How big is Facebook?
Over 1.8 billion people use Facebook on a regular basis. Allow that to sink in for a few seconds.
For retail automotive dealerships, more users mean more page likes and potential / current customers eyeballs. But with more users comes more competition at the same time. Now because of regular Facebook algorithm updates, dealership marketers need to be savvier than ever to compete with others.
Automotive dealers need to pull out all the stops to make sure their Facebook business page is very helpful, easy to find on the site, provides good value, and represents their dealership in the best way possible on the platform. In the market where everything is done online, anything less is lost revenue and customer acquisition opportunities.
Based on my experience with automotive dealers, I have come up with a comprehensive checklist the best Facebook Dealership Page tips, tricks, and optimization ideas. I suggest going through each one and checking each off the list. At the end of it all you will have a page worthy of your next Facebook page super fan.
Let’s get into it now with some thought-starters!
Claim your Facebook URL
This may seem like a basic point to cover, but once your dealership page has just 25 Likes, you can claim your vanity URL. Meaning you can direct fans to a URL like “facebook.com/YourDealershipName”.
This helps visitors to find your page on Facebook easier and makes it easier for you to promote your page on other marketing materials outside the dealership. It also ensures that users can easily search for you when on the site or mobile application.
Double Down on Past Posting Successes
Doubling down, recycling, or reposting past successful related content is a strategy often underutilized by most dealerships.
Everyday thoughts might lead you to create original content each and every time but that doesn’t always have to be the case for sharing content. To save you needed time and energy, try reposting or recycling content that has performed well in the past as well. For example if you did a retro vehicle post a year ago and it got some engagement – no harm in sharing it again with your followers.
Update Facebook Cover Photo
Your Facebook cover photo is an often overlooked area for most dealership promotions. If you’re holding a dealership contest or giveaway, your Facebook cover photo can act like a promotional billboard. Show off the monthly incentives, one of a kind vehicles or something that highlights the customer experience.
Pin a post
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to pin a post to the top of your Facebook page feed. After publishing a new blog post, launching a new giveaway, or announcing a new vehicle, pin it to the top of your feed so that it’s the first post your visitors see when they visit the dealership page.
Complete Your About Us Page
You’d be surprised at how many dealerships about sections are left barren. Completing the about page of your business page is crucial. Your Facebook dealer business page can often be the first place your visitors head to after a Google search. Make sure all of your information is in order including your dealer website, social links, hours and contact information.
Include Like buttons on your Website and Blog
Having Facebook Like buttons on your own website and dealership blog can direct traffic from these channels to your Facebook Page, turning blog readers, and even customers into social media fans.
Entice them into liking your Page with a Call to Action – for example, “Like our page to stay up to date with the latest vehicles and dealership promotions!”
Question and Answers
Facebook media comes in all shapes and formats making it a perfect way to hold a Q&A session with your dealership followers. Post a start date and time for questions about vehicles or services offered. Some dealers are doing a lot more live videos now due to the Coronavirus on a regular basis to highlight the dealership, vehicles, and service.
Then post an update to request questions from your followers. Answer those questions live, pre-record a video, or just simply write in some replies. The choice is up to you on how to provide the content.
Promote your Dealership in your Email Signature
Putting a small button or link to your Facebook Dealership Page in your email signature can direct some traffic from the people you communicate with to your Facebook Page, which has the potential to help you gather a few Likes, while also showing your dealer to these people.
Promote your Page to your Email List
Give your dealership email subscribers a good reason to become your Facebook fans as well. Exclusive deals, content, or promotions will get your email subscribers to follow the content you post on Facebook dealership page.
Social media channels offer a great opportunity for businesses to connect further with the folks who love their brand. By increasing the level of transparency of your posts your building and strengthening the relationship you’re developing. People want to get to know you, your story, and why you’re in business. Give them an inside look and you’ll be rewarded with long term business.
Promote your Dealership with Facebook Ads
Facebook’s advertising tools have come a long way. For only a few dollars, you can get your Facebook page in front of potential customers who would be most interested in what you have to offer. Promote your page with Facebook ads and reach the people you’re trying to reach — only much quicker.
Run a Facebook Contest
Quite often a Facebook contest is the perfect opportunity to engage with and have fun with your customers and followers. A fantastic prize and fun entry rules will ensure that your content is shared amongst your fans and their friends as well.
