Social Media Marketing

Discover the power of social media marketing for car dealerships.


Social Media Marketing for Car Dealerships

Social media marketing is one of the most essential tools for modern businesses, especially in the auto industry. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are unparalleled opportunities to reach customers and build brand loyalty. This crucial tool for car dealers can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be when you know how to use social media marketing to increase sales and traffic to your store

Dealer Authority is an industry leader in social media solutions for dealers, offering innovative ad types and campaigns tailored to their unique needs. We’ve compiled a guide that helps you understand social media marketing for car dealerships and how we help our clients expand their online reach.

What is Dealer Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing refers to using social networks like Facebook and Instagram to promote a business. It includes creating a social media presence, posting updates, engaging with customers, and running advertising campaigns. The core goals are to increase brand awareness, connect with the target audience, drive traffic to company websites, and generate sales or leads.

Why Does Social Media Marketing for Auto Dealerships Matter?

The auto industry has always been competitive, but today’s customers have more choices and shorter attention spans than ever before. More than ever, consumers visit car dealership social media pages and believe that social media has impacted what type of vehicle they buy and where they buy it.

According to a study completed by Cox Automotive, nearly 87% of auto dealers believe that digital retailing, including social media, has positively impacted their business. In the same study, 81% of shoppers indicated that online activities improves the car-buying experience.

Dealers must implement intelligent social media strategies to stand out, build trust, and stay front-of-mind during the vehicle buying process, which often begins months or years before setting foot in the showroom.

Dealer Authority’s Social Media Marketing for Auto Dealerships

At Dealer Authority, we offer innovative ad types tailored to auto dealers’ diverse needs.

Our ad types fall into three categories:

  • Primary ads focused on driving web traffic, conversions, and sales
  • Secondary ads building brand awareness and community goodwill
  • Tertiary ads for a well-rounded social media presence and supplementary custom ads specific to your dealership’s changing needs for a well-rounded social media presence

We help dealers craft a custom ad strategy based on their priorities and budget.

Primary Ad Types: Driving Sales & Service

New inventory ads and used inventory ads promote new or used inventory to hyper-targeted local car buyers on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These types of ads on social media for car dealerships generate the highest return on investment by driving interested shoppers directly to the dealer’s website. We help clients select specific vehicles to feature based on their inventory and what is most likely to resonate with their target audience.

For example, an ad highlighting the latest model of a popular family SUV may reach parents looking to upgrade to a larger vehicle. An advertisement for a pre-owned luxury sedan may reach commuters wanting an affordable yet stylish upgrade to their daily driver. Detailed targeting and messaging focused on customers’ wants and needs are critical.

These two primary campaign types are a fundamental part of any dealer’s ad strategy and account for the majority of Dealer Authority’s clients’ total ad spend. There are more than just two primary campaign types that help drive business for our car dealers, though.

Additional Business-Driving Car Dealership Facebook Campaigns

Whether you’re looking to fill up your service bays, acquire more pre-owned inventory, or push pre-orders for your franchise, these campaigns are serious business drivers when it comes to social media marketing for car dealerships:

  • Retargeting: Re-engage people who visited the dealer’s website to bring them back.
  • Service Ads: Promote current service specials to local vehicle owners and increase goodwill and customer retention. An ad for an oil change coupon or free multi-point inspection fits this ad type.
  • We Buy Cars (WBC): Promote the dealer’s used car buying program to generate more trade-in opportunities and build used inventory. Emphasize the benefits to the seller, such as fast, easy, and competitive offers. These ads provide leads for acquiring pre-owned vehicles to recondition and resell.
  • New Vehicle Orders: Targets customers looking to order custom or limited new vehicles, especially when new inventory levels are low. For example, an ad promoting the opportunity to order a custom luxury or sports car or to get on the waiting list for a new model.
  • Subprime Financing Ads: For dealers offering subprime lending programs, ads can promote financing options for local shoppers with low or no credit history. Targeted ads may reach those struggling to find approved and affordable financing at other dealers. While higher risk, subprime leads represent more sales opportunities when traditional options are limited.
  • New + Used: General ads promoting both new and pre-owned inventory to a broad range of potential customers in the local area. While we try to get as specific as possible with our in-market shopper audiences, there are situations where it is appropriate to target both!

