When Street Auto Group's Brad Paschal sees vehicles lingering in his inventories and drawing sparse online traffic, he turns to Facebook.
Paschal, e-commerce director for the Amarillo, Texas, group, sometimes uses a tool from digital marketer LotLinx known as a VIN View Optimizer to get a breakdown of viewership data for vehicle detail pages. Paschal then identifies the weaker performers and has LotLinx develop Facebook ads for each vehicle. The ads link consumers directly from their news feeds to the vehicle detail pages on Street Auto's websites.
The first time Paschal tried this method, Street Volkswagen sold 10 new and used vehicles in 10 days, having spent just $500 -- a nice haul for a small dealership with a limited ad budget. The Facebook ads are especially good at zeroing in on buyers with tastes that go against the grain.
"We're selling cars in a truck market," Paschal told Automotive News. "If you get eyes on the cars, the cars are going to sell as long as they're priced right and you have all of your merchandising correct. We spend way more on Facebook than we do on Google ads for sure."
Facebook, which has a trove of data on its users to back up a growing portfolio of marketing services, is not just a haven for quirky status updates and vacation photos. The massive social network is becoming an attractive vehicle for savvy auto dealers to reach low-funnel shoppers in a place where the average U.S. user spends around 40 minutes each day, especially in the wake of changes in how Google displays advertising.