The Best Way Car Dealerships Use Facebook for Brand Awareness (2019)

How to brand your dealership using Facebook

Alright, this post was taken directly from our Facebook Ads Cookbook. It was built to give you the capacity to create & run your own flawless Facebook campaigns.

Although it might not be your role or you may not have the time, but understanding everything in and out will ensure you make the right decisions when hiring someone or an agency to do it for you. Enjoy.

The complete Cookbook shows you how to use Facebook Ads for:

  • Local Branding
  • Group Branding
  • Smart Remarketing
  • New Car Lead Generation
    • Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
    • Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
    • Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
  • Used Car Lead Generation
  • Service Offers
  • Stocking Used Cars
  • New Product launches
  • Private Sales / Web Events
  • Smart Competition Conquest
  • Boosting your PMA’s Driver Database
  • Persona targeting
  • How to properly use Facebook Pixels & Audience
  • How to target prospects that have the same behaviors as your clients

Before we get started, let’s make sure you have a Facebook Pixel on your site.

A pixel is much like a surveillance camera that records everyone that comes in and out of your website.

This lets you reach out to them at any given time. The Facebook pixel is really important because it will make it possible for you to:

  • Create a website traffic audience
  • Create website traffic audience lookalikes (similar to your visitors)
  • Create page specific traffic audiences

You’ll need:

  • Your dealership website’s CMS access
  • Your dealership’s Facebook page Admin Access (you should have this at all times)
  • A Facebook Pixel

Installing the Pixel can be tricky, so here’s how if you already have a Facebook Page for your dealership:

Step 1 – Go to https://business.facebook.com/
Step 2 – Click on “Create an Account” or “Login” with your own Facebook account (we’ll separate them later)
Step 3 – In your Business Manager, click Pixels under Event Manager, then click “Create a Pixel”. Name it after the website you’ll want to use it on.
Step 4 – Select Manually Install the Code Yourself if you’re a bit comfortable with inserting code in your website’s content management system (CMS) or Email Instructions to a Developper if you’re not comfortable. Most will ask their website provider to install it for them, it’s the safest way to do it.
Step 6 – Verify your pixel is setup correctly by checking if it’s recording events, look for the green light in your Facebook pixel page.

Creating your car dealer Website Traffic Audience with Facebook
Step 1 – Click on “Create Custom Audience” on the top right section.
Step 2 – Select the Pixel you just created
Step 3 – Set to “All website visitors in the past 90 days”
Step 4 – Name your Audience “All DealerX.com Website Traffic”

Tactic #1 : Local Branding for Auto Dealers

This is a simple branding ad any dealership should be able to run. While there are many ways to increase brand awareness, this recipe is quick, simple and effective. It’s also reasonable in terms of investment.

Basic principles for this car dealership branding ad:

  • Run this campaign year-long, change the creative every 3 months
  • If you have a professional video about your dealership, here it goes
  • The image should show your top 3 models
  • The text should say something like: “In Baltimore, Honda drivers choose X
  • The geography should respect your PMA or stick to a 20 miles radius maximum unless you’re in a rural area where you can go broader
  • Under Location, you should choose “People who live in this city”
  • The Call to Action Should be “Learn more” and link to your homepage
  • The Campaign type in Facebook should be “Reach”
  • The Audience Age should be 25-65+
  • Format should be set to “Single Image” or “Single Video”

Campaign Objective: Dealer level Brand Awareness

Reach the most people in your area/PMA likely to be interested in your brand & control your dealership’s ecosystem.  

Why do it this way
The purpose of this Facebook campaign is 100% branding. You want to broadcast your message around your area/PMA as much as possible.

This type can replace/help your TV/Radio branding efforts. This is more cost effective, and you get tangible stats.

Audience Targeting


Set interests to your brand (ie. Honda). Leave the competition out for for now. Facebook will determine who fits the “Honda” bucket by presenting your ad to people who may have been on Honda related websites lately, or even in store.

Using their app, installed on almost every smartphone today, Facebook is able to know if you recently visited a dealership & even if you did a test drive around the block. They then place you in a high shopping intention segment. Crazy right!

Recommended Monthly Budget

$5/car sold on average per month
80 cars sold = $400/month for the Branding Campaign
Divide by 30 for daily budget, so $13/day for this example.

This may seem low, but when targeting properly, you should be able to reach your target market at a low cost.

Remember, this is not 1980 anymore and you don’t have to show a TV ad to every one including every 4-year-olds in the neighborhood. Plus, the production cost is almost 0.

Sure, you could spend $5,000 a month in Facebook Branding, but you’d have to reach so far away that it wouldn’t make financial sense. Not that many people are interested in your brand right now, sorry to break it to you this way.

Key metrics

Total Ad Recall per 1,000 impressions. This is the number of people that will remember your brand.

Frequency, it’s the amount of times the average user sees your ad. For branding purposes, aim for 3-5 times. If you’re pushing your brand, you can up the Frequency cap a little bit to 2 every 5 days.  

Raise your daily budget if you’re stuck at 1 after 30 days.  

Use Social Proof

The cool thing about running this ad for a long time gives you social proofs from people interacting with your ad. Likes & comments will pile up and higher the interaction, higher the awareness for your brand. Just make sure you are responsive on all comments, thanking everyone for their feedback, good or bad.

Platforms: Select Facebook & Instagram

Creative & Description: Here’s a quick example on what can be shown to Facebook users targeted by your ad.

Want more?

Visit the Autobahn Academy Guide section for more on how to generate more sales with Facebook Ads.