Auto inventory ads on social media

How to Run Effective Automotive Facebook Ads for Dealerships

Written By AE Staff

Are Facebook Inventory Ads Stealing Your Customers?

2019 is the year of social media, and more importantly, the year of Facebook. You and I both know your customers are always on social media, so why aren’t you taking advantage of promoting your inventory right into their News Feed? ActivEngages’ newest feature, Social Advantage, does just that. With this latest implementation, we help enable you to influence your customers’ online shopping experience.

The Diversity Advertising on Facebook Makes

Online consumers are shopping differently. In as little as 5 seconds, a customer decides whether they want to purchase from you or move on. Additionally, there are 30 million shoppers on Facebook Marketplace, imagine reaching that many shoppers and selling that many cars. That’s where ActivEngage comes in. We help you reach your customers wherever they are because, at the end of the day, we’re on the same team.

After our continued success with Facebook implementation in early 2017, ActivEngage is now helping car dealerships leverage Facebook in even more ways with Social Advantage. This powerful suite of tools includes Facebook Messenger and our new inventory ads. The best part, we manage everything for you. That’s one less thing to worry about so you can focus on the incoming sales. Dealerships that currently utilize this package have the opportunity to increase their unit sales through Facebook feeds with a simple scroll.

4 Convincing Reasons Why Car Dealerships Need to Use Facebook Advertising

Lead Generation Capabilities

Automotive advertising on Facebook offers unmatched lead generation capabilities. By utilizing dynamic advertising, the ads your place on Facebook will be delivered to users whose online activity indicates their interest in buying a car, resulting in more leads. These kind of targeting options means you aren’t wasting money or time putting ads in front of people who are entirely uninterested, and instead can showcase your dealership to those who are looking to upgrade their vehicle. The potential for lead forming on Facebook is simply too good to pass up.

Improved Brand Awareness

Facebook ads allow you to showcase your brand at a higher level, creating more brand awareness as a whole. This is beneficial as it allows your brand to become more well-known in the community and exposes your business to new market shoppers.

Reach New Audience – Conquesting New Customers

As previously mentioned, advertising on Facebook improves brand awareness. With heightened awareness around your dealership, it is also being exposed to new audiences and potential buyers. Ultimately, using ads on Facebook will bring in new customers and increase your lead potential.

Excellent Use of Ad Dollars

Facebook ads are one of the most cost-efficient advertising platforms available today. According to WordStream data, the average cost per click of Facebook ads is only $1.72. Considering the highly effective nature of Facebook advertising and the number of leads generated, this cost per click is very low. The return on investment from Facebook ads is well worth the money spent.

How to Set Up a Facebook Advertising Account for Your Car Dealership

There are two key steps to getting your dealership’s Facebook Advertising Account up and running.

1. Enter Payment Info

In order to run ads on the platform, you have to be able to pay for them. Adding your payment info is simple and easy!

  1. Go to Payment Settings
  2. Find the Payment Methods section and click Add Payment Method
  3. Select the Payment Method you’d like to add and click Next
  4. Follow any additional instructions.

2. Add Account Roles

There are different account roles within each Facebook advertising account with different permissions respectively.

  • Admins are able to view ads, access reports, create and edit ads, edit payment methods, and manage admin permissions.
  • Advertisers are able to view ads, access reports, and create and edit ads.
  • Analysts are able to view ads and access reports.

In order to assign these roles, you must be an admin to the account.

Facebook Ad Types: Deciding Which Format to Use

Video Ads

Video ad campaigns are an incredibly effective digital marketing technique. It’s no surprise that Facebook users love video- on average, every month 1.25 billion users view videos through Facebook Watch alone. By using Facebook video ads, you can use this trend to your advantage.

There are three main categories of video ads on the platform.

  • In-stream (ads that run in-between videos users watch)
  • Feed
  • Stories

Video ads also grant quite a bit of creative freedom, allowing your dealership’s brand personality to shine through and create emotional connections with the audience. By creating engaging, scroll-stopping video ads on Facebook your dealership will reap the benefits.

Carousel Ads

Carousel Ad campaigns on Facebook are a great way to highlight your brand by using multiple images or videos. Carousel ads combine multiple images and videos that Facebook users can scroll through in one ad placement. Some benefits of carousel ads include:

  • The ability to showcase multiple products at once (great for highlighting several vehicles)
  • Displaying different features of services
  • Showcasing reviews, testimonials, and promotional offers in a single ad.

Carousel ads allow dealerships to showcase various vehicle makes, models, and colors, presenting users with the key details that will ultimately convince them to buy.

