly from Facebook. The numbers above are impressive. Consider that there isn’t really any other lead pipeline that delivers a 22% sell-through rate in 60 days.
Hub City is a 40-year old dealership that had served its community well in that time with sales and service.
The 2-Step Facebook Plan
Hub City accomplished their sales in two stages.
Step One: the ads were targeted to lookalike audiences from their website and based on the vehicles that people were interested in.
These ads were targeted with ad sets that spoke to the interests of that group. Ads were divided by car model. This way the contacts saw similar cars again and again in their Facebook feeds.
Facebook offers dynamic ads. These ads are built by the Facebook ads artificial intelligence (AI) from a catalog of images and models. The AI sees what the user is interested in and customizes ads just to them.
Because the dealership’s inventory was linked to Facebook, it only showed vehicles that were in stock.
By using carousel ad designs, they were able to show a series of images, each with a different but related model. For example, if someone loved Ford muscle cars, they would see a series of those cars in the carousel. They were less likely to see a truck or an economy car.
Step Two: the second set of ads were retargeted ads to people who had visited the website. This is possible because Facebook will put a small cookie on the customer’s browser that tells the system the customer had visited the website. The AI then sees the cookie and creates ads targeted at that customer.
The fact that over 70% of all Americans are on Facebook, this retargeting effort can be very successful.
One important aspect of understanding whether you’re getting a return on your investment is offline tracking. When someone crosses the threshold at your dealership, you need to know how they got there. It’s important that you and your staff ask every time. If you don’t then there’s no way to know how they arrived there.
A hint that a customer has been targeted by Facebook ads would be if they come in asking for a specific car in the inventory or a very specific model. This tells you that they’ve seen your ads or have been to your website.
During the sale of a car, there’s always a lot of time to talk. Your sales team needs to be trained and held accountable for asking all the right questions.
“Did you visit the website?”
“How did you find the website?”
“Are you on Facebook?”
“Did you get one of our emails?”
Since the customer is usually sitting there for a while for financing and paperwork, there’s lots of time to ask without sounding strange.
Some dealerships will actually simply come out and say what they’re doing. “We want to make sure that we’re able to find more great customers like you. How did you find us?”
The key to success
The biggest key to success for Hub City Ford was planning and a clear understanding of how Facebook ads can work.
Often, people will simply create ads and let them run, but Facebook has created immensely powerful tools that can deliver customization, targeting, retargeting and deep analysis to the ad campaign. The old days of buying newspaper ads or paying thousands of dollars to be in the Yellow Pages—with no idea if it’s working—are gone.