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Every time I think the cat is out of the bag, I talk to enough dealers and vendors to convince me that it's still only a small percentage. As a vendor, this makes me happy. As a car guy, this makes me a little sad.
Dark post advertising on social media has such a high verifiable return on investment that it's amazing how few are utilizing it. Then again, I've seen a good number of dark post campaigns that were simply not handled well enough to be powerful that were built by both dealers and vendors. I'll go into the full details in a future post, but since this post is going up right before Easter, it's best to simply touch on the basics.
"Dark posts" are unpublished posts on Facebook and advertised posts on Twitter. They do not appear on the public pages or profiles, but they do appear in the targeted news feeds and timelines of the target audiences. This is what makes them so powerful. There's nothing better than targeting in-market shoppers for your brand with messages intended to drive them directly to the inventory on your website.
Isn't that what digital advertising is really all about?
There is a bandwagon that is preparing to roll out. This bandwagon will include many of the top current vendors. New vendors will pop up because of the opportunities that dark posts bring to the table. It will start rolling in weeks or months, not years. Will your dealership be on it?
If you get ahead of the bandwagon, a couple of good things will happen. You'll be able to take advantage fo the market before it gets saturated. More importantly, your experience and established history will give you the edge over competitors.
Knowing what I've seen in the industry over the past two decades, I would predict that around 20% of dealers will be using dark posts by this time next year. The following year, it will likely be over 50% depending on what changes are made between now and then.
Anybody who tells you they can predict the future of the internet is a fool, so let me add my disclaimer: I could definitely be totally wrong. The only I have to go by is experience and trends. Don't take my word for it, though. Research dark posts for yourself (or simply wait until my post next week that goes into more details).
Some dealers hop on the bandwagon when it comes around. Others get the head start before the bandwagon even forms. Where will you be when the race begins?