Organic Social Media Guides Collection For Car Dealers

Organic Social Media Guides Collection For Car Dealers



Find out how many auto shoppers are on each platform, suggested budget, & ROI!

Copyright 2022-2023 Dealers United

Strategy Spotlight: Power Ford’s 365-Day Results — Quick Lane, Social Ads, and Cohesive Campaigns

Strategy Spotlight: Power Ford’s 365-Day Results — Quick Lane, Social Ads, and Cohesive Campaigns

Dealership OMNICHANNEL Ads Case Study

Strategy Spotlight: Power Ford’s 365-Day Results | Quick Lane, Social Ads, and Cohesive Campaigns

2023 Annual Results

Unit Sales Matched

Cost Per Unit Sold


Cost Per Lead

Social Ad Strategy In Action:
Maximizing Service with Quick Lane Campaign

The Challenge

When Ford co-op prioritized a new Quick Lane service initiative to boost customer satisfaction, Power Ford was tasked with getting ahead of the curve on local adoption. Power Ford needed to rapidly promote and integrate Quick Lane’s services and specials to set the standard in their region.

The Solution

Leaning into this priority shift, Dealers United supported Power Ford’s goals by using their expanded budget to run Traffic Campaigns and Web Lead Optimization Campaigns that targeted their audience of Ford car owners across Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat to dominate the entire Albuquerque area with the best Quick Lane offers.


Audience Strategy:

  • Tire Shoppers
  • Frequent Auto Repair Customers
  • Professional Automotive Repair
  • Auto Service and Repair
  • Frequent Spenders
  • Quick Lane Sales 2023 customer lists
  • In-market Ford car owners

Ad Placements & Formats:

  • Meta Instant Experience Collection Ads
  • Pinterest Awareness Ads
  • Snapchat Dynamic Inventory Ads


  • Web Lead Campaign: 369 Leads, $16.78 Cost Per Lead
  • Traffic Campaign: 443 Leads, $50.27 Cost Per Lead, 11,044 Landing Page Views

Dealer Testimonial

Matt Sneed, Director of Ops |  Power Ford

“When other dealerships ask us what we’re doing to generate the success that we do on social media, our answer is simple: Dealers United. In today’s digital landscape, succeeding goes far beyond just sponsoring a few posts on social media, or hoping that you reach the right user at the right time…You need a trusted, proven, strategic partner like Dealers United to help you dominate your local market.”


A Full-Funnel Ad Strategy
(Q1 – Q4 2023 Results)


Pushing Power Ford to the Top of Mind with Awareness Ads

The Awareness stage was crucial for introducing and reinforcing the Power Ford brand across all social ad channels. By laser-focusing on what their dealership offers in each ad, Dealers United familiarized key in-market audiences with what makes Power Ford the go-to Ford dealer. Their ad campaign focused on messaging around their customer-first approach and convenient service options with creative headlines like “Proudly Supporting Our Community” and “Here For You.”

Snapchat Automotive Inventory Ads Audience Insights


In-Market Shoppers Reached



$8.85 CPM

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)



Accelerating Decisions with Interactive Inventory Content

Once the Power Ford brand had top-of-mind presence, their focus shifted to encourage the consideration of new models through activating Instant Experience Collection ads on Meta. We leveraged Ford’s OEM footage and combined Power Ford branding with dynamic model showrooms. Shoppers could digitally explore attention-grabbing model footage and matched inventory suited to their needs in one scrollable ad. To pursue shoppers no matter where they were spending time, Power Ford also advertised their inventory and offers across Pinterest and Snapchat.

Snapchat Automotive Inventory Ads Audience Insights




Cost Per Click (CPC)


Landing Page Views (*Meta & Pinterest only)



Incentivizing Purchase with Hyper-Personalized Retargeting Ads

To give shoppers the motivation they need to confidently convert with Power Ford, Dealers United helped activate personalized ads that reached already engaged audiences. Power Ford retargeted prospects with model lines they have shown interest in alongside dynamic inventory ads showcasing VDP vehicles browsed, plus matching models. Additional ads deployed promoted Quick Lane specials and on-site coupons to add extra value. This combination of ads provided the last push for high-potential prospects to finalize their purchase with Power Ford.

Snapchat Automotive Inventory Ads Audience Insights




Cost Per Lead (CPL)


Sales Matched to Ads (*Meta only)


2023 Annual Results

Unit Sales Matched

Cost Per Unit Sold


Cost Per Lead

We Help Dealers USE SOCIAL ADS TO Sell More Cars.

