Optimizing Your Social Media Ads Budget for Car Dealerships

Social Media

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Every dealership needs to be advertising on social media if they want to reach new customers and increase sales. It’s a no-brainer. However, with limited marketing budgets, it’s important to spend your money wisely to get the best return on investment. This article provides tips on how to optimize your social media ads budget as a car dealership, from social media advertising experts at Dealers United.

Set Clear Goals and KPIs

Before allocating your budget, your dealership will need to set clear goals and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to achieve with social media ads. Common goals include:

  • Increase website traffic
  • Generate more leads
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Drive dealership foot traffic

Establishing metrics to track for each goal such as click-through rate, cost per lead, and conversion rate will help guide budget decisions.

Research Your Audience

Conduct thorough consumer research to understand your target audience’s demographics, interests, behavior patterns, and media consumption habits. This will allow you to determine which social platforms and types of ad content will resonate most. The better tailored your ads, the better the performance.

Software like Google Analytics can provide insight into existing audience data from your website traffic. Additional tools like Facebook Audience Insights allow you to analyze target customer groups.

Or, with Dealers United’s social ads, your dealership can magically change your ads based on shopper behavior. Our ad solutions are so intelligent that your ad copy, placements, and even calls-to-action will change based on how shoppers engage with you.

For example: If a shopper visited a VDP but didn’t submit a lead, your ads would evolve to then show that exact VIN paired with lead forms to get them to come back and convert.


Click here to learn more about Dealers United’s ad solutions. 

Test Different Social Advertising Platforms

All social media platforms have unique advertising formats and audiences.  It’s important to test different platforms to see which one generates the highest ROI for your dealership.

Start by allocating a small budget to run A/B tests across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn. Look at relevant performance indicators, then allocate more budget towards the best-performing platforms.

Optimize Your Social Ad Creative

Well-designed creatives make a big difference in the success of ads. Work with designers to produce visuals and copywriting that grabs attention and conveys your brand style.

You will want to find social ad experts like Dealers United’s who will go above and beyond to design unique ads for your dealership that stand out. 


Analyze and Adjust Social Ads in Real-Time

Make sure that your dealership is consistently analyzing your ad performance and making changes when needed. Many social platforms provide real-time reporting dashboards to monitor metrics, so it’s important to optimize based on performance.

If an ad concept is underperforming, it’s as simple as pausing it and trying new creative to see what resonates with your audience. If a platform isn’t generating enough conversions, shift budget to those ads that driving more leads and sales. So long as you stay agile, you will always be aware of what you can try to boost performance.

Targeting and Retargeting Techniques for Engaged Customers

One proven tactic is to create custom audiences of people who have engaged with your brand and retarget them with ads. This could include:

  • Website visitors
  • Past lead form submitters
  • Video viewers
  • Foot traffic

Pro tip: Retargeting to warm leads and existing customers has higher conversion rates for lower cost.

Set and Refine Rules-Based Budgets

The best practice is to establish overall monthly budgets as well as daily/hourly limits that automatically pace spending. Use this as a starting point then refine over time.

Schedule more budget around weekdays or weekends when engagement is higher. Set flexible guardrails around ideal customer actions to control overspending. Continue assessing data then optimize budget allocations.

Importance of Optimizing Your Social Media Ads

Optimizing your social media budget takes consistent effort, but each small gain compounds over time into major performance and savings benefits. Work closely with your marketing advisor to track KPIs and align the budget to what’s working best.

At Dealers United, our certified marketing consultants leverage proprietary technology and proven methodologies tailored specifically for car dealerships. Schedule a free assessment to discuss how we can optimize your next digital campaign towards exceeding sales objectives while maximizing your budget.

Dominate Social ADS

Written By Lauren Blackwell
Lauren Blackwell is a skilled content marketer who has spent the past 3 years working in automotive advertising technology and now brings her unique experiences to Dealers United. From running ad campaigns, to curating auto-specific resources, Lauren is empowered to create valuable content to help automotive dealers thrive on social media.

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