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Why Facebook is the Most Important Digital Ad Spend for Dealers to Make

Using Facebook only for fan pages for your customers and spending all your digital ad spend with Google is incorrect.  Facebook is where your customers are for many hours per day, and--despite Google's additional audience from Google+'s much-smaller social media presence--advertising on Facebook can be more effective than Google.  And it should be the strongest addition to your digital ad spend.


The first key point is understanding that Facebook is where people are connecting with each other, where they are chronicling their lives and the lives of friends and family.  Nothing like Facebook has existed before—and so digital advertising on Facebook keys in on important purchase factors far earlier in the buying cycle than Google.  And far more effectively, and thus less obtrusively, because Facebook advertising follows the flow of people’s lives, rather than sitting sidesaddle on those lives as Google does.

Sidesaddle?  Yes.  Specifically, Google is ready when targets email folks using Google Gmail about their possible car purchase, or when they have reached a decision to investigate via search results.  Essentially, with Google your targets are further down the sales funnel BUT are not involved in the funnel.  They simply reach for it when they are ready and reach only for Google’s funnel, which is large . . . but nowhere near as large as Facebook’s.  And nowhere near a part of their very lives—really, with Facebook digital advertising the sales funnel for targets is always ready and already there:  In fact, in the case of Facebook digital ad spend, Facebook IS the sales funnel!

As well, the target group in Facebook is larger, first by the fact that Facebook is huge and users can be on any email system, not just Google’s, but can still communicate via Facebook email and timeline events to all their friends in Facebook.  And they therefore do so in a cross-platform manner--and nearly constantly, if the truth be known, so that content can always guide Facebook's advertising.  

Therefore, while your targets are organizing and notating on events, on friend’s and family’s Facebook walls, fan pages, and of course using a very, very strong gaming component, you can advertise based on their activities.  And not be riding your on isolated decisions for a later Google email or search.  In Facebook digital advertising, you as the advertiser are *participating* in your target’s lives, needs, wants in ways Google nor anyone else can match.  The strength and impact of that is enormous.

Oh, yes, don't forget:  What about mobile?  Facebook dominates as an app on mobile phones.  And your targets who are on phones seeing mobile ads are IN MARKET like no other source in history.  Who do you want to be with on Mobile?  Your dance card had better include Facebook.  See what is happening with mobile ads on Facebook here and here.

How does this apply to dealerships?  It’s huge.  Long before someone decides to search for a car, or even emails a friend about a car, on Facebook they have liked their friend’s car purchase and new-car pictures, talked about the two highest-performing life events for car purchases (new child and house closing), etc.  And, like Google, Facebook watches content to alert for advertising, but, unlike Google—nay, a universe BEYOND Google—Facebook ads are presented at the earliest and strongest discussion touch points for the target consumers.  They are part of the “stream of life” and flow along to actual purchase in a natural way.  In the most influential ways.  And in ways Google may never achieve, even with Google+.

Do you want the strongest results from your digital ad spend?  Then be a part of your prospects' and customer’s lives in Facebook’s digital advertising.  Available data strongly shows Facebook digital advertising as more effective than Google’s and that it is also very valuable for sales (both vehicle and service) to your current owners!

And I’m not saying abandon Google!  Not yet, anyway, and not soon, as search is still very, very important and likely will remain so.  However, Facebook digital advertising puts you in the position of being known and experienced by your targets long before they do any Google search.  Do you want to be the partner along the life they know in Facebook or the one they search for in Google?  Don’t you want to be both?  

Sure you do!  Now go get those Facebook ads started!

by Keith Shetterly, Copyright 2012

All Rights Reserved

Views: 680

Tags: Advertising, Car Dealer, Dealership Advertising, Facebook, Sponsored Stories


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Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 10, 2012 at 12:37pm

Yep.  Read this:  Bing fires at Google on Social Media . . . essentially, it's Bing/Yahoo + Facebook + Twitter against Google + Google+.  Who do you think will win THAT one?  Exactly.

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 9, 2012 at 3:10pm

Thanks Julie!

Comment by Julie Seitz on May 9, 2012 at 3:02pm

Getting dealers to move from carbon paper to Xerox, from paper logs to CRM, from typewriters to computers, from 100% print advertising to *gasp* digital advertising (the list goes on and on)…UGH!  Generally speaking, this has been and continues to be a difficult task at best for many of us.  So, the challenge is how to convince a dealer to move in the Facebook direction. 

A good start…show him or her KEITH’S POST!  Brilliant work, Mr. Shetterly!

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 9, 2012 at 2:54pm

Note that I added this line about mobile and Facebook, and everyone reading should check out the links:  "See what is happening with mobile ads on Facebook here and here."

Comment by Jennifer Sanford on May 9, 2012 at 12:46pm

Excellent post.  And, the comparison from Ralph about the old print model is extremely compelling.  

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 9, 2012 at 9:49am

Ed, that's a very interesting point.  I think, finally, there is a difference in the clicks.

This is a common misperception that there is not, and here's a great article comparing Google, Bing, and Facebook

And, according to your linked article, Facebook CTR has climbed greatly now, as well.

It's time for Facebook ads!!

Thanks Ed.  Great comment.

Comment by Ed Brooks on May 9, 2012 at 9:40am

Just read this story this morning: CTRs on Facebook ads increase 50% in the past 12 months on

The story also notes that CTRs on social ads may just be irrelevant - the exposure is what matters. This is more about the first "A" than the last in "AIDA", so the question becomes, "can Car Dealers put up with anything that doesn't provide instant gratification?"

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 9, 2012 at 9:31am

Thanks Timothy!  If my blog passes the "Martell Test" (as in the "No B.S. Test") I'm thrilled, no doubt about it.  :)  How have you been?

Comment by Timothy Martell on May 9, 2012 at 8:50am

Dead on Keith. Great stuff

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 9, 2012 at 6:43am

@ David:  It's not commonly talked about too much these days, but the first time AIDA is usually deemed to be expressed is in the late-1890 work of E. St. Elmo Lewis.  So, a long-time foundation of advertising--still valid in this age--is over 100 years old!

I don't feel so bad about my own age now.  :)

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