The Big Announcement

Buckle up and get ready – it seems like social media, Facebook ads, in particular, is going through some major upheaval. The latest announcement from Zuckerberg’s digital behemoth leaves many advertisers unsure of how their approach to automotive social media will change, how their vendor strategy might evolve, and more.

Cambridge Analytica

To briefly recap, Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm based out of London, used data obtained from over 250,000 Facebook users. These users have consented to have their information shared. However, the app also received information on friends of those who opted in. These users may not have consented to share their personal data. The number of users affected reportedly sits at 50 million.

Data was used to hyper-target Facebook ads, and as a result, the social media platform is announcing changes.

What Are the Changes?

Partner Categories have been in use since 2013 but will now begin phasing out for vendors over the next six months. These partners include Acxiom, Epsilon, Oracle, and WPP.  This decision leaves many scratching their heads since the issues were reported with data being pulled from Facebook, not imported. It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction in an attempt to show that they are “doing something.”  After discussing with our data partner representatives the consensus at the moment is that there MAY be a back peddling. This due to advertisers voice concerns about campaign performance and effectiveness. Time will tell.

Facebook is also investigating all apps that accessed information before security changes were put in place in 2014. Auditing any suspicious app activity, and notifying users of any banned apps they previously used. Developers will have to comply with stricter policies and terms for business-to-business applications. Expect privacy controls to become more prominently displayed and easier to access.

How Does This Affect My Facebook Ads?

If your business is creating Facebook ads and using data from Partner Categories, your targeting will likely reduce in specificity if you’re using hyper-targeted information. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this means you cannot reach your target audience. The Facebook platform on its own already has plenty of data for you to target. In-market shoppers, customers who are looking for a specific body style vehicle, consumers who use specific mobile devices, buyer profiles, and so much more. In addition, Dealer Authority’s dealer clients will benefit from our continued close relationship with our data partners. We will still have hyper-targeting options available regardless of Facebook changes.

We could list the targeting possibilities within Facebook here, but then this post would be insanely long! Whether you work with our team or not, we would be happy to discuss a revamped targeting strategy. let us help your dealership brainstorm the best way to reach your in-market audience with the tools available to advertisers.

One Last Point

In an age of ever-changing social practices, we expect to hear more regarding the issue of data privacy, Facebook usage, and digital advertising. This will certainly not be the last time the Dealer Authority team adapts to oncoming changes. It’s always our goal to give you the information we have available to us and help keep you informed on ongoing revelations within the industry.

If you ever have any questions about advertising with social media, using Facebook’s data, or revamping your digital marketing strategy, please contact us at (888) 963-9617 or by dropping us a note here.