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How Dealerships Can Use Facebook Ads to Get Leads

In today’s fast-paced, digital-first world, automotive dealerships are constantly seeking innovative ways to connect with potential buyers and convert leads into sales. While traditional advertising methods still have their place, the power of social media cannot be ignored by dealership marketing teams.

Facebook Ads has emerged as a game-changer for automotive sales, offering an expansive user base and a wealth of targeting options that enable dealerships to reach their desired audience with precision, saving tremendous amounts of time and effort.

Proactive automotive dealerships aiming to stay ahead of the curve should work to establish a competitive edge and maximize their sales potential through the use of Facebook Ads to generate high-quality leads.

In this blog post, we’ll dive deeper into Facebook Leads from ads and what they can do for dealerships, including:

●  What Facebook ads are

●  How dealerships can utilize Facebook ads

●  How to use Facebook ads to track and engage dealership sales leads

●  The benefits of Facebook ads for auto dealers

What Are Facebook Ads?

Facebook Ads are a powerful advertising solution provided by the popular social media platform, Facebook, owned by parent company Meta. At their core, they are designed to help businesses reach their target audiences and achieve defined marketing objectives by delivering tailored advertisements directly to Facebook users.

Ads on Facebook consist of customizable formats which can include:

  •  Images
  • Videos
  • Multi-use carousel displays
  • Slideshows
  • Text-based content 

Depending on the style and intention, they can appear in various locations on the end-user’s Facebook page, such as:

A dealer may also be wondering how to run a Facebook lead ad. To create a Facebook Ad, businesses should utilize Meta Ads Manager, a comprehensive platform that allows users to create and manage ads across:

  •  Facebook
  • Messenger
  • Instagram
  • Meta Audience Network 

Within the Ads Manager, dealers can implement precise audience targeting, manage advertising budgets and track their performance.

To target their ads, dealership marketing teams then have the flexibility within Ads Manager to define the specific demographics, interests and behaviors of their desired audience. This way, dealers can ensure that their ads are shown to the right people at the right time, which is the number one key to high-performing ads.

Additionally, Facebook Ads are set up perfectly for auto dealerships to incorporate engaging call-to-action buttons. Built-in are options to “Shop Now,” “Learn More” and “Contact Us,” which all encourage users to take specific actions directly from the ad in their feed. This combination of visually appealing content, precise targeting options and interactive elements make Facebook Ads a highly effective means for dealers to engage prospective sales leads across channels.

Facebook at a car dealer

How to Implement Facebook Ads at Your Dealership?

Dealerships looking to implement Facebook Ads should start by leveraging their Facebook Business Page to set up a Meta Ads Manager account, if one doesn’t already exist. The person or team in charge of managing their dealership’s digital advertising will need to complete a few required and recommended steps to set up your Ads Manager for success, such as setting up an automotive inventory catalog.

Before creating a campaign, they will need to define advertising objectives, which range from increasing brand awareness to generating leads and driving sales. From there, they can choose from a variety of ad formats, such as single image or video ads, carousel ads or collection ads, depending on their specific goals. Dealerships can narrow down their audience, to ensure the right people are seeing their ads at the right time, based on:

  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Specific locations 

To discover the right target audiences, dealerships can utilize the range of targeting options within the Meta Ads Manager. They can start by using basic demographic filters – age, gender and location – to narrow down their audience. Facebook also offers more detailed targeting capabilities, which include pinpointing interests (like automotive brands), behaviors, recreational activities and connections to popular pages.

The goal for dealerships should be to narrow down their target audiences to reach users who are more likely to be interested in their current offerings. Dealerships can also leverage Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences feature, which uses existing dealership data to find users who may be interested in their products or services.

How to Use Facebook Ads to Track Leads

Once your dealership has set up Facebook Ads and defined your target audience, it’s crucial to track and engage the sales leads generated through your ads. Tracking and engaging leads effectively will help you nurture potential customers, increase conversions, and maximize your return on investment (ROI). Here are six ways you can use Facebook Ads to track and engage dealership sales leads:

