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  • Writer's pictureSam Khuc

6 Facebook Ads Best Practices For Targeting Car Buyers

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

Are you aware of Facebook's official recommendations for car dealerships on how to properly setup targeting in their Facebook Ads campaigns? Whether you are running dealer Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads in house or working with a social media marketing agency, these 6 tips will save you a lot of headache!

Start With A Simple Audience

Facebook recommends when you're starting out, you just re-target people who have visited your dealership website, because those people have already looked at cars and have expressed interest in buying a vehicle. Facebook actually doesn't recommend you pull in interest-based targeting. For example if you are pulling in an audience with an interest in "Trucks," these are simply people who may have hobbies related to trucks, or "like" pages related to trucks. This does not mean they are ready to buy a truck any time soon.

Editor's note: At ShapeShift Group, we actually have access to In-Market Shopper data from Oracle, and this custom audience list allows us to target people who are in the market to buy a car.

If you want to target these people, you may inquire about our services here.

Expand Narrow Audiences

If you are doing re-targeting, you don't want to pull in interest-based targeting to that ad set as well. This is telling Facebook to show your ads to people who have visited your dealership website AND have "liked" or expressed interest in pages related to that interest. This will cause you to have a very narrow audience of people who have to fulfill both criteria.

Use A Long Retention Window

Since you are not selling t-shirts where customers can make an impulsive purchase as soon as they see an ad and can buy that shirt the same day, but instead selling vehicles where people have to research and price compare before making a decision, you don't want to just re-target them for only 3 days. Use a long retention window as it will take some time for the customer to decide to pull the trigger on submitting a lead or purchasing a vehicle.

Target All Devices

You may be tempted to tinker with every setting Facebook offers, including deciding to target Android phones vs Apple iPhones, or focusing on targeting only users on their desktop computers. Don't do this and try to guess or generalize consumer behavior. Let the algorithm constantly test your ads and figure out if and when to deliver your ads to any and all devices.

Show Ads Across All Placements

Similar to above, you may be tempted to decide on whether to show your ads on Facebook vs Instagram, or other ad space Facebook owns, like app ad space. Once again, let the algorithm figure out the best platforms to deliver your advertising on, as it will always A-B test and optimize towards the best performing platform(s).

Maximize Local Targeting

This one is pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised how many times we've heard dealerships tell us their agency was targeting users far far outside of their DMA. Facebook recommends generally targeting the local region your dealership is located in, unless your dealership specializes in selling cars online and shipping them across the country.

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