Frankly speaking, when and if the selling of cars via social media gets real traction it will be primarily through Facebook.
Having run several successful consumer goods “mega-campaigns” on Facebook, I’ve seen first-hand the power of that platform. Buying $19-$49 items on Facebook Marketplace is still considered impulsive but buying cars is a whole other issue. Currently, FBM isn’t set up for such transactions other than private parties finding one and other and engaging in occasional transactions through Marketplace or various auto-oriented car groups. Some used car dealers have taken aggressive positions on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook in order to stay in touch with potential customers. Indy Dealers such as Memphis Auto Market, I Drive Auto Sales, and Miner’s Auto Sales seem to have taken aggressive social approaches specifically on Instagram, but the future of social media sales will be driven by a classified listing source not yet on the horizon…or is it?
Think about the prospects of having Facebook get into the car selling business with the largest classified listing platform in the world. Populating inventory would be like fishing in a trout hatchery with a net.
According to HubSpot, “75% of consumers do not believe ads are honest.” Imagine that!
According to a HubSpot article, 75% of consumers do not believe in the veracity of advertisements. When almost 92% of people are turning to their friends for brand recommendations because they don’t believe ads, and 71% of those are likely to buy based on that peer input (influencers), Facebook is effectively poised to get very busy in the car selling business. The simple fact is that most of those peer recommendations are actually done on Facebook!
Thanks to the most invasive marketing machine ever constructed, Facebook can see when you’re discussing cars (or anything for that matter) and so they’d could take those keyword cues and feed you subtle ads about their new Facebook Wheels Platform and entice you with that vintage Yugo you’ve long been dreaming of. The inherent lead-generation possibilities are endless. BTW, the concept of Facebook Wheels is my projection, perhaps even a fantasy but nothing more.
The amount of intelligence Facebook has on you and I is mind-boggling. They know everything we like, hate, do, watch, and hope for. Does Autotrader? Cars.com? True Car? The answer is; possibly, but they’d have to buy that data and it doesn’t come cheap.
Once the Facebook Wheels platform is built, they can start populating dedicated listing pages full of current dealer inventory based on location. Naturally, the inventory listings would be from local car dealers near you who can utilize Facebook post boosting and local awareness campaigns to stay a single click away from getting more eyeballs on those pre-owned vehicles rotting on the lot on the corner of Main and Mulligan, between the auto parts store and the Brazilian concept restaurant you never see anyone in.
Currently, targeted Facebook posts are CPM-based and can get pretty expensive. The more micro-targeting one engages in, the more expensive it is. To launch successfully, FBW would have to adjust their current pricing to make it more affordable for local used car dealerships. Perhaps they would go to a more user-affordable PPC format where dealerships could buy in batches of say 50-100 clicks at a time, with some high degree of probability that the traffic is of sound mind and body and not a piece of code. Perhaps the car ads can be triggered by keywords as they are typed in real time by Facebook’s minions?
Many marketers with an eye towards the future see a world dominated by an even more muscular Amazon, Google, and Facebook. In my estimation, Facebook has more upside but it will depend on how they expand their marketplace which is currently a platform most easily accessed by accident. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally clicked the Facebook Marketplace icon only to have to figure a way to scramble off it, clicking with reckless abandon until I found my way back to the sanity of my timeline. Opening up the Facebook Wheels classifieds would likely include highly profitable financing options provided by and serviced through Facebook and their good friends in auto finance.
Unless there is some massive revolt against the consolidation of consumerism between Google, Amazon, and Facebook, expect them to continue their ascent to absolute world domination. Soon, you’ll be able to buy a Google or Amazon driverless car, built by Google and Amazon robots, and sold by Facebook. Anybody excited about this?
Author: Kelly Kleinman
Now celebrating 10 years in the digital marketing space, Kelly Kleinman’s experience includes working in a variety of marketing and advertising capacities with such iconic American entities as the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Lakers, MLB, NASCAR, Sony, Universal Studios, MGM, Allstate Insurance and many others. He’s written blogs covering a wide spectrum of topics. Highly experienced in the world of Google AdWords and B2C Social Media campaigns, he has also written dozens of websites across all categories and is a go-to digital media consultant for many companies looking to push the needle and get into the next gear. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org