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic ad campaigns are a great choice for auto dealers, as they use machine learning to scale ads when you have a broad range or large volume of products (as more dealerships do.) Dynamic ads utilize an algorithm and user data to deliver relevant ads to specific audiences based on their intent, actions, and interests. To put it simply, dynamic ads place your dealership and relevant vehicles in front of audiences who are already on the hunt for a new car. This type of ad removes the burden of creating individual ads for every single item in your inventory and instead, allows you to create a catalog with all of your products and services. From there, you can choose to create one campaign that drives online sales using specific, personalized recommendations for everything in your catalog. Any time a potential customer shows interest in an item from your catalog, Facebook will automatically create ads for that individual and present it on mobile, tablet, and desktop. You can also use Lead Ads on Facebook to gather more information from users. When a user clicks on your dealership’s advertisement, it will bring them to a page where they just have to fill out a contact form with most information stored from the site already prefilled. Lead ads offer the customer a seamless transition from the advertisement to your webpage, resulting in more leads and a smoother process for your customers.

Image/Text Ads

Image and text ads offer the unique advantage of popping up on a user’s Facebook feed. The delivery method of image and text ads appears more organic, as if a page the user already follows has posted content. These ads also have the advantage of appearing on both mobile and desktop. Image ads grant the opportunity of showing off your product, brand, or service with a single photo and optional footer. You can create ads in Facebook Ads Manager, or you can choose to boost an existing post that includes an image from your Facebook page.

Facebook Advertising Rules All Car Dealerships Should Know

Facebook Ad Formatting Rules

There are various formatting rules depending on the type of automotive facebook ads you choose to run. Here’s what you should keep in mind for some of the ad types we’ve covered:

Video Ads:

  • Upload the highest resolution video clip as possible.
  • Recommended aspect ratio is 16:9.
  • Should be formatted as an .MP4 or .MOV
  • The maximum video file size is 4GB
  • The duration of the video can run from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.
  • Including sound is recommended.
  • Captions are optional, however, they are recommended.

Carousel Ads-

  • Carousel Photo Ads:
    • Image size should be at least 1080 x 1080 pixels
    • Minimum width and height of 600 pixels
    • 2-10 cards per Carousel Ad
    • The recommended ratio is 1:1.
    • The maximum image size is 30 MB.
    • Should be formatted as a JPG or PNG.
  • Carousel Video Ads:
    • The recommended resolution should be 1080 x 1080.
    • An aspect ratio of 1:1.
    • The maximum video file size is 4 GB.
    • Should be formatted as an .MP4 or .MOV
    • Video length can run from 1 second to 240 minutes.
    • The maximum frame rate for video is 30 fps.
  • Carousel Ad Character Limitations:
  • 125 Characters of Text
  • The headline can be up to 40 characters
  • Link Description can be up to 20 characters
  • The landing page URL is required.

Image & Text Ads:

  • Image Ads:
    • Recommended image resolution is 1080 x 1080.
    • The minimum width and height is 600 pixels.
    • The recommended aspect ratio is from 9:16 to 16:9.
    • Images should be formatted as JPG or PNG.
    • Images containing 20% or more text will likely increase the chances of failed delivery.
  • Text character limitations:
    • 125 characters or less.
    • The headline should be 25 characters or less.
    • Link description should be 30 characters or less.

Facebook Advertising Policies

Facebook has several advertising policies to keep in mind when deciding on what kind of ad to run and what should be included. Every time you place an ad order, it will be reviewed against these policies. Needless to say, it’s important to understand these guidelines before you create ads.

To read more about Facebook advertising policies, click here.

ActivEngage and Automotive Inventory Ads

Facebook inventory ads proactively show your current Marketplace inventory to local, in-market auto shoppers. With this new feature, dealers can use Facebook’s advanced targeting data to create dynamic ads based on consumers’ market radius, credit bracket, and car shopping behavior. This results in the opportunity to reach the highest potential customer base yet!

How it works: Shoppers who are actively searching for a vehicle will be targeted to see dealer ads in between friends posts about babies, marriages, and bird videos. Each ad is unique to the individual—if a shopper is searching for SUV’s, ActivEngage targets them with local SUV ads. With this new feature, car dealers will be able to:

  • Increase unit sales
  • Proactively reach car shoppers
  • Target local market
  • Customize ads
  • Measure vehicle sales

But, because some shoppers won’t always convert after seeing an ad once, our tool launches retargeting ads until they do. By retargeting them, you’re giving customers a more engaging and personalized car buying experience. This results in a happier customer and an even better selling experience—go you!

The first conversation you have with a shopper can happen online.

But your customers don’t want to deal with robots. That’s why, once the customer bites, they can chat with one of our knowledgeable messaging specialists. As a dealer, you can feel peace of mind knowing that your customers are in good hands, with a real human.

Show Those Other Guys Who’s Boss

Social Advantage is just the beginning, and we are eager to continue holding the title of the #1 approved chat and inventory partner on Marketplace. Like you, we work hard to remain a leader in this industry. ActivEngage is consistently growing our digital retailing features to turn more of your online shoppers into sales. We can’t wait to share what’s in store for 2019!

Start Advertising Your Car Dealership on Facebook Today!

30 million Facebook shoppers are clicking on vehicles in Marketplace. Are any of those vehicles yours? To learn more about how we maximize your visibility on Facebook, please visit


Ready to discover how ActivEngage helps your dealership succeed?