Facebook Marketplace Underutilized By Dealerships

Facebook Marketplace Underutilized By Dealerships

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Date Published:
Thursday, January 24, 2019

Facebook currently has over 2.27 billion monthly active users across the globe. If you live in a place with a decent internet connection, Facebook Marketplace likely has an established, active community of buyers and sellers in your local area. If you sell pre-owned cars, this could be a massive new channel for your business, reaching a previously underserved segment of the market.

Facebook Marketplace simply offers a digital space for people to buy and sell items of all kinds. Sellers can create detailed, customized listings for their items, while buyers can search for items, make contact with sellers and chat about products and next steps. Individual users have been using this marketplace to sell vehicles since the service first launched in late 2016, with millions of people now checking vehicle listings on a daily basis.

Facebook Marketplace is now open to automotive dealerships, with many finding great success. Getting set up with Facebook Marketplace is surprisingly easy, requiring only 3 basic steps to get started:

  1. Create a Facebook page for your company
    This contains all the basic information for your dealership and can work as a nice complementary marketing tool to your existing website. It can also be a place where you can post about current sales and promotions and engage with your potential customers.
  2. Select an inventory partner
    Inventory partners are required by Facebook and serve the function of listing your vehicles on the marketplace. There are different inventory partners for different geographic regions, and they all have slightly different processes. If there are multiple options in your region, it is worth talking with them to decide which partner is right for your business. Examples include Cars.com and Gubagoo.
  3. Set up Live Chat
    Some inventory partners offer their own live chat services, and some have recommended third-party chat services for a smooth integration. You might also have your own chat service that you use with your current website. If so, many partners can integrate with existing systems. If you do not want to integrate live chat, inventory partners can instantly forward you messages inquiring about the vehicles you have for sale, so you can respond. Ensuring you are receiving and responding to inquiries is a critical step, as messages are the primary channel by which you will receive leads from the Marketplace.

Once you are all set up in the Facebook Marketplace and your dealership is ready to go, there are still some best practices you should follow to ensure that you get the most leads out of this new sales channel:

Include required and relevant vehicle information
First, if the required information is not there, the vehicle will not be posted. This includes the VIN, year, make, model and transmission. Second, this is your initial chance to make a sales pitch. Provide any other relevant information that might entice a buyer, such as upgrades, customization, and other features.
Remember that the user with more information is a more qualified lead because they have that information when they contact you. Finally, take good pictures and lots of them. Remember that good photos are a critical factor in getting buyers to take the next step.

Treat every conversation as a lead
Facebook users are reaching out because they are already interested in a specific vehicle and want more information. This instantly makes them a more qualified lead than someone being shown around the lot in person. The opt-in nature of the marketplace might be its greatest asset.

Respond to messages as soon as possible
The casual, conversational nature of Facebook is the marketplace's other great advantage. There are no forms or personal information required other than what is already shown on a user's Facebook page. This is fantastic for the user but can put you in a tough spot, as you will be expected to respond immediately to continue the conversational commerce.
This is much easier if you have a Live Chat provider; otherwise, it is essential that you try and respond within 24 hours.

Contact The Moran Group for more information on innovative marketing strategies, tools, and best practices. With 34 years of experience across 96 markets from coast to coast, The Moran Group is uniquely qualified to help you build the perfect marketing plan.

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