Facebook Marketplace Boosts Engagement for Automotive and RV Dealers
Automotive and RV dealerships now have a new road to connect their used inventory with active shoppers on Facebook.
At first, Marketplace was available to only private sellers, meaning dealerships would have to generate their traffic via paid ads on the news feed and elsewhere.
In 2017, Facebook opened up Marketplace to accept used vehicle listings from dealerships. With their inventory listings live, automotive and RV sales staff could now work directly with leads online.
Aside from the exposure to hundreds of millions of users, Facebook Marketplace offers unique benefits for auto and RV dealers, including:
- Appearing to people where they’re already browsing vehicle listings.
- Responding quickly to questions with Facebook Messenger or a short instant form, depending on location.
- Showing useful information like price, model, and mileage.
- Reaching people with vehicle listings specially formatted for phones.
As expected, Marketplace is already a crowded environment for dealerships, but that doesn’t mean Facebook is done providing opportunities for dealerships to get a leg up on their local competitors.
Making the Connection
“It’s going to help. It’s a key thing for us to have our inventory on Facebook Marketplace,” said Andy Johnson, sales manager at Bullyan RV in Duluth, Minnesota.
Johnson’s sales team has been interacting with leads on the platform since March 2019. In those few months, Bullyan has been able to respond directly to questions on the listings and bring those shoppers into the dealership to close the sale.
This ability to quickly respond is a unique competitive advantage for Bullyan RV, which is a personable store pushing back against corporately backed competitors such as Camping World.
Adapting Strategy on Marketplace
Like many businesses, Bullyan RV makes itself available by phone, email, text, and more. Facebook Messenger presents a unique challenge for salespeople.
“The first salesperson to respond [to the Facebook Marketplace message] gets to work with the lead,” explained Johnson. “I think it creates a healthy competition and makes us more likely to respond sooner. These leads don’t think in minutes. They think in seconds, so we need to get back to them with the most useful information.”
“We can do better. Instead of saying, ‘Here’s my cell number. Call me,’ we need to actually go out and do the work to answer their questions,” said Johnson. “The trick is to go out and shoot the videos, take the pictures, and answer their questions directly in the message.”
Video is especially important, according to Johnson.
“I come from a YouTube background. What I want is for our team to go out to the campers, shoot a quick video with all the details the lead will want, and then fire it back to them in a message. That way, they’ll feel comfortable and recognize us when they come to the store,” he explained. “It humanizes us.”
How 9 Clouds Helps
Not all classified listings are built the same — including those on Facebook Marketplace. At 9 Clouds, we optimize Marketplace listings with customized data feeds, so we can limit or adjust the information on your inventory listings.
9 Clouds also delivers excellent maintenance and support for your Marketplace feed.
In addition, our setup doesn’t rely on a poorly constructed chatbot — as with other popular third-party automotive vendors. Instead, we set you up with a lead notification platform that puts your staff in the driver’s seat for follow-up.
When 9 Clouds sets up a dealership’s Marketplace listings, its salespeople are notified of a message by test, email, or a notification through the Messenger app.
When a team member responds to a query, all future notifications from the prospect will go to the team member who answered. In addition, it’s easy to shut off these notifications when a shift is done or when a salesperson heads out on vacation.
Close the ROI Loop with Marketplace
Sales don’t happen in a bubble or with a single touch.
It’s important to invest in channels with a positive return on investment (ROI) and, at 9 Clouds, we believe in looking at as many marketing channels/touchpoints as possible.
Our Marketplace solution provides a “Marketplace Influenced Sales number,” which reflects sold vehicles that leads and customers engaged with on Facebook Marketplace.
Since each Marketplace engagement is linked directly to a specific vehicle, this metric is calculated based on vehicles being removed from the active inventory — this is primarily as a result of sales, but can also include vehicles removed for other reasons.
Is Your Inventory on Facebook?
Facebook advertising has become a mainstay for dealerships of all shapes and sizes, but inventory feeds present a new opportunity.
In addition to piping your used inventory feed into Facebook Marketplace, 9 Clouds has the ability to bring your Facebook ads to the next level.
Cumulus is a unique integration from 9 Clouds that connects your live inventory feed directly into Facebook ads. This tool creates a Facebook product catalog, which allows you to showcase your vehicles in categories as soon as they hit the lot. It even removes them as soon as they’re sold.