Some dealers like to do a “share and like” contest to give away gift cards, to gain engagement with followers and those outside of the page to grow exposure.
Use Custom Facebook Tabs
Did you know that you could create custom landing pages right on your Facebook page? A custom Facebook tab allows anyone to create a custom landing page for almost any purpose. Get more email list subscribers, run a Facebook photo contest or direct people to a set up a test drive on the page. A custom Facebook tab has endless opportunities for a dealership.
Video is set to become a majority of the content on Facebook in the near future. With video production tools and cameras inside every cell phone, just about anyone can easily produce video. Video performs especially well with Facebook because it’s quick, entertaining, and easily sharable. Experiment with video for your audience, it could be the boost your content has been looking for. Start off with a video of used vehicles, as that can tell a story about a particular one on the lot. Then do videos on staff profiles, the service department and ultimately video on new models to share with the world.
Broadcasting to the world is no longer a function capable of only large media companies. Anyone can now jump onto Facebook and with a click of a button, broadcast to their automotive fans live. There are many creative ways to use live video. Use it for events, inside looks, Q&As, etc.
Experiment with Facebook Live and start interacting with your audience in real-time.
Post When your Fans are Online
Pay special attention to your Facebook insights to see when the majority of your fans are browsing through Facebook. It is easy to check your tracking to see what day and time your followers are most likely on Facebook. Obviously it can fluctuate based on a number of factors but gives a guideline to work with on a weekly basis for planning posts.
Post and adjust to those times to hit them at just the right moment.
Create Eye-Catching Images to Go with Your Posts
Strong visuals are a powerful tool in the dealership social media marketer’s toolbox. Visuals have the ability to communicate emotion and meaning in just seconds. Including visuals, each post has been proven time and time again to outperform content without visuals. There are times that a question posed to the community can gain great engagement with just text, but images get more on a consistent basis.
Test out Various Media Types
If your content has hit a roadblock and can’t seem to garner much engagement, maybe it’s not the content, maybe it’s the format. One of the things that makes Facebook such a dynamic platform is the media formats it supports.
Video, audio, written, and soon enough, Virtual Reality. There are many formats to experiment with. If you’re finding your content ignored, it may be time to try out video.
A 3,000-word post on a particular model can be a little dry for most marketers out there. But turn that post into a video with a walk-around and that’s a whole different ball game for the content creator and the viewer of the video.
Include a Call to Action
Many social media marketers will post to Facebook expecting a reaction and scratch their heads when it doesn’t happen from the followers. Maybe it’s just because you didn’t simply ask. Don’t expect your fans to know what you want to accomplish.
State explicitly what you’d like them to do by including a call-to-action. “Like this post, if you agree!”, “Share this if you know someone like this” or “Comment with your thoughts” are all examples of Calls to Action that push your fans to engage with the dealership.
Experiment with Emoticons
Emoticons can be included in the visuals bucket as well. They’re great at getting a mood, feeling, or emotion across quickly. Especially for younger or millennial audiences, emoticons add much more emotion and affect to Facebook updates. This can be fun and add great engagement.
If you’re having trouble finding a balance of content to post to your Facebook page, follow the 60-20-20 rule. Post original valuable and engaging content 60 percent of the time. 20 percent of the timeshare content that your fans would be interested in. Then feel free to be sales focused 20 percent of the time.
Let’s all agree that data or original research can sometimes be a snooze fest. Put a fun spin on the data you’ve collected by turning it into an infographic. For example if you want to highlight features of a vehicle – set up an image and show the information graphically on the layout.
This way it will have a higher chance of being engaged with and shared with users.
Share User-Generated Content (UGC)
Let your fans in on the fun. Loyal followers or die-hard fans are always creating content that incorporates the brands they love. Make them feel included by sharing the content they’ve painstakingly created for you. Not only will it make your fans feel important, but it’ll also lighten your workload in the process.
Partner with Influencers and Companies
It never hurts to ask for a little help for the dealership. Partnering with a popular influencer or companies in your market is a tactic that will really get your brand front and center. Depending on the popularity of the influencer or company you might have to pay or offer free products. Calculate if it’s worth the exposure or the number of leads it is expected to generate.
A great example of this could be a local sports team that you can cross-promote each other. Have them wear your logo or web site, and then have an autograph session at the dealership to bring people in and promote the team and dealership at the same time!