As Seen In:

Strategy Spotlight: Hunt Auto Accelerates 2023 Growth With A Full-Funnel Omnisocial Ad Strategy

Strategy Spotlight: Hunt Auto Accelerates 2023 Growth With A Full-Funnel Omnisocial Ad Strategy

Dealership Omnisocial Ads Case Study

Strategy Spotlight: Hunt Auto Accelerates 2023 Growth With A Full-Funnel Omnisocial Ad Strategy

6 Month Results

Unit Sales Matched

Cost Per Unit Sold


of Sales Matched To Ads

Hunt Auto’s Omni-Social Ad Strategy In Action

The Challenge

Hunt Auto wanted to be the most innovative dealer in the automotive industry. They dealership is committed to being on the cutting edge of digital marketing, and keeping their dealership ahead of the curve—and ahead of the competition. However, to do so required a strong knowledge of not only what new opportunities exist across all of the social platforms, but also how to maximize them.

The Solution

By partnering with Dealers United, Hunt Auto was able to be first in line to beta test and leverage the latest automotive omnisocial ad features. For example, when TikTok launched their new ad format, TikTok Video Shopping Ads, the Hunt team immediately worked with Dealers United to maximize them. To make the most of this exciting feature, Hunt Auto recorded videos tailored specifically to SUV moms and truck buyers, then added their live, scrolling SUV or truck inventory over the video. Combined with advanced targeting that perfectly aligned with their ads with their intended audience, this is still one of Hunt Auto’s favorite ad strategies to-date!


Audience Strategy:

  • In-market Ford & Chrysler shoppers
  • Within 25 mile radius

Ad Placements & Formats:

  • TikTok, Meta (Facebook & Instagram), Snapchat, and Pinterest
  • Mobile, Desktop, and Stories placement

Dealer Testimonial

Ethan Shutt | Social Media Manager, Hunt Auto

“Dealers United provides some of the best quality Social Media Marketing in the business. We have been with them for over a year and we’ve consistently seen our paid engagement rates increase due to the content they’ve created. Their biggest strength is the creativity they use to make our ideas into full fledged campaigns.”


A Full-Funnel Omnisocial Ad Strategy
(Q1 & Q2 2023 Results)


“Why Buy” from Hunt Auto?

As a third-generation family-owned business, brand awareness is crucial to Hunt Auto. Using video content shot by their own team to give a “behind-the-scenes” feel, the dealership stayed top-of-mind with their local community across all social channels. Through this strategy, Hunt promoted the “hometown feel” that sets them apart, alongside a list of reasons to buy from them, including:

  • “Family owned and operated!”
  • “Always on sale…”
  • “Excellent service”
Snapchat Automotive Inventory Ads Audience Insights


In-Market Shoppers Reached



$4.85 CPM

CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)



Delivering Hunt Auto’s catalog to the right car shopper

During the “Consideration” stage, Hunt Auto leveraged dynamic vehicle ads across Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook to highlight their available cars and showcase their vehicle catalog to interested shoppers. With dynamic ads tailored to each shopper’s preference and browsing history, Hunt Auto delivered a personalized experience, enabling their dealership to lead their audience further into the funnel and toward becoming their customer.

Snapchat Automotive Inventory Ads Audience Insights




Cost Per Click (CPC)


Finalizing the sale at Hunt Auto

In the “Conversion” stage, Hunt Auto retargeted shoppers who had previously expressed interest in their inventory. The dealership used custom ads across Meta (Facebook & Instagram) and Pinterest showcasing financing options, encourage test drives, and even drive Messenger conversations. In one of their Conversion campaigns, they made it easy for shoppers to apply for financing online and reach a final purchase decision!

Snapchat Automotive Inventory Ads Audience Insights




Cost Per Lead (CPL)


Lead-to-Sale Conversion Rate


6 Month Results

Unit Sales Matched

Cost Per Unit Sold


of Sales Matched To Ads

We Help Dealers USE SOCIAL ADS TO Sell More Cars.

As Seen In:

Dealership Omnisocial Ads Case Study – Hunt Auto

Dealership Omnisocial Ads Case Study – Hunt Auto

Dealer Case Study

Hunt Auto Accelerates 2023 Growth With A Full-Funnel Omnisocial Ad Strategy

What Our Customers Say:

Tristen Oakley | Zeigler Auto Group
“Dealers United is amazing! I love our reps Cody, Meg, & Shea! They always respond quickly, have an amazing positive attitude, help us with whatever we throw at them, and are always there when we need them! The creative they offer & come up with is awesome! We use them for Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat social advertising! We have seen an amazing return on investment & high amount of vehicles purchased from using them as our social media ad agency! I would 10000% recommend!!”


