Automotive Digital Marketing

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Social Plugins
See what your Facebook friends have liked, shared, or commented on across the Web.

While social plugins can appear on just about any website, including Car Dealer websites. the information appearing in them comes directly from the social network their code was provided by... When it is a Facebook Social Plugin — they're just an extension of your dealership's Facebook page and the Facebook user experience.


Plugins were designed so that the dealership website they are plugged into receives no information about the Facebook user who has not yet consented to providing your dealership with their personal profile information.


Your customers who use Facebook will only see a personalized experience with their friends if they are logged into their Facebook user profile. If the automotive consumer visiting your dealership's website is not already logged in, they will be prompted to log into Facebook so they can use the plugin added to your dealership's site.


At a technical level, social plugins work when a car dealership website puts an iframe provided by on their site, almost as if the dealership is agreeing to give Facebook some real estate on their various automotive websites. When you visit one of these sites, the Facebook iframe can recognize if you're logged into Facebook. If you're logged in, it’ll show personalized content within the plugin as if you were on Facebook directly.

Even though the iframe isn't on Facebook, it's designed with all the privacy protections as if it were.


Watch this video to learn more about the Facebook Like button...

Now that you know these Facebook supplied tools can generate more leads and inquiries from automotive consumers, you will start to see various types of sharing buttons from Facebook and other social networks. Let's take a look at the different types of Facebook social engagement apps that are already installed at other dealership.

We will see ways to place them into your dealership's websites and how social plugins let your dealership's customers take their friends with them around the web... Including when they visit any of your dealership's websites.

Like Button

Let people share pages and content from your site back
to their Facebook profile with one click, so all their friends
can read them

Share Button

Allow people to share to Facebook, share with particular friends or with a group. Alternatively, they can share in a private message.

Embedded Posts

Embedded Posts let you add any public post from Facebook to your blog or web site.


The Comments plugin lets people comment on any piece of content on your site.

Send Button

Let people privately send
content on your dealership's
website to their friends.

Follow Button

Let people subscribe to public updates on Facebook.

Activity Feed

Displays the most interesting, recent activity taking place
on your site.


Recommendations Feed

Displays the most recommended content on your site.


Recommendations Bar

Let people like content, get recommendations, and share
what they are reading with
their Friends.

Like Box

A special version of the Like Button only for Facebook pages.


Display the profile photos of the people who have connected with your Facebook page or app.


Automotive Digital Marketing Professional Community

Sharing Checklist
Follow our sharing best practices.

More Info on Social Plugins for Car Dealers

Let your dealership's website visitors "Like" and share stuff from your websites with their friends (and automotive consumers) who also use Facebook.

Social plugins are tools that dealership websites outside of Facebook can use to provide their customers who are already Facebook users with personalized and socially enabled experiences. When customers interact with social plugins on your dealership website, they typically share their experiences with their friends, coworkers and others on Facebook.

The Four Most Popular Social Plugins that Facebook Provides Car Dealers include:

  1. Like button: Click Like to share and connect with things from other websites that you find interesting. Learn more.

  2. Share button: Click Share to write something about a link and then post it to your Timeline.

  3. Embedded posts: Add any public post from Facebook to your blog or website.

  4. Comments box: Publicly comment on another website using your Facebook account.


If you're an automotive website developer, click here to learn more about implementing these features within a single line of HTML.

Sharing Best Practices

We want car dealers who have created news sites, automotive consumer targeted magazines, monthly dealership newsletters, dealer maintained and published blogs, and other types of specialized automotive microsites to easily reach their existing Facebook fans and grow their Facebook Page fan base. This way, people can get the most engaging experience, both when they are inside of Facebook, and when they are on any of your dealership's websites.


Here’s what you can do:

  1. Learn who your Facebook using customers are and what they want to s...
  2. Make sure the Facebook Crawler can access all of your dealership's ...
  3. Use proper Open Graph tags to drive distribution
  4. Use images that are at least 1200x630 pixels to generate great prev...
  5. Use Facebook debug tool to debug your Open Graph Tags
  6. Encourage your dealership's content creators to turn on Follow



1. Learn what your customers want to share

Having great content is necessary, but it’s not the only thing that gets people to share your content.

