Case Study: Facebook Local Awareness Ads for Dealerships

facebook mobile ad for 2016 model

Many businesses, including dealerships, still view social marketing as a waste of time and resources. But the fact is, social sites like Facebook are proven to be effective advertising channels. They help businesses build connections to the local community and reach shoppers where they spend the most time – on social networks, on their mobile devices.

And that’s just what dealers need to be competitive in their markets. They have to connect with their communities while also promoting their inventory and value messages.

Naked Lime is always looking for ways to help dealerships achieve these goals, so we tested the effectiveness of a new way to advertise through social media: Facebook Local Awareness Ads.

Facebook Local Awareness Ads can be used as as an addition to a dealership’s paid search advertising. These ads can put your dealership in front of new people who might not know you yet, but are in your neighborhood and that you want to become acquainted with your brand.

These ads are easily created from the Facebook business page. The only requirements are a photo, a budget, and a message that will inspire action in the audience near the dealership.

Naked Lime selected dealership account to test to see if Local Awareness Ads were useful in driving results. We measured link clicks, audience reach, and ad impressions, using a variety of the calls-to-action available for the service.

Facebook Local Awareness Results

The high numbers for reach and impressions that we saw in our test mean that these dealerships' messages were put in front of a large number of Facebook members. This supports the ongoing use of Facebook as a branding and community-building tool.

However, low engagement through clicks on the ads and their relatively high cost made them less effective than what we see for Page Like/Promoted Post advertising campaigns on Facebook.

These ads also rely on the location settings of each person’s phone – which has some downfalls. Many people turn off this option to save data, which means those people are missed, even if they are the best prospects to target. Conversely, if people just passing through the area with no connection to the dealership or need for their services are targeted, it can further reduce overall ad effectiveness.

Since a car isn’t often an impulse buy, targeting people by location alone without any indication they are in-market may not provide a lot of value. Based on what we learned from our test, Naked Lime currently recommends using Local Awareness Ads primarily for service campaigns, where proximity and urgency are bigger factors.

Facebook remains a valuable platform for dealerships to protect their customer base and draw attention away from the competition. We will continue to explore new marketing and advertising options in Facebook as they become available.

To improve your dealership's social media strategy and connect with the right customer at the right time, call 855.NKD.LIME or email