There’s no denying that everyone loves a funny reaction GIF. Like emoticons, GIFs are great at communicating a certain emotion or reaction that millennials really identify with. Experiment with GIFs when you post something fun to see if your content receives more engagement at the same time.
Don’t forget the weekends
Just because we have the weekends off doesn’t mean our fans aren’t on Facebook. Using Facebook’s handy scheduling feature you can post a bit of content on the weekends. It’s all about maintaining consistency.
Experiment with some Humor
Humour can be a powerful tool if used in the right way. Humour creates engagement because it’s so universal. A funny GIF, meme, or update creates an emotional connection between the dealership and the reader. Experiment by adding a bit of humor to your updates and see if it resonates with your dealership followers.
Tag Other Accounts
When it comes to partnerships or simple admiration remember to tag the accounts you’re referring to.
It creates a symbiotic relationship. It sends traffic to the other account and develops your relationship. If you’re trying to build a partnership or get someone to notice your dealership, tag them so that they get a heads up.
For example if you are part of a dealer group and like to cross-promote each other – tag the group page, sister dealerships, and other services offered.
Include your dealership in the popular conversation of the day by joining in on the hashtags. Hashtags include and categorize your updates in the larger global conversation. Remember to keep your hashtags specific to your industry or else your updates will get lost in the fold.
Some dealers make up a hashtag that is specific to their location and use that on other social media platforms.
Test content with ads
A dealership that has yet to get a foothold on it’s a most popular type of content can test things out with advertisements. With a few dollars, run a few blog posts ranging in subjects with Facebook ads. See which performs/converts best and continue on in that direction with your ads. Because Facebook targets based on interests, you’ll be able to see what content does best with your target audience.
Poll with Facebook reactions
The new Facebook reactions are a fun way to poll your audience regarding a certain subject. Figure out what the popular opinion is by creating a Facebook reaction poll. Your fans can vote according to the reactions you’ve assigned to each answer.
Respond to comments ASAP
For quite some time now Facebook has been a go-to place for customer feedback and support. Respond as quickly as you can to comments and reviews on your Facebook page.
By doing so your page will get marked with a “replies quickly” marker so that visitors know that you are active. Thus will be more likely to engage with you.
An amazing way to communicate with customers and leads is through Facebook Messenger. People can easily send a message to your dealer by clicking on “Send Message” – including from ads that are running as well.
Also, Messenger can easily be added to your web site – allowing people to interact using chat right on the site – communicating through Facebook. The best part of that is that it is free and easy to set up.
However, a very important part of Messenger is to make sure that you have a process in place for the dealership to communicate with the customers. This may mean having salespeople connected to the account. But I would suggest that there should be managers involved to oversee and monitor the conversations taking place, jumping in when appropriate on behalf of the dealership.
You can set up automatic replies – more on that coming soon!
Share From Instagram
Have a stellar Instagram account for your dealership? Connect it with your Facebook account and share photos from Instagram to your Facebook feed. This way your Facebook fans can follow you on Instagram and vice versa.
Test optimal post length
You’ll see varying opinions on Facebook post length so it’s always best to test what works best for you. Generally, a short Facebook post performs better because people don’t have the attention spans to read a long post BUT there are exceptions. Test, test, test.
Use the Correct Image Dimensions
A blurry, out of focus image is an unforgivable sin these days. Post your visuals to Facebook in the best resolution possible for your fans. A quick Google search will pull up the most recent optimal image resolutions.
Use a social media management tool
If you’re looking to take your social media efforts to the next level, you should consider using a social media management tool. A social media management tool saves you time and headache by organizing everything into one platform for you to diagnose problems, schedule updates, and listen to what your fans are saying.
As part of your self-promotion strategy show off your past client successes. A captivating story of their rise to success can lead to more clients and more interest in what you have to offer.
Offer Facebook exclusive promotions
Make your Facebook fans feel special. Give your audience a reason to follow you on Facebook by offering Facebook exclusive deals and promotions. “Offer only valid for Facebook followers.”
Go behind the scenes
Much of marketing is building a relationship between the brand and the consumer. Social media offers the perfect opportunity to give your fans an inside look at the inner workings of your dealership. Show them what they’re buying into and what your dealership is all about. Behind the scenes, access makes fans feel special and is a powerful tool for strengthening relationships.
Just like any other review platform, encourage your fans to leave honest reviews about their experience. Positive or negative, it provides feedback for you for improvement. Plus, positive reviews are social proof for those on the fence about giving your dealership a try.