Track the success of your dealership's posted content with Facebook Insights. You can view the reach of particular stories, understand the demographics of who is sharing and engaging with your content and optimize future efforts based on this understanding. Robust data is available online on a Real-Time basis through an API for automotive website developers.


2. Facebook Crawler access

The Facebook Crawler fetches content from your site and generates a preview for people on Facebook. When someone shares a URL on Facebook and Likes or Recommends a page on your site using a plugin, it activates the Facebook Crawler. If your content is publicly available, we should have no problem accessing it.

If your content requires someone to login or if you restrict access after some amount of free content has been consumed, you will need to enable access for the Facebook Crawler. This access is only used to generate previews, and Facebook will not publicly expose your private content.


There are two methods to give Facebook’s Crawler access to your content:

  1. IP whitelisting, which is more secure, but requires upkeep
  2. User agent whitelisting, which is less secure, but requires little to no upkeep)


IP whitelisting

Your engineers can allow the following IP addresses access to pages that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public. 2401:db00::/32  2620:0:1c00::/40  2a03:2880::/32 

Please note that these IP ranges can and do change regularly, so you should periodically run the following command to receive an updated list

whois -h -- '-i origin AS32934' | grep ^route

User agent whitelisting

Your engineers can allow the following user-agent access to pages that would otherwise be inaccessible to the public. We rarely update these user-agents, and users can spoof them. But since only a very small percentage of users know how to change their browser’s user-agent, the expected number of users who would exploit this is very low. Additionally, you also do not need to include all the URL's regular content to our crawler, just a valid HTML document with the appropriate meta tags.


Facebook’s Crawler crawls with: facebookexternalhit/<version_number>, where <version_number> is either 1.0 or 1.1, as of March 2013.

facebookexternalhit/1.0 facebookexternalhit/1.1

3. Use proper Open Graph tags

Open Graph tags are included in your page’s HTML and allow the Facebook Crawler to generate previews when your content is shared on Facebook.


We give examples below, but the basic Open Graph tags you should implement are:

  • og:title – The title of your article, excluding any branding.
  • og:site_name - The name of your website. Not the URL, but the name. (i.e. "IMDb" not "".)
  • og:url – This URL serves as the unique identifier for your post. It should match your canonical URL used for SEO, and it should not include any session variables, user identifying parameters, or counters. If you use this improperly, likes and shares will not be aggregated for this URL and will be spread across all of the variations of the URL.
  • og:description – A detailed description of the piece of content, usually between 2 and 4 sentences. This tag is technically optional, but can improve the rate at which links are read and shared.
  • og:image – This is an image associated with your media. We suggest that you use an image of at least 1200x630 pixels.
  • fb:app_id – The unique ID that lets Facebook know the identity of your site. This is crucial for Facebook Insights to work properly. Please see our Insights documentation to learn more.


In addition, you might consider implementing some other types to improve distribution and engagement:

  • og:type - Different types of media will change how your content shows up in Facebook's newsfeed. There are a number of different common object types already defined. If you don't specify a type, the default will be website. You can also specify your own types via Open Graph.
  • og:locale - The locale of the resource. The default is en_US. You can also use the og:locale:alternate to reflect that you have other available language translations available as well. See our Internationalization and Open Graph Internationalization pages for examples and information.
  • article:author - This property links to the authors of the article. The target of this can be either a Facebook Profile or a Facebook Page and Facebook will likely offer a chance to follow that author when it's displayed in the news feed. (Note that your authors should have follow enabled so that people can follow them.)
  • article:publisher - This property links to the publisher of the article. The target of this property must be a Facebook Page. When displayed in the News Feed, Facebook may offer the ability to like the publisher. Note that this tag is only available to media publishers.


Example 1: GOOD

A clear title without branding or mentioning the domain itself.

<meta property="og:title" content="Workday Sets Price Range for I.P.O." />

A site name:

<meta property="og:site_name" content="My Favorite News"/>

A URL with no session id or extraneous parameters. All shares on Facebook will use this as the identifying URL for this article.

<meta property="og:url" content="" />

A clear description, at least two sentences long.

