It’s no secret: when used correctly, Facebook has the power to totally transform your dealership’s brand perception and drive targeted revenue opportunities with precision. There has never been a better time to start making Facebook worth your time and money! We’ve narrowed down 9 basic steps you can take today to improve your performance on Facebook and begin using the platform’s full potential.
1. Populate your page with the most sought-after information.
Think of your Facebook page as your online showroom. When current customers and new prospects visit, you want them to easily get a feel for what your dealership is like and make it easy to quickly find what they need. Facebook business pages provide quite a few areas for you to share information and communicate your brand. At a minimum, your business hours, website link, dealership address, email, and phone number all should be listed and up to date. Keep cover photos fresh and profile pictures fitted to the frame so no imagery is cut off, and always be sure to unpin pinned posts that promote expired events or irrelevant information.
2. Keep communication flowing by creating a plan for active response.
A key reason consumers use social media is to easily communicate with businesses. As it stands today, Facebook users expect businesses to communicate through their page and to reply to their inquiries quickly. The expectations for dealership communications are no different, yet many dealers often fall a bit behind in this area. Facebook provides a variety of ways for customers to ask questions or share opinions including a direct message, page check-in, post comments, and direct posts on your page. To manage these, make sure you have an employee or a designated team checking your page notifications daily and responding when appropriate. What’s at risk if you don’t? Revenue! Cultivating these communications means never missing a hot lead or service appointment request.
3. Analyze customer feedback and use it to improve.
To add to the importance of responding to customers, it is crucial to pay attention to both the positive and negative feedback you receive. An appropriate response is important to your reputation and building dealership trust, but the feedback is also highly valuable consumer data that should be taken into consideration — these are direct, real-time insights into your dealership’s strengths and opportunities for growth.
4. Adapt and be nimble, as platform changes are expected.
Facebook updates are very frequent and seemingly daily. This doesn’t mean you need to be a Facebook expert to navigate platform changes, but it’s best to stay agile in order not to lose any traction. Keep an eye on changes to the User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX), policies, and user trends, and from there, adjust your strategy and creativity accordingly.
5. Install the Facebook pixel on your website.
Using the best and most accurate data is vitally important to ensuring your paid content hits the right target at the right time. According to Facebook, “higher frequencies are required to impact greater behavior change, such as purchase intent,” which is why retargeting your site traffic is key. If you’re not yet familiar, retargeting is the act of targeting consumers based on their previous internet actions. When installed correctly on your website, the Facebook pixel allows us to create custom audiences to appropriately retarget visitors who have taken certain actions or visited specific pages. For example, we will tell the pixel to create an audience of new SUV shoppers based on the pages they’ve visited or actions they’ve taken on your website. From there, we will target this audience in a Facebook ad with the most impactful content suited for this group. We have found retargeting to be a crucial component to a successful full-funnel strategy.
6. Promote your vehicle inventory in the Facebook feed.
One of the most effective ways to get your cars, SUVs, and all other vehicle inventory in front of viable prospects is through automotive inventory ads. Delivered dynamically, your inventory is kept up to date and delivered right to prospects with the highest purchase intent. There are even ways to control the information associated with each vehicle, such as the option to add or remove pricing, making this suitable to segment and push both new and used vehicles in ways that uniquely attract these shoppers. Even better, we’ve seen these ads receive some of the highest engagement as in addition to being targeted with such precision, the format is already familiar to consumers who are used to interacting with e-commerce inventory ads in the same manner.
7. Establish goals and examine Key Performance Indicators accordingly.
Like with any marketing tactic, getting clear on priorities and goals will help dictate your dealership’s strategy and how you measure success. As Adam Meier, Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer of Affinitiv often says, “You treasure what you measure.” We use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), a set of quantifiable measurements used to gauge performance, to examine the metrics most closely associated with our goals. Facebook offers an abundant selection of analytics for assessing both organic and paid content performance, but you may find yourself lost in irrelevant data. With so many ways to examine, it’s best to begin with establishing desired outcomes. What are you looking to do? For example, if you’re looking to increase overall engagement with an ad, you would want to examine the Click-Through-Rate (CTR), a KPI that determines the ratio of users who click on your ad to the number of total users who view. By using KPIs and staying close to your goals, you’ll be better able to wade through the sea of metrics and get clear on what works (and what does not).
8. Leverage your DMS to reach existing customers and valuable prospects.
Your Dealership Management System (DMS) is a powerhouse of valuable data. Are you using your DMS as a marketing tool? You know when your customers are due for their next maintenance or when their lease will be ending, and you also know how timely, appropriate messages can reliably generate revenue. That said, with all the variables at hand, it would be heavy lifting for an in-house dealership marketing team to keep up with this via Facebook advertising. Affinitv provides proprietary technology to power our Social Roots 1:1 solution for this very reason. With a seamless connection directly from your DMS to Facebook, segmented by points in the customer life cycle, you’ll have timely messages delivered to the right parties. This results in new opportunities to grow valuable relationships as well as upsell and improve customer retention.
9. Experiment with content and be open to the results: good, bad, and ugly.
As you may have picked up from the first 8 steps, the ways to use Facebook are seemingly endless. Our recommendation: simplify! The only way to find out what content resonates with your audience is to start putting content out there. Test your strategies, little by little, and make small tweaks to creative, copy, and more as you go so that tests are controlled. You might find you don’t like some of the results, but that means you’re one step closer to ruling out what doesn’t work to be on the path to what does. Eventually, you’ll find the unique formula that creates the most impact for your dealership.