Bobby Sight | Rob Sight Ford
“Have been a Dealers United since fall 2019. We’ve seen incredible improvements in web traffic and ultimately car sales. The whole DU team is amazing starting with our account rep Andrew Rogers and all the way up to the CEO Pete Peterson. This group knows what they’re doing! Social media retargeting is the way to go and these are the guys to do it!”


Jay Healey | Healey Brothers Auto Group
“We are able to get things done on time and make sure our customers are receiving the right messages. Dealers United has been a game changer for us!”


Todd C Comstock | Adams Chevrolet Inc.
“We started using Dealers United in October of 2021. They handle a large portion of our paid digital marketing for us at our dealership. I have always understood the value of having a team working for us and seamlessly handling this rather complex process. Alix & Bryan have been instrumental in managing (and improving) our digital presence all the while being attentive to our specific needs on the dealership level. I highly recommend Dealers United. They have far exceeded our expectations.”


Jenna Popp | Serra Ford Rochester Hills
“In the Automotive space, there are SO many vendors saying they can get you results. Dealers United actually can, and they become a close member of your team just as if they were at the store working with you in house! We have worked with them for both our Ford and Buick GMC stores now. I’m grateful for Alix Knox, Justin, Pete, Molly, Brooke and the whole team!”


Gary Martin | Gator Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
“I cannot say enough good things about Aleena and Mitch. They are always on top of things, proactive and very detailed. They take care of this account like it was their own money being spent. Also, they are both a joy to deal with.”


Aimee Rogers | Brad Deery Motors
They are a great company to partner with. They really care about your company and keep coming up with great ideas to help you succeed. Aleena and Mitch are fantastic and so on top of things! Super fast responses and great communication! Definitely go above and beyond for their customers. ❤️


Brands we work with:

Ready to Dominate Your Market With Social Ads?

As Seen In:

The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Social Ads For Car Dealers

The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Social Ads For Car Dealers

The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Social Media Ads for Car Dealers


Back in 2018, reaching car shoppers was much easier.

All you had to do was cast a net on Google or Facebook, and you were able to capture the majority of the online car shopper population. This is what we call the era of “Traditional Digital.”

But in today’s digital-first world, car shoppers are no longer confined to a single ad platform; instead of using 1 or 2 apps consistently, they dabble in various apps unpredictably.

In fact, today the average person has approximately 40 mobile apps on their phone, and their online time is primarily spent on just 18 of them. (Source: TechJury)

(And the “app-explosion” continues. When we were writing this guide, the new app Threads launched and Twitter rebranded to “X”!)

As consumer attention has shifted, dealership advertising budgets have followed…

The National Automobile Dealers Association reported that in 2016, just 33.6% of a dealer’s budget was allocated to internet ads. Just five years in 2021, that budget grew to almost two-thirds, or 63.6%, of a dealership’s total advertising expenditures.

And now in 2023, “Internet Advertising” is no longer limited to Facebook and Google. Now, “New Digital” is here, with hundreds of apps all vying for car shoppers’ attention.

But despite the fact that the explosion of digital platforms has diluted consumer attention, research shows that 91% of the U.S. population can be reached through the top 5 social media platforms:

And the best way to do that is with Social Media Ads: Facebook & Instagram Ads (Meta Ads), Snapchat Ads, Pinterest Ads, and TikTok Ads.

However, not all dealers are taking advantage of paid media on these platforms. Worse, many social vendors and automotive marketers are doing what we call “Check-The-Box Social:” doing the bare minimum and wasting ad spend along the way.

The Problem With (Most) Car Dealer Social Ads

With traditional media, repeating and replaying the same ad for a duration ensures maximum retention.

But blasting the same message in the same format across every social platform (AKA, what many social ads vendors and in-house teams do) is a quick way to reach shopper burnout.

Think about it…imagine you’re in-market for a car, and Dealer A approaches you and introduces their dealership: “Hi, we’re Dealer A!

Now, picture the next time they approach you, and they just repeat the exact same conversation. “Hi, we’re Dealer A!”… even though you already know who they are, they act as if they don’t remember any of that interaction. What would you do? It’s likely that you’re not going to respect or trust them…and you’re definitely not going to be buying a car from their dealership!

For dealers, this repetitive approach hinders credibility, objective, and is a waste of their ad dollars.

A good way to waste your ad dollars: Same message, every channel.

