Facebook and Your Dealership
Here’s a newsflash for you: Facebook is not the place to market your best-priced vehicles! It’s the place to market the emotions of auto ownership.
A bit of history
Back in the day, every dealership set up a Facebook page and invested a lot of money and time in getting “fans” or likes to their page.
It didn’t take very long before they realized that all those likes weren’t translating into sales.
The marketing guys start talking about “Facebook is for branding, not sales.” While branding is important, auto dealerships live and die on sales.
That’s when it got worse. Many dealerships paid someone a few hundred dollars a month to maintain their Facebook page. Usually, it was a low level employee who had no power to make anything happen and wasn’t looking for creative ways to engage people. They were just putting up posts to keep the page alive.
The next stage was Facebook ads. At about the same time, Google ads became a thing and everyone stood around confused as to which to use.
It took awhile for everyone to figure out that Facebook ads and Google ads did two different things.
- Facebook ads brought buyers who weren’t ready to buy yet. They might be thinking about it or simply responded to an ad that had a great image of a car or truck. They might buy in the future, but they weren’t ready to buy today.
- Google ads were delivered to someone who searched for a car or a car dealership. This is great! These were people who were ready to buy. The problem was every dealership figured this out in a few seconds and they all started buying Google ads. Today, Google ads for most car dealerships are too expensive to make it worth it. A single viable lead can cost thousands.
Facebook Lead Generation Ads
Then, Facebook changed their ads and created Lead Gen ads. These are ads where a person can click a button that takes them to a contact form. The form is prefilled. If they’re on a mobile device on the bus, they don’t have to type in all their information on a tiny keyboard.
These customers are still “high funnel”, meaning they aren’t necessarily ready to buy right away, but they’re prompting the contact. They’re ready to talk to someone about something.
The leads generated this way are people that you’ll nurture to the sale. Take your time, provide them with information and contacts, and help them make a decision about buying a vehicle.
One of the best ways to do this is to use text messages. Craft texts that are low-key, don’t push sales too hard, but keep the lead informed about what you’re doing and how they might be able to get a vehicle soon.
The strength of text messages is that over 90% of them are read and about 70% are responded to. Make them personal, speak to what that person might like, and you’re likely to get a sale sooner rather than later.
There needs to be change in how your salespeople approach these contacts.
Many Facebook leads aren’t ready to buy just yet. They need to be approached with a bit more of a delicate touch.
Salespeople need to build a relationship, ask questions, and even talk about the person’s personal life. How many kids? What type of work do they do? Do they travel a lot? Do they need a vehicle that they can work out of?
The difference will be that they should work on really getting to know the contact rather than pushing to get the sale immediately.
Make sure that everything is put into a CRM so it’s there for the next person or not forgotten by the salesperson.
Facebook is a Powerhouse
While the Facebook pages didn’t work, Facebook Lead Gen ads are great for auto dealerships. They allow you to target the right area, the right demographics, and people who are really interested in your vehicles. They might not be ready to buy yet, but they’re ready to learn about what you have to offer.