The average American is on Facebook and its related apps almost an hour a day. With a hold on our attention, it is the perfect place to help people do what they want to do, whether it’s watching TV (Facebook Watch), chatting with friends (Facebook Messenger), or even shopping (Facebook Marketplace).

Facebook announced that select auto dealers can now push their used inventory into the Facebook Marketplace. All dealers can advertise in the Marketplace. The future is here. (Read the official announcement here: Facebook Marketplace for Automotive).

To date, Facebook Marketplace has been a testing ground for people literally selling their junk. Today, however, this has changed, and the world of buying and selling a car is significantly disrupted. Here’s what you need to know about Facebook Marketplace and how to get started.

How Facebook Marketplace Works

Facebook Marketplace is a visual marketplace where anyone can list their products for free. The products are categorized by location and category so a buyer can quickly find all of the clothing for sale nearby, or, all of the vehicles for sale. Further filtering can easily identify cars or trucks based on mileage, price and more.

Sellers can easily list an item with a few clicks and a photo.

In practice, a dealer can now list a vehicle and then the buyer begins chatting with the dealer via Facebook Messenger. Facebook has also partnered with sites like Cars.com and Edmunds to further integrate used inventory into Facebook.

Marketplace is one of four buttons on the Facebook app, so it receives a large number of eyeballs from Facebook users. Its position front and center on the mobile app shows that it is a priority for Facebook moving forward.

Facebook Marketplace Disrupts AutoTrader, Craigslist, Cars.com and more

Facebook is partnering with third- party lead providers like Cars.com, but long term, Marketplace is positioned to be the main listing location online.

Marketplace has four major advantages over other third party lead providers, like AutoTrader, Craigslist, Cars.com, CarGurus, Kijiji and more.

  1. Social Promotion
  2. Location
  3. Attention
  4. Price

Social Promotion on Facebook Marketplace

Buyers can message sellers directly via Facebook Messenger or share the product to their network. Thus, sellers in Facebook quickly get their products in front of the people or groups who will be most interested.

Since people use Facebook to communicate with friends and groups, it is simple to put products in front of these same groups. For other third party sites, sharing originates outside of the Facebook ecosystem, so it is more cumbersome and less targeted, limiting the social reach of a product.

Location on Facebook Marketplace

Facebook knows where the user is and can easily serve up products nearby. For someone buying a car, this means an individual has an equal chance to sell to a buyer as a large auto dealer. Besides comparing on price, sellers will gain visibility by being the closest, easiest option.

When advertising in Marketplace, you can avoid this geographic limitation and show your inventory to anyone in your target ad area.

Attention

Third-party lead providers spend money to attract new visitors. The cost of acquisition is high. Facebook already has the attention. Instead of paying for user acquisition, it simply adds an icon on its mobile app and suddenly has millions of users. For a seller, it is a no-brainer. You can get your product in front of relevant, local buyers. What’s more? It’s free.

Price

Facebook plays by different rules than every other automotive marketplace. It does not need to make money on the transaction itself. Instead, it wants to maintain attention so it can profit off of ads while the user is using Facebook.

Thus, where AutoTrader, Cars.com and others charge high fees to auto dealers to place and promote their vehicles, Facebook is free to place inventory and has a low cost of less than $1 per click for ads. This means more people will place products, leading to more users and attention, which is exactly what Facebook wants.

Why Auto Dealers Need to Use Facebook Marketplace

Buyers are looking for vehicles on Facebook Marketplace. It will continue to develop into a professional platform for buying and selling. All auto dealers will soon be able to integrate with Facebook Marketplace to ensure their inventory, especially used inventory, is found by potential buyers.

Instead of waiting, however, dealers can take action now to show up in Marketplace with a Facebook ad.

Get Started with Facebook Marketplace with Ads

Marketplace Ads are a quick click for dealers advertising on Facebook. The ad can be a regular Facebook traffic ad, but what converts better is to have an inventory ad so your ad matches the content in Marketplace.

Quick Launch

To get on Marketplace quickly with an ad, make sure you have Facebook Business Manager. Our free Facebook video training course can help you get started.

When on the ad set level of your campaign, make sure to edit the campaign placement.

Check that box, and your ads will run on Marketplace based on the targeting you select on your ad set.

Inventory Launch

To increase conversion of your Marketplace ads,  run inventory ads. You can manually add images of your inventory in your ad, but the best way to create the ads is by syncing it with your inventory feed. Doing this will automatically update your ads so they match what you have on your lot.

To sync your inventory feed, you will create a Catalog on Facebook under Business Settings. There you upload your inventory feed in either a single file (upload once) or by connecting Facebook to your inventory feed (automatic, recurring feed).

Get your inventory feed from your inventory provider or contact us for helping connecting everything to help your Marketplace ads convert.

Welcome to Facebook, population: 2.1 billion

Facebook is the modern day town square. The place where we gather to talk, share, yell and snoop.

Most importantly for auto dealers, people come to the town square to shop. They might not come with the goal of shopping, but just as the sweet aroma of a coffeeshop pulls us in a cup of coffee, Facebook shows us products we can’t live without, including a new car.

Show ads on Marketplace to quickly begin attracting customers from Facebook.

Author: Scott Meyer

Scott Meyer is the ‘brofounder’ of 9 Clouds (brother+cofounder), a digital marketing firm proudly based in Sioux Falls, SD that provides inbound marketing for auto dealers. A frequent speaker and teacher at events such as NADA, and Digital Dealer, Meyer and the 9 Clouds team writes on how to use technology to grow your dealership and improve your community at 9clouds.com/blog.

Digital Dealer