A more effective Social Selling System involves a method that nurtures a relationship with the consumer over time, tailored to each platform.

It shows that you’re not just spraying the same message across all channels to all users and hoping it resonates with them – it shows that you are taking the time to deliver content that the car shopper actually is ready to view.

But the reality is that dealerships today aren’t taking the time to curate their cross-platform messaging, which is blowing opportunities left and right.

A dealership that crafts a true Social Selling System focuses on a strategy that builds a relationship with the consumer over time – wherever they are spending time.

This strategy builds trust through brand awareness BEFORE broadcasting special incentives or asking for a contact to submit a lead and schedule a test drive.

And it’s called a Full-Funnel Omnisocial strategy.

A Proven Full-Funnel OmniSocial Strategy

Omnisocial, or Omnichannel, refers to a multi-platform advertising strategy that works to provide a seamless customer experience. This approach delivers the next relevant message at the right time in the auto buyer journey, on the platform where they are spending time NOW.

Full-Funnel refers to breaking down the sales process into multiple stages, where you bring the consumer in through the top of the funnel, nurture the relationship mid-funnel, to ultimately identify the hottest in-market shoppers at the bottom of the funnel.

By combining these practices, advertisers can accelerate the auto buyer journey to not only maximize exposure and engagement, but also optimize their ad spend and ROI.

Let’s start with understanding the different funnel stages and the roadmap to building a relationship.

3 Stages of the Full-Funnel Social ADS Strategy For Dealers

The three stages of the roadmap include getting the auto shopper to know you, then to trust you, so ultimately they choose to work with you! 

This aligns with three campaign objectives in a full-funnel social ad strategy: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.

Stage #1: Car Dealership Awareness Campaigns

The “Awareness” stage introduces your brand to your community, and it starts even before they may be in-market. When they get the idea that they may be interested in trading in or buying a new vehicle, we want your name to come to mind because you’ve already laid the groundwork about who your dealership is and why you’re the best.

Ads that work great in this stage use videos of not just inventory, but your team as well. If you have someone who is comfortable in front of a camera, you can definitely use this to your advantage. 

Car dealer social ads that include “Why Buy Here” messaging educate and influence shoppers to want to purchase from you, instead of your competition.

Free Download: Need some help getting started with ad copy for your ads in the Awareness stage? Download our free “Writing Why Buy’s” guide!

When we surveyed dealers, we found that only 77% have adopted this strategy. This leaves a lot of room for improvement and opportunity to make sure your brand is top of mind.

Awareness Ad Inspiration:


Audience Targeting for Awareness Ads:

  • All website visitors (180 days)
  • Target within a 50-mile radius of your dealership’s address
  • Oracle audiences can also be added here!

Awareness Metrics to Measure ATTENTION:

  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Frequency
  • Views
  • Video Plays %

Stage #2: Car Dealership Consideration Campaigns

In the “Consideration” stage, buyers have typically begun researching which vehicle is best for them, and are evaluating what dealership they should go to in order to buy it.

This is when dealers need to deliver Model Line ads and Automotive Inventory Ads featuring vehicles similar to what they’re already searching for. Our goal here is to get them to a VDP on your website.

During this stage where car shoppers are formulating a shortlist of vehicle makes, models, and dealerships, use “Ready to Buy” messaging with available inventory, and inform them about current incentives or special programs.

Ad Inspiration for the Consideration Stage:

  • Use “Ready to Buy” messaging with available on-the-ground inventory
  • Continue “Why Buy Here” messaging, building on your Awareness ads
  • Highlight features and your latest model lines
  • Inform about current incentives or special programs
  • Vehicle walkarounds shot by your team!
  • “Your new [Model Line Name] is waiting…”
  • “Looking for a pre-owned car?”

Audience Targeting for the Consideration Stage:

  • All website visitors (30 days) and in-market shoppers
  • Exclude users who have filled out lead forms
  • For retargeting campaigns, target within a 50-mile radius 
  • For prospecting campaigns, target within a 25-mile radius of your dealership

Consideration Metrics to Measure Action:

  • Clicks
  • Cost Per Click
  • Click Through Rate
  • Messenger Conversations
  • Landing Page Views

Stage #3: Car Dealership Conversion Campaigns

The last stage of the car buyer journey is “Conversion.” Ads in this phase are designed to—you guessed it—convert shoppers into leads. At last, you can serve lead form ads, ads with a call-to-action to send a direct message, or ads that drive to a lead form on your website. Our goal is to get the buyers to reach out, so your team can do what they do best: close the deal.

