6 Companies To “Ad Hack” For The Absolute Best Automotive Facebook Ads

Digital Marketing, Social Media

Last week, we released our video guide on how to “Ad Hack” and get a competitive edge for your dealership’s Facebook Ad Strategy.

But once you unlock this secret “Ad Hacking” super power…

…what do you do with it?

In this article, we’ll give you 6 ideas for companies you should run Ad Hacks on to get you the best insights for your dealership’s Facebook Ad strategy.

Not sure what Ad Hacking is? Catch part one, “Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool” 

Tips Before Ad Hacking

We love Ad Hacking so much, all of Dealers United (from our Marketing, to our Sales, to our Facebook teams) frequently runs “Hackathons” to ensure we’re staying on top of new trends, our competition, and identifying gaps in our own and others’ ad strategies.

Before you get started, create what we call a “Swipe File.”

(True story, our internal Ad Hack Swipe File is 358 slides long…)


Use Word, Google Slides, Google Docs, Evernote, Onenote, Google Keep or whatever tool you like to capture a video or image of example ads you like.

You can send this to your agency, internal marketing team, or outsourced Facebook partner things you like once you’re done “Ad Hacking.”

Use This Checklist When You’re Ad Hacking

Internally, we have a 30+ item checklist we use to test how the ads we’re hacking stack up.

To cover the basics, here’s a condensed checklist to get you up and running: 


Is there too much text?
Is text optimized for mobile? (Facebook only shows 3 lines on mobile!)
Are the ads using emojis, line breaks, other formatting to help focus the reader’s attention?

Images and Videos:

Are the ad images high resolution and clear?
Are the ads taking advantage of the 1:1 or 2:3 ratios (best for mobile)?
How long are the videos? (Facebook recommends less than 15 seconds!)


Can you identify any ads that may indicate a Retargeting strategy? (Hint: Look for copy like, “Are you still looking…” or “Forget something?”
Filter platform by “Instagram.” Are the Instagram formats the exact same as Facebook, or are they being optimized for Instagram specifically? (Hint: Look for copy or imagery that says “Swipe Up” or are the size of the entire phone to indicate an Instagram Story optimization.)

Now that you know what to look for, here are 6 companies you should run an #AdHack on for the best dealership Facebook Ads! 

Want to skip the “DIY” and get a comprehensive Ad Hack with our Facebook experts? Click here to name your top 3 competitors, and we’ll get started!

6 Different Companies to Facebook Ad Hack NOW:

#1: Ad Hack Yourself!

Go through your ads and audit copy, imagery, and verify that the ads you’re running should still be running! 

(You’d be surprised how often we see Veteran’s Day ads and promotions showing up Mid-December…)

Proofread your copy, and look for opportunities where maybe your message wasn’t crystal clear, or when you used too much text.

Later, you will come back after you study other ads and create/update your current ads.

#2: Ad Hack Your Competition

Now for the best part: Ad Hack your competitors!

Look up your biggest threats, or even dealers whose advertising strategy you’ve admired before.

Take note of the type of campaigns, copy, calls-to-action, imagery, video, length of video, and anything else you want to steal to help YOUR consumer during the path-to-purchase.

Be sure to ask yourself, “WHO were they probably targeting with this message? What were they trying to get the user to DO?”

Once you know that, you’ll be able to recreate the targeting and purpose of the ads.

#3: Ad Hack The Top Dealer Groups In The Country

Check out what the top-ranked dealers are doing!

What’s their secret sauce?

What are their strategies? Are they integrating their vehicle feeds for automated vehicle ads? Are they focused more on branding? Are they using videos or Lead Ads? What is their split between Dealership Branding VS. Inventory or specials?

#4: Ad Hack Your OEM

Understand what your OEM is messaging to the market. This is a HUGE opportunity to marry your messaging to theirs. 

Manufacturers/OEMs create messaging to create awareness and start the consideration process…

…it’s up to you to pull the consumer through to the retail level.

Think about how you can marry your message to the efforts of your OEM

#5: Ad Hack Other Local and National Retailers

Let’s face it, all brick and mortar retailers face the same challenge… 

….you have to get the customer to show up at your store.

Study what other retailers who are selling physical goods are doing in their ads. 

(Think Amazon, Zillow, Home Depot, etc.)

#6: Ad Hack 3rd Party Automotive Sites and Lead Generation Providers

Want to stop depending so heavily on your 3rd party lead and listing provider(s)? 

Facebook is one of the main traffic drivers for the 3rd party vendors you’re likely handing cash to every month.

You can now use the same type of ads, target the same customers, and cut out the middleman!

Did you know? Facebook is one of the top lead drivers for 3rd party listing sites. Cut out the middle man by running your OWN inventory ads on Facebook.

If you recreate these ads successfully, you’ll be able to place your brand on every ad, instead of someone else’s.

Plus, you’re collecting the data on Facebook’s users and local shoppers. That’s your vehicle feed and therefore YOUR data. Don’t let them use it against you!

To learn more how your dealership can generate 1st party VIN leads without the middleman, check out our Facebook Inventory Ads program.

The Results of Your Ad Hacks

Try to Ad Hack each of the recommendations above…and then the hard part…

…use your findings to create your Facebook ads and start experimenting! 

And be honest with yourself:

If you’re not sure how best to “Ad Hack” your competition and identify the “Good, Bad, & Ugly” of dealership Facebook Ads, request our experts to run a FREE Facebook Ad Hack here!

Enjoy your new Ad Hacking hobby!

Blog Author - Brooke Jensen

Written By Brooke Jensen
Brooke handles all of Dealers United’s digital marketing. In addition to her love for design and copy, Brooke also adores her two dog-like kittens, playing the electric violin, and walking barefoot around the office.

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