<meta property="og:description" content="Workday, a provider of cloud-based applications for human resources, said on Monday that it would seek to price its initial public offering at $21 to $24 a share.  At the midpoint of that range, the offering would value the company at $3.6 billion. Like many other technology start-ups, Workday, founded in 2005, will have a dual-class share structure, with each Class B share having 10 votes. Its co-chief executives, David Duffield, the founder of PeopleSoft, and Aneel Bhusri, who was chief strategist at PeopleSoft, will have 67 percent of the voting rights after the I.P.O., according to the prospectus." />

Unique ID that identifies your domain to Facebook.

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="[FB_APP_ID]" />

The type of object:

<meta property="og:type" content="article" />

This article has some translations:

<meta property="og:locale" content="en_US" />            <!-- Default --> <meta property="og:locale:alternate" content="fr_FR" />  <!-- French --> <meta property="og:locale:alternate" content="it_IT" />  <!-- Italian -->

This article has an author and a publisher:

<meta property="article:author" content="" /> <meta property="article:publisher" content="" />


Example 2: BAD

The title should not have branding or extraneous information.

<meta property="og:title" content=" – Business Section- Workday Sets Price Range for I.P.O." />

This URL has extraneous information that changes from user to user, resulting in likes/shares spread across multiple URLs, instead of being aggregated for all users sharing this article.

<meta property="og:url" content=" /workday-price-range?user_id=1234" />

This is a generic description that will not entice users to click.

<meta property="og:description" content="MyFavNews is the best source for your favorite news." />

This is a generic image that will look the same for all stories. It is only 100px by 100px, which will not be usable on higher resolution displays.

<meta property="og:image" content="" />

Don’t forget the fb:app_id, article:author and article:publisher tags!


4. Use images that are at least 1200x630 pixels

Use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images.

If your image is smaller than 600 x 315 px, it will still display in the link page post, but the size will be much smaller.

We've also redesigned link page posts so that the aspect ratio for images is the same across desktop and mobile News Feed. Try to keep your images as close to 1.91:1 aspect ratio as possible to display the full image in News Feed without any cropping.


5. Use Open Graph Debug Tool

Facebook has a very simple debug tool on our developer site that lets you debug Open Graph tags on your website. All you have to do is plug in your URL and it will give you results with hints on what you need to fix.

6. Encourage your content creators to turn on Follow

Follow lets content creators share public updates with their followers, while saving personal updates for friends only. For example, journalists can allow readers or viewers to follow their public content, like photos taken on location or links to published articles. Follow is a simple, effective way for your audience to connect with you and keep up with your content, without adding you as a friend.


Get started with Follow:

  • Enable Follow - Go to your Account Settings and click on the Followers tab. Check the box to allow followers, and if you’d like, you can adjust your settings for follower comments and notifications.
  • Fill out your timeline - Make sure your timeline looks professional: add a cover photo, your title and work history, key career milestones, and life events.
  • Observe – Follow other journalists, photographers, authors, and anyone else who has built up a large follower base. Visit their timelines and check out the types of content they share.
  • Post to your followers - Share interesting photos, links to your content, and updates about what you’re working on, etc. Any post you set to Public will be shown to your followers in News Feed.
  • Be Authentic – Post in your own voice, use photos you’ve actually taken, and be honest.


  • Use Facebook Insights to understand the sorts of content your users share.
  • Whitelist the Facebook Crawler IP addresses or User-Agent.
  • Make sure og:url tags do not have changing parameters, session info, etc.
  • Use high-resolution images (preferably 1500 pixels wide). Use multiple images if you want to give us multiple thumbnail candidates.
  • Use long, descriptive og:description.
  • Use the fb:app_id and enable Facebook Insights for your website.
  • Use article:author and article:publisher to generate follows and subscriptions.
  • Encourage your authors, photographers, and others affiliated with your site to enable Follow on Facebook and start reaching their fans directly. Authentic, direct communication with content creators will drive brand loyalty, awareness, and traffic.


Tags: "Best, , Car, , , Dealer, , , Facebook, Media, , Facebook, Plug-In, Practices, , Best, Car Dealer, Dealer Website, Media", Social, More…Social Media

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Replies to This ADM Discussion

Bookmarking this for future reference for my NJSEOs local SMB clients. This is a very thorough explanation that will benefit any business owner or marketer. Thank you for sharing this with us. 

As always, Ralph, you have presented a master class with gobs of research! Well done!


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