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Kathi Kruse

Kathi Kruse President

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10 Crucial Steps to Successful Facebook Ads

10 Crucial Steps to Successful Facebook AdsLet’s talk about the unique challenges today for car dealers and other small businesses when it comes to Social Media.  Many still believe Social Media is “free”.  I don’t have to remind you that nothing in life or business is ever free.  Social Media takes all the time and money that other forms of marketing and advertising do, with the added layer of needing new skills and manpower to master it.

Facebook is one of the hubs to your Social marketing strategy.  You need these 2 basics in place to build your hub:

  1. An in-house digital/Social Media manager.  Nobody communicates your brand on Facebook like your own staff.  Those dealers that have made the investment are seeing much higher engagement and closing more sales.
  2. A budget for Facebook ads.  Facebook ads complete your strategy.  Your Social marketing manager stimulates engagement by curating valuable, relevant content for all your platforms.  Facebook ads amplify your reach and increase your sales.

These 10 steps will help you understand how it all works and if you need any further assistance, hire a Social strategy expert to guide you.

Identify Your Goals. Do you want to grow your fan base? Are you promoting an event? Are you ready to make Facebook ads a significant source of leads for your business?  Define your goals first. You must have clear goals so you can measure your ad’s effectiveness later!

Facebook is Local.  Facebook is the place where you can build an online community that mirrors your offline community.  Facebook ads target your local area in ways like never before.  You reach those people who will most likely buy from you.

Facebook Ad or Sponsored Story? Sponsored Stories are about your Pages’ activities on Facebook. If you have a post with particularly high engagement, spotlight it with an ad. These types of ads reflect Social proof to other users; evidence that people are engaging with your Page.  Facebook Ads are more traditional.  You create a message you want to share and choose who you want to reach.

Landing Pages.  A staple of internet marketing, landing pages drive visitors to do what you want them to do. When used with Facebook ads, design your ad so that people will click and be taken to your landing page.  Once on that landing page, you have an opportunity to create more value and carry visitors further down the sales funnel.

Target the Right People.  Let’s say that the buyer demographic for one of your vehicles is women aged 35-54.  What are the interests of this group? Perhaps topics relating to family, work/life balance, shoes?  Facebook ads allow you to choose specific audience interests and target those people who are most likely to buy.

Design an Engaging Ad.  You’ll need a catchy headline, marketing language for the body of the ad and a compelling photo or graphic. I’ve talked about the misconception that, since Facebook provides free real estate to build your community, everything else is free and easy.  No dice.  Facebook ads take skill, training and money to develop and design.  Facebook is a new medium but the age-old components of successful marketing and advertising are still very much alive and kicking.  If you don’t have it, get help.

Connections.  It’s important to note that Facebook ads are Social.  Ads can be customized to reach people who are already connected with you or not at all connected with you.  You choose if you want to reach friends of your fans or not. Identify what kind of connection users have to your page so you can reach your optimal audience.

Location.  This is where you can laser target your surrounding community.  Choose a city, include surrounding cities, or target specific zip codes.

Objective. You have a choice now to reach people you want to “like my page” or “click on my ad or sponsored story”.  Page Like Ads are a great way to build audience size.  Page Post Ads will drive deeper engagement.  Your choice governs whether you’ll pay per 1,000 impressions (CPM) or per click (CPC).  CPM, according to Facebook, is the cost per 1000 times your ad or sponsored story is displayed.  In the past, impressions were not always effective.  Now, with Timeline stats showing higher page engagement, I’m seeing good results with CPM.

Manage Your Budget.  Set a maximum amount you want to pay each day and start off slow. $5-10 is plenty.  A daily limit guarantees you’ll never spend more than you want to.  If you’re paying per click (CPC), be sure to review the “bid price” regularly as it changes often (Yes, you’re actually bidding along with others, similar to Google pay-per-click).  Facebook ads are the most time-consuming ads you’ll ever run so set time aside everyday.  You must review and improve at least twice daily to make sure your budget is spent wisely.

Your Turn: I’m curious, have you used Facebook ads yet to drive sales or grow likes? What results are you seeing?

Kathi Kruse
Social Media Coaching & Training
www.krusecontrolinc.com

Joshua Michael Friedman
Kathi, we just ran a month-long campaign to promote our special offers on tires in our service lane. We identified two targets, fans and friends of fans, with two similar but distinct ads that clicked through to two respective landing pages. Fans almost never clicked; friends of fans did. May was one of our best months ever in tire sales. Did customers arrive in our lane pre-sold carrying coupons in hand? Not at all, but a campaign on Facebook need not be direct-response. It did what good advertising does: it increased awareness in a targeted market, so that when we followed our sales process in the service lane, our customers were receptive.
Kathi Kruse
That is great news, Joshua! I love hearing success stories. Those that are critical of Facebook claim it doesn't "sell" but the reality is, if you do things right, it does. Do you mind me asking how much you spent on the ads roughly? I'm curious because I'm finding a successful Facebook Ad campaign in general costs much less than any kind of "traditional" campaign. Thanks for commenting :-)
Joshua Michael Friedman
April 30 - May 31, 2012 1,270,202 Impressions 291 Clicks 0.023% CTR $502.34 Spent $0.40 CPM $1.73 CPC
Joshua Michael Friedman
The demographic report also shows a much better distribution of people who saw the ad among "friends of fans" across age groups. The demographic of fans skews quite young. In the last 28 days of the campaign, we reached 85,110 friends of fans (13.3 avg frequency of impressions) and we reached 597 out of 1053 fans (21.5 avg frequency of impressions). 269 friends of fans clicked through, but only 5 fans clicked through, in that 28-day period.
Kathi Kruse
Very interesting. Very little spent compared to other forms of advertising. Could the reason Friends of Fans clicked through be because the ad had Social proof (their friend had liked your page)?

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