5 Best Practices For Managing Your Dealership’s Facebook Marketplace Leads

Nov 19, 2018 | Digital Marketing, Social Media

When was the last time you checked your Facebook Inbox? You might have direct messages from hot leads, right now – especially if you list your inventory on Facebook Marketplace with us! Here’s an article that explains where these messages go and a few important best practices, including whether or not to use a chatbot, and who should be managing these leads.

If your auto dealership is posting its vehicles on Facebook Marketplace, congratulations!

You’re one step closer to driving more sales opportunities from Facebook for your dealership, and you’re likely already seeing leads pile into Facebook Messenger.

(READ: Why Your Dealership Cannot Miss Out On Facebook Marketplace For Autos”)

But now what?

Don’t worry. We’ve gathered a few best practices from some of the best experts in the industry on how to respond to your dealership’s Facebook Marketplace leads.

But first — when managing leads, should you be responding in-house with your own team, or should you hire a chat bot?

Marketplace Leads: To Chatbot or Not to Chatbot?

Our recommendation? If you can, avoid the chatbot.

While chatbots provide quick replies and conversation assistance, they can’t mimic true human interactions nor the full extent of your vehicle inventory.

A custom, human response to each inquiry will give you a head start in forming authentic relationships with your potential customers.

However, if your dealership has HIGH inventory and a SMALL team, you will likely need to find a 3rd party chatbot to help manage response times ensure no conversations fall through the cracks.

If your team has enough bandwidth and you have dedicated persons who can implement all the tips we list later on in this article, then avoid the bot!

Big Inventory + Small Team = Use A Chat Bot;
High Bandwidth + Dedicated Team = Avoid The Bot!

Regardless, your team should have an understanding of best practices for replying to Facebook Facebook Marketplace for Auto leads.

Here’s where to start:

NOT YET LISTING INTO FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE? We are offering all auto dealerships the chance to list 100% of their pre-owned inventory inside of Marketplace for a ONE-TIME fee of $59. Click here to learn more!

How To Find Your Marketplace Leads

To access these messages, you will need to have “Moderator” status or higher for your dealership’s Facebook Business Page.

All of your dealership’s Marketplace direct messages will populate on the Marketplace tab of your Facebook Business Page’s “Inbox.”

“Inbox” is a newer update from Facebook that aggregates all of your Messenger inquiries, Facebook comments, and Instagram interactions in one, easy-to-use area.

Facebook’s new Inbox feature combines all messages from your Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger accounts. Learn more about Facebook Inbox here!
Image: Facebook Business

Here are 5 best practices you should implement when tackling Facebook Marketplace leads for auto:

5 Best Practices When Replying Back to Your Dealership’s Facebook Marketplace Leads

1. Respond Quickly and Stay Organized!

“Time kills deals” is a phrase we all know on the lot, and it is just as true when dealing with leads on your digital lot.

You don’t want to miss these leads!!!

First, make sure you have dedicated a team member to log in to Facebook daily and keep an eye on your notifications. Then, agree with your team on a default response to provide an instant reply, such as “Happy to help!” or “Hi there!”

PRO TIP: Turn on Facebook’s “Instant Replies” and change your settings to respond to your inquiries. Learn more about this setting in this article.

Regardless, your team should have an understanding of best practices for replying to Facebook Facebook Marketplace for Auto leads.

Respond to leads INSTANTLY, even if only to let the prospect know you’re working on gathering all the answers they’ve requested on the vehicle they’re interested in.

Use Facebook’s built-in tools to help you stay organized, especially if you have multiple team members fielding responses.

Be sure to “star” your important conversations, or revert the “Read/Unread” status if a message needs more attention, and most importantly, mark finished conversations as “done” once you’ve handled the lead in full.

Once you reply, the next step is to be memorable, and be human!

2. Be Memorable & Be Human

Generic, automated responses are easy to spot—and easy to forget!

At this phase, building rapport with your prospect is the most valuable thing you can do. Facebook Marketplace leads are interested in your inventory, but they’re hardly loyal to you or your store.

