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Facebook: You have to pay to play

By Colleen Malloy

The sad truth is that social organic reach is pretty much dead. Facebook algorithms don’t favor brands anymore. Half of all content sees zero shares and now your tried and true funny posts have less than a 1 percent conversion rate.1

But there’s still opportunity. Over 30 percent of all time spent online is spent on social media2, and Facebook is still the social media giant, with more than 1,650,00,000 active monthly users worldwide.

The audience is out there! The difference is now Facebook (at its core an advertising company) has become more business-savvy and wants you to pay to get your dealership seen.

Here are five simple steps to create effective Facebook ads that drive engagement and conversions:

  1. Know your audience: Use Facebook Insights to learn about your followers. It’s a free tool that offers you insights into the demographics that follow you and engage with your ads. You may be surprised to find that the demographics of your online audience is slightly different than your in-store audience. Capitalize on those differences to drive new shoppers in-store!
  2. Set your goals: After you’ve identified the audience you‘d like to target, define the goal for your paid Facebook ads. It can change over time and from ad to ad, and that’s fine – as long as you think about why you’re paying to create this ad instead of just throwing it out there and hoping for results. Building a wider audience is a good way to start, but all the likes in the world won’t grow your revenue, will they? Good goals can include event participation, service appointments or test rides scheduled.
  3. Know your advertising options: Facebook offers a variety of affordable ad options to suit your goals, including:
  • Boosted posts – allow you to turn a relatively small budget into a vehicle to get your post seen by your audience
  • Link ads – allow you to drive traffic to your website with added variables and testing that increase engagement and conversions
  • Carousel ads – allow you to add up to 10 images and links that give you more engagement and conversion ammunition
  • Video ads – allow you to create an engaging experience for users that gets more attention than static images
  • Canvas ads – allow you to add a mix of video and image media that drive engagement and conversions
  1. Gather your content: Once you understand your audience, goals and ad options, you’re ready to post. Gather your content, including the text you want to use, videos, blog links and so on, and get it organized. Come up with a plan on how you want to release the information and manage your campaigns.
  2. Test & retry your ads: Thanks to Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll get a comprehensive insight into the results of your paid ads so that you can repeat your success and delete your failures. The tool allows you to view performance summaries and analyze variables such as your total spend over a given timeframe, impressions, track offline conversions and more.

Have you experienced success with Facebook advertising? Share your success stories in the comments section of this post!

1https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/07/18/the-10-greatest-social-media-advertising-tips-for-content-marketers/

2https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/a-third-of-online-time-spent-on-social-media

3https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33800/Photos-on-Facebook-Generate-53-More-Likes-Than-the-Average-Post-NEW-DATA.aspx#sm.00001wr838vunnecuw61qfee279qm

Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!

Email: colleen.malloy@arinet.com

Phone: 414/973-4323

Website: arinet.com

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