Social Media can be your dealership’s best source of referral traffic

You’ve seen Facebook in the news lately. Most likely for negative reasons as it works to suppress the pressures mounting against its data policies and the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. But still, Facebook makes more than $40 billion a year. It has the power to swing elections, and it is used by more than one fifth of the entire planet. Like it or not, Facebook is here to stay because it has established itself as an integral part of our daily lives. In the automotive sphere Facebook began as a fringe marketing tactic for small lead opportunities. Today, we find Facebook to be the #1 source of referral traffic behind the “Big 3”.


To understand Facebook as a relevant traffic source, we need to take a step back and uncover the major sources of inbound traffic to your website. Within Google Analytics, you will find them under Source/Medium within the Acquisitions tab. Every successful dealership owes its long-term success to the “Three Pillars” of inbound website traffic: 1.(google / organic), 2.(direct ) / (none), and 3.( google / cpc ). I like to refer to these items as the “Three Pillars” because they truly are the 3 sources of website traffic that consistently provide the most traffic and conversion volume. Thus, focusing attention to maintain and grow Organic Search, Paid Search, and Direct Search traffic is crucial to the long term success of your dealership. With that established, it’s time to focus on your next best opportunity for sales and leads – Facebook.

Over the past year, Google and Facebook combined have grown at a collective rate over 100%. All things equal, that means the entire digital marketing sphere is actually shrinking as the Google and Facebook take up more space in a consumer’s daily life. The benefit for dealerships here is that this duopoly of power helps focus digital ad dollars towards what actually works.


Google’s ability to focus on “what” people are looking for is unmatched. Through PPC campaigns a dealership can become very relevant to what car shoppers are searching for online. When it comes to finding out who actually performed those searches, the answer is much less clear. This is where Facebook comes to the aid of dealerships. Today, it is the primary resource to aggregate consumer interests. This allows you to focus on “who” you would like to target, based on “what” people have already searched for.  That custom audience targeting is incredibly powerful for niche brands and big volume stores. However, many still underestimate Facebook. Even with it has a monopoly on our attention.

What ways does Facebook own that monopoly? We already know that Facebook and Instagram are massively popular apps. What we often forget, though, is the number of users on Facebook’s other communication platforms. These are additional touches points your dealership can use to better communicate with customers and ultimately sell more cars. The image below shows the most popular apps based on monthly users. The ones in red are owned by Facebook. As you can see, WhatsApp and Facebook  Messenger combined actually have more monthly users than Facebook!

Diversity of Ad Format Leads to Success

The power of engagement is the feather in Facebook’s hat. It provides dealers one of the widest portfolios to engage prospective customers. Today, there is no better platform to segment your inventory to a relevant audience than Facebook. Whether a dealership is utilizing inventory-based targeting, lead-ads, Facebook coupons, Messenger ads, or even Facebook Marketplace, the opportunities are endless for a dealership to position themselves as their community’s preferred dealership of choice when deciding on their next car purchase or service appointment. Here at JLS, we take the time to focus on utilizing every possible ad-type available to a dealer client to increase engagement. Through those efforts, we see Facebook as one of the top resources of in-bound website traffic that dealers can convert into sales. Visit to learn how we do it.

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