This is also the stage in which you want to retarget shoppers with exact VINs viewed on your dealership’s website or engaged with your ads. Because of this, it’s essential for all of your social ad platforms to receive and deliver signals to and from one another, so that a shopper who engaged with your SUV ad on Facebook then gets retargeted with your live SUV inventory on TikTok.

Then, once a car shopper becomes a lead, your Conversion campaigns can evolve to help you make the sale. Continue to push your “Why Buy Here” messages, and leverage customer testimonials to showcase the buying experience from another perspective.

Ad Inspiration for the Conversion Stage:

  • “Here are some vehicles we know you’ll love…”
  • “Still interested?!” (Show specific VDPs)
  • Contact Us Now
  • Schedule Test Drive
  • Lead Forms
  • Messenger CTA
  • Trade In or Buy Back
  • Incentives with urgency

    Audience Targeting for the Conversion Stage:

    • Page or ad engagements (video views, swipes) within the last 10 days
    • Retargeting audience of users who browsed your VDPs within the last 10 days
    • Within a 50-mile radius of your dealership’s address
    • Expiring lease
    • Last vehicle purchase >365 days

    Conversion Metrics to Measure ATTRIBUTION:

    • Leads, Cost Per Lead
    • Lead Conversion Rate
    • Close Rate
    • Cost Per Sale
    • Sales Matchbacks %

    Now that you have a clear understanding of the three stages in a full-funnel social advertising strategy for dealerships, ranging from building awareness to driving conversions, it’s time to jump into the practical steps needed to create a successful Omnichannel advertising approach.

    6 Steps to Create a Full-Funnel Omnichannel Advertising Strategy

    By implementing the following 6 key steps, you can effectively navigate the dynamic landscape of social platforms and tailor your messaging to engage potential buyers at each stage of their journey.

    Let’s dive in!

    The 6 Steps:

    1. Choose Your Social Media Platforms

    2. Select Your Advertising Budget

    3. Create Your Messaging

    4. Identify Your Resources

    5. Technical Setup

    6. Build & Measure Your Ads

    Step 1: Choose Your SOCIAL MEDIA Platforms

    Social ad platforms for car dealers are constantly evolving to meet the needs of not only the consumer, but also the advertiser.

    First, let’s start with the technical capabilities for each platform. Check out the table below to identify which platforms you can use custom audiences for, third-party data like oracle, or even use offline events to track car sales.

    Pros and Cons of Social Media Platforms

    In addition to technical capabilities, there are also important characteristics of each platform to consider, like the demographic of their users, user reach, and other nuances. Now let’s dive into the stats, pros and cons of the most popular platforms…

    Watch our latest webinar recording where we cover the latest features of advertising on Facebook & Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok for car dealers.

    Stats, Pros, & Cons For Facebook & Instagram (Meta) Advertising For Car Dealers


    • 81% of people who use Instagram search for products and services
    • 80% of surveyed U.S. car buyers use Facebook for auto research
    • 83% discover new products or services 
    • Instagram was the 2nd most downloaded app in 2022 worldwide and in the U.S., Facebook was 8th worldwide, and 10th in the US. Messenger was 9th
    • 4 of the 10 most downloaded apps of 2021 were published by Meta


    • 251M Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in U.S.
    • Widely used
    • Multiple placements
    • Lowest dollar KPIs
    • Dynamic ads: Multiple ad combinations to identify which placement performs best


    • Data privacy: When Apple released their iOS 14, they provided users with a way to opt-out of any tracking of their movements across apps, so if someone opts out of tracking from Facebook, as a dealership, you could begin to see limited attribution in Facebook metrics Off-Facebook, such as Landing Page Views and Website Leads, and see a change in audience sizes
    • Housing, Employment, Credit (HEC) information is required to deliver certain types of ads, which limits available audiences to select from Facebook.

    Stats, Pros, & Cons For Snapchat Advertising For Car Dealers


    • Snapchat has 293 million daily active users worldwide
    • 92 million of Snapchat daily active users are based in North America
    • The Snapchat daily active user base in North America has grown by 55.7% since 2016
    • Snapchat reaches over 75% of the millennial and Gen Z population in the U.S.
    • On average, 5 billion Snaps are created every day
    • 65% of U.S. internet users aged 15 to 29 use Snapchat
    • In the U.S.: Snapchat users who are 18-29 years old make up 65% of the audience, while 30-49 years comprise 24% and 50-64 years make up 12% of the audience
    • The Snapchat ad audience predominantly consists of female users with 56.4%. The male audience makes up most of the remainder, at 43.1%
    • Snapchat was the 5th most downloaded app worldwide and in the U.S.


