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Facebook Advertising: Get Over It!

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.

Example of a Sponsored Facebook Post

Example of a Sponsored Facebook Post

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.

The Misconception

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.

Facebook Marketing Tips for Auto Dealers

Organic Tips

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.

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What Is Your Personal Image?



With everything going digital in recent years, we often forget that some things can use a personal touch. That's why it's important to work on your individual image to increase customer experience. Find out how you can make yourself more marketable.

Get the Hard Facts from Samantha Cunningham at POTRATZ, and learn strategies for improving your own image.

We want to hear from you about how you improve your own personal image. Send your best practice videos to Hardfacts@ppadv.com.
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Are You Using Google's Hidden Treasure?

Chances are, there’s already been a Google account created for your business, but are you correctly using Google Places and Google+ Local to increase your exposure? Find out how you should be setting up these features to market your dealership.

Get the Hard Facts from Samantha Cunningham at POTRATZ, and learn strategies for increasing your dealership’s online visibility.

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Have You Gone Too Far?

Do you ever find yourself asking: How long should a video walk around be? When do you have too much content in an email blast? What makes a great landing page? On this week's Think Tank Tuesday, I'll cover these questions and more!

  Tune in now and learn how long you should be making your content on several different marketing channels.

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Cloudy With A Chance Of Sales

You can't control the weather, but you can control how your dealership responds to major weather events. Find out how your dealership can be the sunshine after the storm by helping shoppers who have recently been affected by these conditions.

Get the Hard Facts from Samantha Cunningham at POTRATZ, and learn strategies for responding to bad weather in your area.

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I really don't know who I'm going to offend on this one. We've been researching so many vendors over the last couple of months that work with chat, lead-gen widgets, and website platforms themselves that we haven't taken the time to explore PPC vendors. Maybe that's why I was blindsided to find out that there are at least two vendors out there charging 20% and one that we found who is charging 25%.

Is it me or is this insane? We'll put aside the 25% vendor for now. I'm hopeful that it's some sort of accounting mistake or something. Focusing on the 20% charge, it really bugs me that this may be more common than I ever knew. I've always hung around the organic side of search, so PPC hasn't been a focus. With that said, I've managed dozens of PPC campaigns over the years and I could never imagine charging anything other than a flat fee.

To me (and again, I might be on the wrong side of this argument and would be very open to some education on this one), if a dealership is spending $10,000 per month on their PPC, $2,000 of it going to management seems high. If the software is driving the bidding and the feeds are generating the dynamic ads, wouldn't it seem that very little manual effort and development costs are going into the service on a monthly basis?

I've always been a fan of flat fee PPC management because of transparency. I want to be able to recommend to a dealer that they raise their budget without them wondering if I'm just trying to make more money and I want to be able to recommend that they reduce their budget without reducing my service fee. To me, adjusting a budget is a matter of changing a number or two in the backend and I cannot justify charging hundreds of dollars more per month for clicking a few buttons.

Here's the math:

  • 20% service fee
  • $10,000 per month initial budget
  • Dealer wants to raise to a $12,000 per month budget
  • Vendor clicks a few buttons, adjust some daily budgets
  • Additional monthly cost for clicking those buttons: $400/month
  • Yes, that's $4,800 a year for 5-10 minutes of effort

I'll say it again. I'm willing to hear why I'm wrong. I'd love to see the additional monthly effort that goes into a bigger budget. If that's not the case, I'm open to hearing why the cost is justified. If there are vendors out there charging a lower percentage or a flat fee that dealers (or vendors) are willing to recommend, I'd love to hear about those as well.

Someone, please set me straight on this issue. It's bugging me.

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Are Your Leads Real Or Misleading?

Using a third-party provider for leads sounds like a great idea in theory. However you need to make sure that these leads you are getting are worth the money you are spending. Learn how to make the most out of using these other providers to ensure you are maximizing your possible leads.

Get the Hard Facts from Samantha Cunningham at POTRATZ, and learn how to provide more opportunities to convert on your website.

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A good social media advertising campaign (or any marketing campaign at all, for that matter) should be guided by science. Testing, monitoring, adjusting, and testing again are the cornerstones of a good marketing strategy.

Much of what we do in the car business comes with assumptions. We do things that we have known from past experience to be successful. Sometimes, we have to take those assumptions and adjust them to modern sentiment, trends, and technologies. Other times we have to take those assumptions and throw them out the window.

Below are 6 images. These images were built to plug into a single Facebook advertising campaign designed to drive traffic to the website. The wording of the ad was the same across the board. The budget was a strong one and the activity was left in the hands of the Facebook algorithm to serve the ads based upon activity and popularity.

Look at the images and come to a conclusion in your mind which one yielded the most clicks to the website. The orange section represents where the logo is. Keep in mind that the wording of the ad was generally geared towards Chevrolet - no model indicators were used in the ad other than the image. Given this limited amount of information, which do you think performed the best and yielded the most clicks to the inventory for the dealership?

1. Red Camaro

2. Tahoe

3. Black Camaro

4. Keys

5. Silverado

6. Corvette

Think you have the right answer? I'll tell you up front - it wasn't even close. The ad that performed the best had more than double the click-thru rate in the first few hours. After it started going, it ended up with more than 3 times the clicks of all of the other images combined.

If you have an answer, like this post and comment with which one you think performed the best in the ads. One name will be drawn from the correct answers before the end of the month. If you're a dealer, you'll get a cool prize in the form of some sort of service from Dealer Authority. If you're a vendor, we'll reward you with a contextual followed link to your website from a PageRank 5 site (great for SEO, and if a dealer wins and would prefer that, they can take it instead).

Who's up for the challenge?

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Get Through To Gen Y

Do you have a strategy to market your dealership to Gen Y? Unsure of why you need one? What if I told you Gen Y, defined as those ranging from ages 18-34, make up the largest chunk of the current population? It's important to understand how to market to this generation and capture these potential sales.

Get the Hard Facts from Samantha Cunningham at POTRATZ, and learn how to get through to Gen Y.

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The Female Factor: How to Sell to Women

Did you know that 85% of sales are influenced by women? For both sales and service, your strategy to turn women into clients needs to be different and we can show you how.

Get the Hard Facts
from Samantha Cunningham at POTRATZ, and learn how it's not just a man's world.

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