The 2019 Dealers United Wrap-Up

The 2019 Dealers United Wrap-Up

2019 was a year of amazing professional and personal growth for #TeamDU. We reached some awesome milestones this year, like becoming a Facebook Marketing Partner, celebrated many of our team members’ special life events and accomplishments, and—as always—continued our mission to helping automotive dealers solve real business problems.

Read on to see our biggest highlights of 2019: 

Read it!

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

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

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.

Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool

Ad Hacking 101: Steal Your Competition’s Automotive Facebook Ad Ideas With This Free Tool

Auto dealers have a secret weapon when it comes to viewing their competitors Facebook Ad strategy…

…and it’s completely free!

Technically called Facebook Page Transparency, this feature was created in an effort by Facebook to “make advertising more transparent and to give people more information about the ads they see.

NOTE: You may have seen something like this before under a Page’s “Info and Ads” tab in 2018. But as of March 2019, this was moved to the new Facebook Page Transparency section.

But as you’ll find out, the tool gives businesses a new competitive edge and the ability to study the Facebook ad landscape like never before.

Use it to gain more insights into:

  1. Your competitors’ live dealership Facebook and Instagram ads
  2. Your live ads
  3. Your manufacturer’s ads
  4. Anyone’s ads!!!

This process is so helpful to us here at Dealers United, we’ve created our own term for it: “Facebook Ad Hacking.”

Ad Hacking will help you get inspired, steal ideas, stay up-to-date with current ad strategies, and see how your ad strategy compares to other dealers like you!

Ready to learn how to run your own Automotive Facebook Ad Hack?

How To Run Your Own Automotive Ad Hack

To see how you can easily view any dealership’s live Facebook and Instagram Ads, watch this quick video!

Quick Guide:

  1. Visit any Facebook Business Page
  2. Click on “Facebook Page Transparency” on the right column of the page (you may have to scroll down a bit)
  3. Toward the bottom of the Pop Up screen, look for “Ads From This Page”
  4. Click the link at the bottom right, “Go To Ads Library”
  5. Use the top Filter Results bar to filter by platform, impressions, and keywords.
  6. Dive further into each ad by clicking “See Ad Details” and view if the ad has multiple variations
  7. Lift your jaw from the floor!!!!

What Your Automotive Facebook Ad Hacks WON’T Reveal

There are 2 big catches when you are going through your Ad Hacks:

First, you can’t see exactly what audiences the ads are targeting.

You won’t know precisely if your competitors are running ads to cold prospects, or if they are using 3rd party In-Market Shopper data, or if they are simply retargeting their website traffic.

However, you can still use copy and context clues to make assumptions on their targeting strategies.

Second, you also can’t see if the ads are actually effective.

Unfortunately, after the switch from Info & Ads to Page Transparency, you can no longer see how many engagements (Likes, reactions, views) each ad received.

Want our team of Facebook experts to Ad Hack your top 3 competitors, and compare their strategies with your own? Click here!

 But you CAN still learn from and mimic great ads for your dealership! (Hint: Be sure to use this tool as inspiration, not to copy exact messaging or clone imagery.)

Our team of Facebook and Instagram experts has an ultra-thorough “internal analysis” we run through when we help auto dealers #AdHack. 

By testing hundreds of dealership ads across the country over the last 5 years, we know which ads are likely to perform…

…and which will FAIL.

If you’re interested in having our team of experts help you Ad Hack, click here! Otherwise, Happy #AdHacking!

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.

[PRESS RELEASE] Dealers United Recognized as Official Facebook Marketing Partner

[PRESS RELEASE] Dealers United Recognized as Official Facebook Marketing Partner

(View the original release here.)

SARASOTA, Fla., Oct. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Dealers United, the Facebook and Instagram advertising solution for the automotive industry, announced today that Facebook has recognized the company for proven success on Facebook’s platform with an official Marketing Partner badge.

The Marketing Partner program is designed to connect clients seeking Facebook expertise with companies identified across the globe for excellence on the platform.

To become a Partner, companies must be painstakingly vetted and evaluated on their capability, expertise and record of success for at least one of six specialties including Ad Technology and Measurement.

They must also meet strict criteria around ad spend, number of active pages, and qualifying ad placements.

“This badge not only validates everything our team has been working toward, but it really ignites our passion for what we know auto dealers are able to do through Facebook,” said Dealers United CEO Pete Petersen. “We are excited to grow this partnership and push the boundaries on Facebook for automotive.”

Dealers United has also been recognized as a Top 10 Facebook Automotive Agency and Facebook Marketplace Inventory Partner, and has had four dealership success stories published on Facebook Business over the last three years.

With the new badge, Dealers United has gained exclusive tools, resources and support to help increase their dealership clients’ success on Facebook, including:

  • Dedicated technical support to help Dealers United solve problems faster with higher access to Facebook’s internal support team.
  • More success story recognition to feature additional Dealers United customers’ successes on Facebook Business.
  • Product updates and exclusive insights into the latest Facebook ad solutions, metrics, and insights to ensure customers have the latest tools and strategies.
  • Virtual measurement, growth sprints, and creative trainings that gives Dealers United access to internal experts at Facebook to solve specific dealership challenges, optimize measurement, and share creative best practices.

To learn more about Dealers United’s Facebook Marketing Partner badge and our Facebook programs designed to help automotive dealers solve their biggest business challenges, please visit or call us at 941-366-6760.

To learn more about Facebook’s Marketing Partners Program, please visit

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”!