If you market on Facebook and use their platform to reach customers, you have most likely seen this message from Facebook. “We will be shutting down Partner Categories over the next six months”. In a March statement, Facebook referenced this move as an effort to help improve people’s privacy on Facebook.

This certainly leads for a cause to panic, but don’t be alarmed. There are things you can do to circumvent this change and reach your customers. In the end it will require marketers to do a better job. It will also place a greater importance on Facebook’s role in your marketing mix. Think of partner categories as “Auto Pilot Targeting”. With those parameters soon gone, it’s now time to fly your plane fully manual.

What Are Partner Categories? Facebook’s use of Partner Categories allows third-party data providers (think Oracle and Polk) to provide additional targeting parameters for social marketing campaigns. This allows advertisers the ability to focus on certain industries, demographics, interests, and profiles that fit their targeting scope. The ability to target automotive-specific audiences with in-market intent was a welcomed marketing ability for many dealerships looking to target effectively on social media. With this marketing ability looking to soon be gone, how will social media continue to be a solid platform to market to your current and future dealership customers?

Utilize the Power of retargeting

For those with the Facebook Pixel correctly place on your website, the power of retargeting is crucial. Not only do you need to retarget your general www.domain.com/home visitors but the pixel gives you the power to segment your current website visitors. Retarget individuals who have visited your truck pages with truck retargeted ads,  SUV shoppers with SUV content, service pages with service content and so forth. Make your re-targeting campaigns are sticky and relevant for the specific individual. That will boost conversion.

Use custom audiences

Custom Audience Targeting allows you to put your CRM to work for you. Facebook allows advertisers the ability to upload a list of their own contacts so they can either target those people directly or target an entirely separate group of people who share similar characteristics. Using both approaches will be increasingly important as Facebook begins to change their partner data targeting.

Interest-based targeting

Interest-based targeting is a method of targeting commonly used in countries like Canada which are far ahead of the United States when it comes to regulating consumer targeting and data sharing. Interest-based categories are based on people who simply express interest in certain products. Interest might be shown by liking a topics page, posts, or frequenting web pages outside of Facebook that has the pixel installed upon.

Any existing campaigns that use automotive partner categories can continue to run until October 1st. Where will dealerships be able to go to leverage Facebook better than before? They will need to rely less on what they have always done and be open to trying something different. These recent changes by Facebook can create some uncertainty for auto dealers trying to market on Facebook. JLS Automotive has been preparing for these changes and has game plans in place today that are focused on helping dealers succeed on Facebook.

If you feel the need for focused help on your Facebook campaigns, reach out to our team by visiting this link. JLS Automotive focuses on tailored solutions for each client we work with. The expertise now required to succeed on Facebook furthers our mission to provide that hands on help our clients need. We provide free social media consultations everyday and are eager to learn how we can help you and your dealership.

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