    • 108M Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in U.S.
    • Easy to view insights and navigate
    • Dynamic vehicle inventory ads
    • 40% of Snapchat users do not use alt social platforms on any given day


    • Must wait for audiences to populate before using (other platforms allow you to use the audiences as they build)
    • Housing, Employment, and Credit (“HEC”) Ad Policy limits you to brand awareness objectives

    Stats, Pros, & Cons For Pinterest Advertising For Car Dealers


    • 87% of people on this platform want to be educated and persuaded toward a purchase
    • 87% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest when actively considering products/services to purchase
    • Pinterest reaches 52% of U.S. adult internet users with a household income of over $100,000
    • Pinterest reaches 3 out of 4 moms in the US
    • The platform has grown to 84M users in the U.S. (Source: Statista)
    • 47% of active users on Pinterest are 18+ and are in-market to purchase within the next 6 months
    • 88% of life moment planners on Pinterest use the platform for inspiration for things to do and buy for their major life moments


    • 100M Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in U.S.
    • Access to very specific Campaign Objectives like Shopping or Awareness
    • Flexible with ad assets and sizing – they look great to the end user too!
    • 97% of searches on Pinterest are unbranded. This makes Pinterest a relevant advertising opportunity, no matter your product or service
    • 52% of the U.S. adult Pinterest users have household incomes of $100k+


    • “Clunky” ad builder
    • Less available ad formats/ no dynamic options
    • New only! Cannot (currently) use pre-owned or CPO vehicles in shopping ads

    Stats, Pros, & Cons For TikTok Advertising For Car Dealers


    • #1 most downloaded app worldwide and the #1 in the U.S.
    • The average user spends 89 min/day on the platform! 
    • Over 9,067 TikToks are created every minute
    • 546B video views consumed per month
    • 100M+ U.S. monthly active users
    • 47% U.S. users planning to buy or lease a vehicle in the next 12 months
    • 68% of TikTok users are either the “Decision-maker” or “Highly Influential”
    • 80% of TikTok users are likely to use a financing option if they purchase a vehicle
    • After seeing Auto ads or content on TikTok: 12% purchased or leased a vehicle, 30% searched for more info about a vehicle, 18% contacted an online/local dealership, and 35% talked about It with friends and family
    • TikTok users are in market for: 41% for cars valued <$40K USD, 36% for cars valued $40-80K USD, 23% for cars valued $80K+ USD, 56% likely or very likely to purchase an EV or Hybrid, and 46% for domestic brands


    • 100M+ Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in the U.S.
    • Incredible ad building options with video editing
    • Easily turn organic posts to paid ads with Spark ads (think Boosting)
    • TikTok engagement rates are beyond other video-based media platforms!


    • For dealers who want to drive leads and clicks, TikTok may not be best; TikTok is best for high-funnel metrics around impressions, views, and awareness
    • Previously, you could only run DMA targeting (*new zip code targeting in beta testing through Dealers United (Read more in our latest TikTok blog!)
    • Less optimized to drive traffic off-platform
    • “Whitelisting” is needed for Shopping campaigns and other interesting features 

    Step 2: Select Your ADVERTISING Budget

    Unfortunately, you can’t Google your way into finding the right ad spend budget for your dealership.

    Your dealership is unique! There are many factors that will determine what your ad spend should be, like your area and audience size, what type of radius around your dealership’s location you want to reach, and which platforms you want to use.

    Luckily, we created a tool to help you take the guesswork out, and let real data drive your dealership’s decisions when it comes to advertising. 

    Using tools like the Market Analyzer, your dealership can gather information to help put together campaigns with a Full-Funnel Omnichannel strategy on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and TikTok.

    Learning your specific goals helps us craft the ultimate digital advertising plan. The more we can understand about the market area, target demographics, and inventory on the ground, the better we can hone a strategy and pick and choose the right channels to advertise on.

    Click here to access the MarketAnalyzer now and unlock Target Market Analysis, Suggested Monthly Spend, Potential Results, Market Inventory Breakdown, Market Competitors, and User Demographics.

    Step 3: Create Your Messaging

    As you learned earlier when we broke down the funnel stages, you don’t want to speak to every consumer the same way in every stage. The first place to start is to identify your brand differentiators or “Why Buys.”

    Here are some tips for writing great “Why Buy’s:”

    ???? Be specific!
    ???? Be unique: think about what sets you apart.
    ???? Use emojis! This sounds silly, but it helps. We’ve tested it.
    ???? Use phrases and keywords, not full sentences.