It’s your job to reach that person first to engage their interests, answer their questions, build a relationship, and set an appointment!

Each message links directly to the Facebook Profile of the potential customer that is interested in one of your vehicles.

Use Inbox’s “About” sidebar to gather more information about your prospect.
Image: SocialMediaExaminer.com

Just like reading an UP’s bumper sticker as they drive onto the lot, you can use this to gather more info before and after you respond.

Maybe they are from the same town or went to the same college as you. Or maybe you have a mutual friend. You can also look through their profile and wish them well on any recent milestones or thank them for being a fan for so many years.

This will help you bring relevant, helpful information to the table.

A few tips for responding to each lead:

  • Connect with them based on something on their profile
  • Offer a salesperson’s name, photo, and direct phone number
  • Provide additional photos of the vehicle(s) they are interested in
  • Be clear about what you want them to do next!
  • Offer both New & Used options
  • Let them know about any current promotions and offers

Remember, perception is everything, so show your customers that your response is FOR THEM, BY YOU…not just a canned response that every lead gets.

3. Already Sold? Try This!

The first question you’ll likely see from Facebook Marketplace leads is: “Is it still available?”

When responding, it’s important to be a salesperson – not simply an order taker. If the vehicle is sold, guide the customer to alternatives that they may be interested in.

Here are some tips to keep the conversation going:

Ask WHY they’re in the market for the vehicle they’re inquiring about. This will take the conversation beyond price and help you get a better understanding of what else you can show them.

Once you know the vehicle type they want, pull up ALL vehicle listings that are similar to it so that you increase their options. (In other words, SHOW THEM THE WHOLE MENU!) If you have more than one vehicle available that will pique their interest, you will be more likely to bring them into your dealership for an appointment and test drive.

Failing to offer another option to leads is guaranteed to drive them to a different dealership for what they were in search of.

4. Have an After-Hours Plan!

Make sure team members owning this task are passionate, timely, and reliable. Leads will come in after hours!

In fact, up to 40% of leads are generated after business hours for dealerships.

Make sure your dealership has a process or technology to personalize responses to customer inquiries after hours and answer questions for the prospect.

Read this article from SocialMediaExaminer.com to learn more about setting up your working hours and away notifications on Facebook Messenger.

5. Stay Engaged & Nurture Leads

Keep in mind a large percentage of people start “looking” at vehicles weeks or months before they intend to buy.

Don’t be surprised or “write them off” if they don’t set an appointment with you (or anyone) right away!

That’s why it’s important to follow up! If you can, follow up with leads for up to 120 days and make it simple for your customers to re-engage with your inventory, staff, and dealership.

Instead of manually following up, try running Facebook ads to these users!

You can create a Custom Audience and advertise to everyone who has sent a Message to your Page within a certain amount of days.

New promotions and trade-in ads are a powerful way to build a NEW sense of urgency for these prospects.

Want help creating this follow-up ad strategy? Click here to learn more about our Facebook Advertising solutions.

Enjoy Those Facebook Marketplace Sales Opportunities!

Now you have all the tools you need to be successful with Facebook Marketplace!

The tips above will increase the effectiveness of your conversations and help you be more successful with your Marketplace Leads.

To get started with Facebook Marketplace, visit our online-only offer to help dealerships post into Facebook Marketplace for $0/month!

Or, if you have questions about managing your dealership’s leads on Facebook Marketplace, you can message our team at [email protected]!

Blog Author - Dave Brazier

Written By Dave Brazier
Dave bridges the gaps between technical discussion, actionable items, and effective story-telling. As a former collegiate cheerleader, he is no stranger to the spotlight and knows many ways to grab your attention!

Who is Dealers United?

Dealers United is a game-changing automotive company dedicated to helping auto dealers improve their dealerships. We have helped over 6,500 dealers nationwide cut costs, save time, and sell more cars.

Want our best articles delivered right into your inbox? Start receiving our best articles, tips for your dealership, and more by adding your information below.


Register for the webinar, “The 3 Biggest Facebook Mistakes Even Advanced Dealer Marketers Are Making”!