Secondary Ad Types: Building the Brand

These secondary ad types focus on building brand awareness within your community. Playing a crucial role in social media marketing for car dealerships, these campaigns include:

  • Post Engagement Campaigns: Post Engagement Campaigns: Ongoing paid campaigns to promote lifestyle social media posts on the dealer’s profiles. For example, sponsoring a post about family summer road trip tips or the latest vehicle technologies across multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. By sponsoring locally-relevant content over a set time period, the dealer can increase brand visibility and position themselves as an industry resource to followers.
  • Reel Engagement: Short video reels on platforms like Instagram and Facebook represent a chance to reach new audiences and keep content fresh. Lighthearted or behind-the-scenes reels showing dealer employees and daily events may receive high viewership and brand engagement, especially with younger crowds.
  • Video Engagement: Promote dealer video content on Facebook to increase brand engagement. For example, share a video highlighting a virtual tour of the service center or a monthly sales promotion.
  • Community Engagement: Highlight the dealer’s community programs, events, partnerships, and sponsorships. For instance, an ad featuring a local little league team the dealer sponsors helps strengthen brand loyalty and partnerships. Check out Jeff’s Heroes from the Jeff Schmitt Auto Group, a program that highlights community heroes as a great example of community engagement posts.
  • Salesperson of the Month: Dealers can run community engagement ads highlighting their Salesperson of the Month. Featuring photos and accomplishments of top sales staff personalizes the brand and builds familiarity. While brief, these ads showcase the dealer’s commitment to excellence and boost morale by recognizing employee achievements.

Additional Ad Types: A Well-Rounded Strategy

A mix of ad types provide a balanced strategy for social media marketing for car dealerships. They include a variety of ad types like:

  • Lease Return Ads: Dealers can advertise to people with leases expiring soon on the benefits of purchasing or leasing another vehicle from them. Timely ads let the dealer take advantage of a captive audience whose needs are about to change, allowing them to retain the customer before they go into the broader market.
  • Trade-In Value Ads: Ads promote free trade-in appraisals whether customers buy from the dealer. They appeal to local vehicle owners looking for an easy way to sell their current vehicle. By offering a competitive, no-obligation appraisal, the dealer can make an attractive offer and win the sale.
  • Now Hiring: Recruit employees by promoting open positions to a broad local audience. For instance, an ad for an experienced service technician or finance manager role.
  • Rental Ads: For dealers operating an on-site rental service, ads can promote their rental car options. Targeting people traveling into the area for vacation or business provides extra revenue and a chance to make an excellent first impression through the quality of their rental vehicles and customer service.

These car dealership social media ads allow dealers to diversify their social media marketing and reach new audiences based on the range of services and operations their dealership offers. They represent an opportunity to tap into unique customer groups that competitors may overlook. While they only make up a small portion of total ad spend, used strategically, these ads provide added brand visibility and pathways for new customer acquisition.

Social Media Marketing for Car Dealerships: Turning Traffic into Sales on Facebook

Our advanced Facebook for car dealerships remarketing campaigns, Drip, account for a smaller portion of spending but provide significant results. These ads target people who recently visited the dealer’s website to keep them engaged through a unique and completely customized advertising funnel series of ads. As website visitors continue to be exposed to the dealer’s messaging, they move closer to a purchase decision, turning general interest into a quality lead or sale.

For example, someone searching for a specific new vehicle model may first see an ad highlighting the available inventory of that model at the local dealer. If they continue to engage with the ads, subsequent variations may provide virtual walkarounds of actual vehicles the dealer has in stock, special offers for a limited time, reviews from happy customers, and calls to action to contact the dealer for a quote or test drive.

Remarketing ads yield a high return on investment because they only focus the budget on people who have demonstrated interest, allowing for a “hands-off” approach once the initial campaign parameters are set. The key is creating a series of visually compelling ads showcasing why the dealer is the right choice for their next vehicle.

Car Dealership Social Media Marketing: Putting it All Together

Car dealers have many options when it comes to social media marketing. An optimized plan utilizes multiple ad types targeted at different customer groups to achieve critical goals:

  • Driving Sales: Primary new and used inventory ads, and Facebook remarketing ads promote inventory to ready-to-buy shoppers.
  • Building Brand and Goodwill: Secondary ads like community engagement, service offers, and new vehicle orders.
  • Well-Rounded Presence: Tertiary ads such as retargeting, video content, and new and used reach a broader base.

The power of social media marketing for car dealerships cannot be overlooked. A robust social strategy is vital to reach today’s customers, build meaningful relationships, and stay competitive in a fast-changing market.

Dealer Authority utilizes the latest tools, insights, and expertise to help dealers master social media marketing and thrive in the digital world. Contact us for a free consultation on how we can help your dealership succeed. Our team will evaluate your needs, goals, and current efforts to create a custom social media strategy reflecting your unique brand and market. Let us show you the power of social media marketing.

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