    And here are some examples to kickstart your ad copy:

    ???? Family owned and operated for {x} years
    ✅ Guaranteed credit approval
    ???? Trade-in bonus of {x}
    ???? Warranties on every vehicle

    Step 4: Identify your resources

    One of the biggest challenges we see automotive marketers face when running social ads for dealerships is a lack of resources, buy in, and/or help from their team.

    To combat this, we recommend first starting by making a list of the resources you have and don’t have, and then prioritizing where you need to fill in the gaps. This list of resources could include team members who you know don’t mind getting in front of a camera, videos your dealership already has handy, or even content you have already created or recently received from your OEM.

    Resources you should consider when building social ads for auto dealers:

    • Team members who enjoy creating content or being in front of the camera
    • A video creation strategy for “Bring Your Own Video (“BYOV”) assets (Meet the team? Behind the scenes? Service technician explainers? Vehicle walkarounds?)
    • Content from your OEM, like latest model line assets and specials
    • Your Internet Marketing or Social Media Coordinators
    • Any partners, vendors and agencies who can help you execute
    • A weekly meeting where you challenge yourself and your team every month: What is our messaging goal? (Think about more than just inventory: Service, Hiring, Community)
    • Ability and desire to test and learn: start small and grow your budget from there!

    One of Dealers United’s partners, Zeigler Automotive Group, empowers team members to take ownership of content that can be used in their paid social ad strategies across Facebook and TikTok to help humanize their brand. (Watch: Zeigler Automotive Group On Humanizing Their Brand Through Social Ads)

    “Social media is the new gathering place of humanity; its where our customers are, where they reside. It’s a fun, exciting, different way to have impact. It first translates into culture, and who we are, and makes us proud of what we do. But then it ends up translating into ‘Hey, I want to do business with Zeigler Auto Group because I see you are having a heck of a lot of fun, you really truly enjoy what you do, and I want to be apart of that.’”

     — Sam D’Arc, COO at Zeigler Auto Group


    Making sure your accounts are set up correctly is fundamental to performance. And there’s a TON of tedious tasks that you need to do before you put your ad strategy into drive, including the 8 steps below…

    Technical Setup – Step 1: Define Budget & Platforms

    Before moving forward with any paid media strategy, the first thing you need to do as a dealership is figure out how much you are willing to budget for your ad spend, and where you are going to spend your ad dollars..which isn’t easy when users today are hopping between countless apps all day long.

    Don’t forget! Use our MarketAnalyzer tool to figure out your suggested ad budget and which platforms you should invest in.

    Technical Setup – Step 2: Create Ad Accounts & Business Managers Across Each Platform
    Once your dealership determines where to spend your ad budget, the next step is to actually create accounts so that you can move forward with advertising on the desired platforms. You can find everything you need to successfully setup assets in our “Technical Asset Setup Guide: Build Your Omnichannel Ad Accounts.”

    Technical Setup – Step 3: Create and Install GTM & Pixels
    One of the most crucial integrations for the setup of social ad accounts is Google Tag Manager (GTM). Your dealership will need to work with your Site Provider to install the GTM code on your website in order to optimize your ads and ingest signals from each social platform through their respective pixels. Once installed, this little script of code compiles data from each platforms pixels and ALL other website traffic. 

    Technical Setup – Step 4: Setup Events For Conversion / Lead Tracking & ADF / XML Lead Distribution
    Automotive dealerships need to set up events for conversion and lead tracking, as well as implement ADF/XML lead distribution, to effectively manage and optimize your advertising. ADF (Auto-lead Data Format) / XML streamlines the lead distribution process, ensuring leads are delivered quickly and accurately to your dealership’s CRM.

    Technical Setup – Step 5: Create and Connect Vehicle Catalogs 
    Inventory displayed in Inventory Ads comes directly from your dealership’s Feed Provider. You will need to follow each social platform’s instructions and work with your Feed Provider to sync your dealership’s vehicle inventory with a “Catalog” to generate Automotive Inventory Ads across TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

    We have put together a library of resources to help you activate your social ad accounts correctly. Access it here: 13 Resources to Boost Auto Sales on Social Media. 

    Technical Setup – Step 6: Create Ad Audiences For Advanced Targeting, Add + Set Up Oracle
    Diving into the audience targeting tools provided by platforms is often times complicated. It requires dealers to master each channel’s features to accurately target their specified audience – and with each platform having a unique set of options, you must tread carefully…because all it takes is one mis-click to lead to ineffective ads.

