Is Paid Facebook Marketing the Wild West?

The car business at one time might have looked to some like the wild west. what with its dealers the gunslingers. Dealers used to find something that worked and pour more and more money into it to sell as many vehicles as possible. And why not take a marketing investment of say $7500.00 in direct mail that produced 35 car deals and double it the next month in hopes of doubling the results? This entrepreneurial gunslinger spirit is gone today in most stores. Staying safe and doing what everybody else is doing rules the day.

Dealership marketing has been changing with an ever-quickening pace for the last two decade, though few blaze into new marketing territory until the herd is already moving that way. Dealers have reallocated marketing dollars from traditional to digital – just like every other dealership in every other town across the country. The amount of newspaper, television, radio and direct mail that dealers are doing today is less than two decades ago and most would agree that this was and is the best way to spend marketing budgets. Websites, SEO, SEM and third-party lead providers were able to produce more per dollar, and almost all dealers went all in. Today the marketing landscape has changed again and the advantage available to early-adopting dealers is greater than ever before. If this sounds good to you, go in the closet and wipe the dust of your gun belt because the wild west is back.

Facebook came in like a lamb and today is a lion. For years dealers tried to get likes and post non-sales content in hopes of selling cars. Some vehicles were sold, but Facebook felt like a necessary evil to dealers, and for years did not mature into a vehicle delivery machine. Over the last two years, Facebook has come of age, and the Facebook lead generation ad is the single most cost-effective mean to find car buyers and bring them into your dealership. It is in reality the closest thing to a silver bullet available today. Dealerships that are embracing this and shifting their marketing budgets to reflect the success they are having are seeing upwards of 30% of sales coming from Facebook. So why then are so many dealerships reluctant to try it… or if they do try it, why are they reluctant to really give it a chance?

Many dealers have dipped their toe into Facebook with a tiny $500 or $1000 spend and decided it was not for them? How many cars would you have sold in the nineties with $500 worth of direct mail or newspaper? And other digital marketing when factoring in software, people and spend can’t do it either. Let’s get real. To truly drive incremental sales by any method will require more than $500. We all know that Facebook is where most of us consume the most media so it only makes sense to spend a larger portion of our budgets here.

Not only will you get more leads for less money on Facebook, but the leads are absolutely higher gross customers than any other source. Most internet leads are submitted by car shoppers after they have spent ten or more hours researching the best way to drain every last dollar of gross from the deal. They come into your store ready to dig in their heels and do battle. Facebook leads gen ads reach people in their newsfeed. They are looking at pictures of friends’ children and vacations when they see a new vehicle offer that resonates with them. They have not been shopping or researching. They have simply reacted to an offer with two quick clicks and are right back to liking their friends’ posts.

It is truly as simple as two clicks. Facebook auto populates the lead form and the customer opts in to receive text messages.

Once you have captured this customer lead, the best way to set an appointment is with texting. A report commissioned by SinglePoint found that text message open-rates exceed 99%, and that 90% of text messages are read within three minutes. Talk about a strong communication rate…

Facebook lead generation ads are catching on quickly and you cannot afford to be the last store on your street to start using them. If you would like to see samples of some well performing ads, please send an email me at with “Facebook Ad Samples” in the subject line.

Facebook may feel like the wild west, but your customers are already there.