For decades, auto dealers have combed the Earth in search of the ever-elusive sale or tool or marketing program to steal car buyers from their competitors’ backyard. For years, direct mail salespeople by the dozen have promised to have the secret proprietary formula for success. Dealers have tried and sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed, but one common theme has always stayed true: What works today will likely work a little less each month until finally it no longer returns an adequate ROI to continue.

​The only way to succeed is to keep your eye on what is coming and be prepared to adopt new techniques and platforms, all while optimizing what is working best now.

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For the past 15 years, John Carlson, the GM at Frank Hyundai in National City, California, has focused on staying ahead of other dealers. Joking that Frank Hyundai is a dog-friendly store, he then revealed a major secret that keeps his store on top.

“About three months ago we started working with a partner to help us with our Facebook leads,” Carlson said. “In the past, we went after ‘likes’ and got nearly 45,000 names, emails and phone numbers. One of the challenges with Facebook leads is getting the leads into the CRM, or even knowing when new leads are available. Our new partner makes this easy and now leads flow seamlessly into our CRM.”

Utilizing social media as a lead generation tool has been wildly successful for Frank Hyundai. “Today the game has changed with Facebook and more deals are to be had than ever before,” Carlson said. “Facebook lead generation ads are dominating. We get so many leads that our BDC can’t handle them even with a texting tool to make it easier. We outsource the texting now and appointments are set for our sales managers with no effort on our part. We just sell the cars and, boy, are there a lot of deals.”

Carlson found that his dealership’s Facebook lead-generating ads starting to pull deals from other Hyundai stores — in fact, they are now seeing one or more of these customers daily. “We just turned it on full bore this month and we are extremely excited to see how many more deals we can generate,” Carlson said. “We have never experienced lead and delivery costs as low with any other type of marketing.”

If your dealership is not using Facebook lead-generating ads, you are likely missing double-digit deals per month. If you are in a larger market, it could be worse. And if your competition is taking advantage of them and you are not, it is likely far worse. Customers from right up the street might be getting stolen from you with Facebook ads. Stop these defectors and claim your area. Pull deals from the areas of other dealers. Facebook has never been more valuable to dealers than it is today. You owe it to yourself and to your staff to investigate Facebook lead-generating ads.

For a link to a Webinar with instructions to create Facebook lead-generating ads, send me an email with “Facebook” in the subject line.


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