    Technical Setup – Step 7: Create Ad Copy & Graphics
    Curating ad creative and graphics for your dealership’s ads is time consuming, but it can make or break how your ads perform. The way that your ads look determine whether or not your ads are a scroll-stopper, or straight scrolled past. You only have so many chances to capture the attention of car shoppers before your competition gets to them first.

    Technical Setup – Step 8: Publish Your Ads & Begin Performance Reporting
    Your dealership’s ads are ready to deploy – now it’s time to see how your dealership’s ads are actually driving action off of the lot. Keep reading below for Step 6: “Build and Measure Your Ads!”

      Step 6: Build & Measure Your Ads

      How will you ensure your dealership’s social media ads are actually selling cars?

      The last step to setting your dealership up for success with social media ads is to establish cross-platform reports and setup Offline Events (also known as Matchback Reports) for each channel.

      While you can login to each platform to get a comprehensive report on performance, this can be a real pain since each channel has different metrics, ad managers, and attribution. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to get a single snapshot of how ALL of your social ad channels and investments are working together.

      (Check out the animation below – here’s how we report on multiple social channels at Dealers United! Our dashboard uses API integrations with each social platform to aggregate your results in one, easy view.)

      Now let’s see how all of the steps come together using one of Dealers United’s dealer-partners, South County Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram. We’ll go through each stage of their advertising funnel (Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion), with ad previews, their messaging strategy, and the metrics they achieved in each phase, down to the unit sale!

      South County DCJR’s Awareness Campaigns:

      During the “Awareness” stage, South County DCJR used “Why Buy” messaging, Branding, and BYOV messaging, along with testimonials.

      These ads drove 4,397,998 Impressions with a $6.23 CPM (Cost Per 10,000 Impressions) in only 90 days.

      South County DCJR’s Consideration Campaigns:

      During the “Consideration” stage, South County DCJR ran Inventory Ads and Model Line Ads, along with ads that showcased their dealership’s specials, vehicle features, and vehicle walkaround’s.

      In Q1 2023, the dealership’s Consideration campaigns drove 41,207 Clicks with a 0.95% Click Through Rate (CTR) at a $1.01 Cost Per Click (CPC).

      South County DCJR’s Conversion Campaigns:

      During the “Conversion” stage, South County DCJR’s entire strategy generated 1,119 Leads at $26.14 CPL (Cost Per Lead) and resulted in an additional 86 cars sold!

      You now know the framework and have access to our library of resources to setup and analyze your social ad campaigns for your auto dealership.

      Here are 3 more social ads case studies we love to share about how ad campaigns solve real dealership business challenges:

      1. Power Ford was losing to a local Ford competitor who had claimed the #1 local Ford dealer spot for 28 years. Then, the dealership switched from traditional advertising to Facebook and Instagram. This change led to them cutting costs by $285,000, increasing sales by 10%, and securing their spot as the #1 selling Ford dealer in New Mexico for 4 years straight. (View case study here)

      2. Healey Brothers Hyundai wanted to quickly move new inventory, differentiate themselves from their competition, and target highly qualified in-market shoppers.
      By working with Dealers United, they developed a full-funnel Facebook and Pinterest ad campaign that included “Dealership Awareness” ads alongside “Product Catalog” Inventory ads which drove 29% of Q1 2023 sales. (View case study here)

      3. DELLA Chevrolet of Plattsburgh had a surplus of specific models they needed to move off their lot fast. They collaborated with the Dealers United team to customize full-funnel Facebook and Instagram ads, leveraging the power of video combined with scrolling inventory. The campaigns returned a 34.25% Lead-to-Sale Conversion Rate with 75 Sales Matched to social ads in Q2. (View case study here)

      The Key To Dominating Social Media For Dealers

      With new-vehicle inventory at 2-year high, now is the time for dealers to take advantage of social media advertising to reach, engage and convert local shoppers.

      With every swipe of the thumb, dealers have the opportunity to get their brand on valuable visual real estate. But, what separates an average campaign from the best converting setup is a full funnel strategy. Specifically, leveraging different ad types intentionally with thoughtful messaging that coincide with the mindset and stage of the auto buyer journey.

      By pairing the right platform for your dealership’s goals with full funnel, omnisocial messaging, you will have a formula that is proven to dominate your market.

      To learn more about how Dealers United can help you build a bulletproof social ads strategy at your dealership, click here to book a call!

      We Help Dealers USE SOCIAL ADS TO Sell More Cars.

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