Is Your Dealership Using These Four Hidden Facebook Advertising Features?

Is Your Dealership Using These Four Hidden Facebook Advertising Features?

Love it or hate it, Facebook continues to make a big impact for auto dealers. It’s still a great place for auto dealers to gain an edge over local competition. How can you make sure that your team is making a difference?

To keep competing, dealership managers must keep their marketing teams on top of Facebook’s constant changes and new features. 

Here are four important new bells and whistles we’ve found to be most useful on dealership Facebook marketing. 

  1. Hidden Facebook Catalog Data
  2. Hidden Frames for Photos
  3. Hidden Custom Audience Sources
  4. Hidden Reporting Data

If you’re intimidated by this, don’t fear! We’ve written this overview for even the most “old school” dealership manager to share it with the right people at their store. 

1. Hidden Data in Facebook Product Catalogs

As the name suggests, Facebook Product Catalogs store all of the information about all of your vehicles right within Facebook. And because it’s within Facebook, this catalog can automatically update your ads in real-time.

Within the Catalogs, however, there is a plethora of vehicle data that can be used to sort and segment your vehicles to be shown in ads. You can, for example, show all of your new Honda Civic inventory in one campaign and all of your new Honda Ridgelines in another. 

But what many marketers don’t know is that you can add in Custom Labels to your catalog, allowing you to append custom data to your vehicles to sort them however you want. In the example below, we sorted out all of the vehicles that had been on the lot for more than 60 days (what we call “aged inventory”) so that the dealer could clear them out. 

Another example of Custom Labels is the ability to sort out CarFax One-Owner vehicles. Many dealers already pay for this feature on their websites, and this feature allows them to use this data to their advantage in ads.

CarFax One-Owner Facebook Ads

Combined with a Facebook Pixel, the catalog can even allow you to show your audience the vehicles they shopped on your website later on when they’re scrolling through Facebook. 

This tactic is so powerful that we even built a software tool for it. If you’re interested in dynamic retargeting for your dealership, ask us about Cumulus

2. Hidden Tool for Adding Image Frames in Carousels

With your catalog in place (see #1), automotive Facebook advertisers can then put custom frames on their vehicles’ images. 

These frames are highly customizable. Not only can you place the vehicle price in the image, but you even have the option to upload your logo. 

Facebook Ads Manager Frames

This is a fantastic feature for new vehicle dealerships that are trying to comply with OEM co-op requirements. 

For example, if Ford is requiring dealerships to display the “Truck Month” badge on their F-150 ads in a certain month, the dealership can use these frames to display it conspicuously on every vehicle automatically.

Not only do the frames look nice, but it also allows the dealership’s campaign to qualify for co-op reimbursement. 

3. Hidden Sources for Building Lookalike Audiences

Although Facebook has been offering lookalikes (also known as “special ads audiences” within the mandatory credit ad category for auto dealers) for several years now, many experienced Facebook advertisers are unaware that Facebook can build these audiences from multiple sources. 

The conventional lookalike audience has been based on website traffic, measured by the Facebook Pixel. 

However, Facebook also allows advertisers to build similar audiences based on activities that happen right within Facebook. 

Custom Audience Sources Based on Facebook Page Activity

For example, if you run ads using a catalog, you can build a lookalike audience based on anyone who has already interacted with your catalog ads. 

Or, you can use Offline Events such as sales or leads to inform your lookalike audience. This way, Facebook can find and target the common attributes and behaviors (known as “signals”) to expand your reach in your market. 

4. Hidden Reporting Data

In order to manage a plethora of campaigns for dealers across the country, our agency relies on insightful data including (but not limited to) data from Facebook Ads Manager. 

One of the challenges we often encounter is pacing a campaign’s budget evenly throughout the month. 

To monitor the ad spend effectively, our team “unlocks” two hidden columns in the Ads Manager interface: Time Elapsed Percentage and Amount Spent Percentage. Comparing these two columns allows us to know if any given campaign or ad set is spending as expected throughout its tenure. 

To enable these columns in your ads manager, go to Columns > Customize Columns. Then, search for “percent” in the search bar. These two options will be there for you to select:

Custom Columns in Ads Manager

Once enabled, the columns appear in both the campaign and ad set tabs. Note that the budget settings may impact where the information appears in Ads Manager. 

If the difference between these percentages is more than around 10%, you may need to adjust your targeting, creative or budget accordingly.

The Best Facebook Features are Hidden

These hidden features are just the tip of the Facebook Advertising iceberg. 

Dealerships who want to remain competitive on Facebook must continue to find and utilize features like these. 

To keep your edge online, subscribe to the 9 Clouds blog, and check out our full library of free resources for auto dealers (and more). 

And, when you’re ready, 9 Clouds can draft up a proposal to help your dealership stand out online. We offer custom packages of digital marketing services, including email, ads, SEO, and more.