Each and every day I am talking with auto dealers about ways to leverage Internet marketing to promote their dealerships. Most dealers do recognize the importance of search and social media today which means I spend little or no time educating about the importance of these things and more time discussing actual tactics and strategies we are going to utilize.
When it comes to Facebook, just about every dealer agrees they need to marketing there. What’s peculiar though is how each person believes this should be done, and specifically how probably at least 2 (or 3) in 5 dealers are opposed to paid advertising on Facebook.
What is Paid Advertising?
Paid advertising on Facebook is the practice of placing real dollars behind posts and targeting specific Facebook users based on their expressed interests on Facebook. The benefit of doing this is so that you can reach people beyond the reach of your dealership page. In effect, with paid advertising you have the ability to reach just about any Facebook user on the planet, which is nearly 1.5 billion people.
Why the Opposition?
As one who used to be opposed to paying to money to reach people on Facebook, I understand why there might be opposition to this. The idea of paying money to advertise in social media always seemed wrong. And if you watch the video below you might really struggle with the idea of doing so.
Mind Shift: From Social to Traditional Media
Maybe the way to overcome this is to not view Facebook as social media and instead a traditional communications medium such as radio or television.
A primary difference between traditional and social media is how the content is published, or better yet who is creating the content. On television the content is created by professionals with serious capital and resources behind it such as equipment, talent, and studios. On Facebook, the majority of content is made by the average user.
A similarity between traditional and social media is that people entertain themselves on both. For a social network to support advertising the way Facebook does, I think it’s fair to say that it becomes more of a traditional medium.
A misconception I see is that it’s a bad thing for brands to have to pay to reach people on Facebook. The social network was designed and intended for people to connect with and communicate with one another. Brands that want to reach people there can can pay, alas advertise” to do so. There is nothing wrong with that. Quite frankly, it’s a terrific advertising strategy.
While paying to advertise on Facebook is a good tactic, this doesn’t mean there is no use in your organic strategy. In fact, if you have your employees share each piece of content published to your page, Facebook will recognize this as content shared from a person and not a brand and thus get your content natural extended reach. For more great tips, check out this infographic from Shortstack called the Facebook Quilt.