  1. Implement Conversion Tracking: Facebook offers a powerful tool called Facebook Pixel, which is a snippet of code that you can place on your dealership’s website. The pixel tracks the actions users take after clicking on your Facebook ads, allowing you to measure and optimize your ad campaigns. By implementing conversion tracking, you can see which ads are generating leads and sales, enabling you to focus your efforts on the most effective campaigns.
  1. Set Up Custom Conversions: Custom conversions allow you to track specific actions taken on your website, such as form submissions or vehicle inquiries. By creating custom conversions, you can measure the success of your lead generation efforts and optimize your ads accordingly. For example, dealers can create a custom conversion for when a user submits a test drive request form on your website. This way, their team will know exactly how many test drive leads were generated from your Facebook ads.
  1. Utilize Lead Generation Forms: Facebook provides lead generation forms that can be integrated directly into your ads. These forms make it easy for users to submit their contact information without leaving Facebook. This data can then be used to follow up with leads and move them further down the sales funnel.
  1. Automate Lead Follow-Up: Once leads are captured through your Facebook ads, it’s essential to follow up with them promptly. Automated sales and marketing tools like Mastermind can help dealership’s streamline the process of nurturing and retaining loyal customers by automatically delivering personalized messages and relevant offers to your most engaged leads.
  1. Use Retargeting Ads: Not all leads will convert immediately, but that doesn’t mean they’re lost. Retargeting ads allow you to re-engage with users who have previously interacted with your dealership but haven’t made a purchase. By serving targeted ads to these warm leads, you can remind them of your offerings, provide additional incentives and encourage them to take the next step.
  1. Analyze and Optimize: Regularly review the performance of your Facebook ad campaigns and analyze the data provided by Meta Ads Manager. Identify which ads and targeting strategies are generating the most leads and conversions. By continuously optimizing your campaigns, you can improve the quality and quantity of dealership sales leads over time.

Benefits of Facebook Ads

From targeted audience reach to measurable ROI, Facebook ads offer auto dealers a range of benefits that can significantly impact their sales and lead generation efforts, including:

  1. Expansive Reach: Advertising dealership services on Facebook allows access to a massive user base of over 269 million monthly active users in North America, offering a vast potential audience to engage with and target.
  2. Precise Targeting: Facebook Ads’ robust targeting options enable dealerships to reach their ideal customers with the utmost precision. They can narrow down their audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors and location, always ensuring their ads are shown to the right people at the right time.
  3. Enhanced Brand Awareness: By consistently showcasing dealership services through Facebook Ads, dealerships can establish a strong presence, build brand recognition and stay top-of-mind during the car buying journey.
  1. Effective Lead Generation: Facebook Ads provide lead generation forms that help generate high-quality leads and facilitate prompt follow-ups from BDCs that convert prospects into customers.
  1. Cost-Effective Advertising: Facebook offers flexible budget options, allowing dealerships to optimize their ad spend and allocate resources efficiently. With careful targeting and measurement of campaign performance, auto dealerships can achieve cost-effective advertising and maximize their return on investment.

How Can Mastermind Help with Facebook Ads?

Digital Audiences enable dealers to bring the power of Mastermind’s Behavior Prediction Score® to their Facebook advertising to reach highly relevant, engaged segments across multiple channels.

With Mastermind Digital Audiences, dealers can create and automatically upload custom or pre-built Loyalty or Conquest audiences to the Meta Ads Manager based on the most comprehensive and reliable data in the industry.

Brochure: Learn more about Loyalty Digital Audiences >

Mastermind Conquest Digital Audiences take this one step further, enabling dealers to create a custom audience or choose from one of Mastermind’s 15 pre-built Service and Conquest audiences, fueled by comprehensive Polk Audience data with 650+ million vehicles, tracked daily powered by S&P Global Mobility.

From here, audience data is instantly uploaded to Meta and automatically refreshed every month, empowering dealers to expand the reach and frequency of the ad efforts.

Brochure: Learn more about Conquest Digital Audiences >

Mastermind also provides easy to read performance tracking and reporting features, empowering dealerships to monitor ad effectiveness, track metrics and make data-driven decisions to grow their advertising strategies.


Facebook Ads provide automotive dealerships with an effective means of generating leads and driving sales. With expansive reach, precise targeting options and the ability to track leads, dealerships can connect with their target audience and optimize their advertising strategies.

To truly maximize the potential of Facebook Ads and take dealership advertising to the next level, dealers need to take an intelligent approach to engaging buyers across channels.

Mastermind Digital Audiences enable dealers to build digital audiences that drive sales. By fueling their Facebook advertising campaigns with hyper-relevant audiences powered by comprehensive data, dealers can automatically target, engage, nurture and convert sales leads into loyal customers.

Want to learn how Mastermind enables dealers to take a multi-channel approach to engaging Conquest, Service and Loyalty customers? Contact us for a free demo.