Automotive Social Media Marketing: Content Ideas to Drive More Sales

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As a branded or used car dealership, you understand the importance of automotive social media marketing. But are you generating the results you’re aiming for? Dealership owners commonly make the mistake of posting on every social platform just to do it without data-driven metrics to develop their strategies, leaving them with little to no ROI. 

So, how can you figure out the best automotive marketing strategies for social media? 

Here’s a complete guide to social media marketing for car dealerships with content ideas to drive more sales.

A Guide to Automotive Social Media Marketing: Content Tips to Increase Sales

A graphic of a car salesman helping a customer buy a car

According to the CMM Council, leveraging social media marketing in the automotive industry more strategically can increase leads and sales. They reported that using natural language, big data analytics, and positive reputation management can deliver more meaningful social content based on your customer’s buyer’s journey. 

Car shoppers aren’t always ready to buy immediately and don’t always want a “car for sale” in their feeds that feels spammy. 

They also want personalized vehicle recommendations, to read dealer reviews, to get coupon offers, and even to engage with their favorite automotive brands’ social channels. In addition to transactional posts, consumers want informative and comparative car content before making a major investment. 

CMM Council states that 38% of consumers will consult social media before buying their next vehicle, and 23% will use social media to communicate their purchase experience. By creating social media content at each marketing funnel stage, you can meet your target customers where they are in their purchasing process to generate more qualified leads. 

Below are some automotive social media marketing strategies to consider and how they can benefit your bottom line.

Google Business Profile: Vehicle for Sale & Vehicle Listing Ads

Although Google Business Profile isn’t considered social media, it’s similar because you’re creating a profile online and sharing updates via that profile. It’s like a social media profile that lives in Google Search and Google Maps.

In addition to Google Business Profile reviews, this platform has two features for the automotive industry: Vehicles for Sale Listings and Vehicle Listing Ads.

Vehicles for Sale Listings

Vehicles for Sale Listings use your dealership’s inventory to showcase specific listings based on a user’s search queries. Consumers can search and apply filters to navigate your inventory outside your website to learn more about it on Google. 

Then, when they’re ready to get the vehicle they want, it’ll direct them to your dealership to buy it. This feature supports your local SEO because your specific vehicle listings can appear in related search results when local consumers are looking for them. 

Vehicles Listing Ads

Vehicle Listing Ads is a feature you set up after you create an inventory data feed within Google Merchant Center. Google matches these details to potential buyers, utilizing the relevant vehicle makes and models they’re searching for. 

It’s like a personal shopping assistant for car buyers. They can enter their desired features, like location, make, mileage, and price. Then, relevant Vehicle Listing Ads are shown, including dealerships that can ship it to them. 

Google Business Profile Reviews & Customer Testimonials

A customer looking at car reviews on a computer

Social proof can make or break car dealerships, especially as a local brand. Investing and maintaining your online reputation establishes trust for prospective car buyers by showcasing positive testimonials from real customers. 

If you don’t have one already, create a Google Business Profile and ask happy customers to share reviews. Also, personally answer to the negative feedback that may occur over a template-based or no response. 

Bad reviews are inevitable. But, you can control how you communicate and improve from them. Consumers will notice how you handle these. 

Social Media Ads

In addition to organic social media content, creating ad campaigns is as crucial for auto dealers to increase lead acquisition and sales. When determining which social platforms to use, always conduct A/B testing for each ad campaign to see which type of content works first. 

Also known as split testing, it sends different versions of your ad campaign to two audiences. We recommend only changing one element of your ad campaign instead of multiple to compare the results accurately. For example, you can use a single image ad for one group and an image ad carousel for another. Then, you can review which ad campaign had a better content performance to know which resonates best with your target audience. 

You should also track KPIs and evaluate your ad’s monthly reporting metrics to see if your campaign is still working. If ad conversion rates are rapidly declining, you should re-evaluate your automotive social media strategy.

Now, let’s dive into the different social ad content ideas.

X advertisements with hashtag campaigns are an effective strategy to build brand awareness and attract new car buyers. In 2012, Audi launched a “#WantAnR8” X campaign to promote their R8 V10 model. It engaged the automotive community to win a free drive of their newest car by simply posting this hashtag on their accounts—receiving over 75,000 tweets! 

Meta (Facebook) Ads

Meta makes it easy to create social ads for their family apps. You can create Facebook and Instagram ads all in Ads Manager. However, you must strategically create ad campaigns for each platform as they have unique formatting, audiences, and ad spend requirements. 

Some car dealership social media ideas for Facebook ads are:

  • Facebook Canvas Ads: Use images and videos to showcase new car models or highlight the specific features your audience finds the most useful. 
  • Facebook Lead Ads: Create retargeting campaigns for audiences who engaged with your previous ads to generate highly qualified leads. 
  • Facebook Inventory Ads: Showcase your used, new, and vehicles in production inventories to sell cars faster when your audience knows where and when they’re available. 

Some car dealership social media ideas for Instagram ads are:

  • Instagram Story Ads: Post video story ads that prevent users from swiping through, like contests for free one-year servicing or other prizes your audience finds valuable. 
  • Instagram Feed Ads: Create ad copy that stops users from scrolling, like exclusive teasers for new vehicle launches or limited holiday campaign promotions. 
  • Instagram Video Influencer Ads: Work with automotive influencers for video endorsements like “Get Ready with Me” to buy a car that takes them from their home to your dealership. Or videos of their online car shopping process with the car delivered to their home. This provides an immersive buying experience so consumers know what to expect when purchasing from you.  

X (Twitter) Ads

Three people posting trending hashtags on mobile and desktop devices

TikTok Ads

Although you’re selling cars, you must remember that you’re selling to people, too. Using UGC of everyday people or influencer test drives and car walkthroughs/demos can drive more meaningful connections with your consumers. Their enthusiasm for the cabin amenities, infotainment features, and engine type gives a more visual ad experience. 

LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn ads are surprisingly showing success for auto dealers. Car buyers are likely working professionals, so meeting them on this platform can help them make a big purchase decision easier. You can maximize LinkedIn ad ROI with audience targeting, optimized budget allocation, and relevant content they find valuable.

According to Nielsen, effective LinkedIn ad marketing for dealerships includes:

  • Aspiration LinkedIn Ads: Displaying how your dealership meets and improves consumer needs, like non-luxury vehicle promotions, is 2X more likely to generate brand awareness. 
  • Innovation LinkedIn Ads: Sharing new designs, like EV features and eligible government tax credits, is 2.3X more likely to increase customer recommendations. 
  • Loyalty LinkedIn Ads: Showcasing your commitment to customer loyalty, like free annual services or anniversary discounts, is 47% more likely to drive favorability. 

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads

Did you know that 66% of automotive calls generated by search engines are from PPC search ads? This study shows that phone calls convert 10 to 15X more revenue than web leads. For this reason, creating PPC search ad campaigns with click-to-call buttons can strengthen its performance and click-through rate. 

With many users browsing the web on mobile devices, you can personalize and streamline their car-buying process by enhancing the customer calling experience.

YouTube Ads

A marketing team creating online video ads on a desktop computer

Entertainment is everything with YouTube video ads in automotive social media. Creating engaging ad visuals builds excitement with your audiences for new vehicle launches. Use engine revving audio, trending upbeat music, and large text so consumers can also experience your ads on mobile devices.

New Vehicle Launch YouTube or TikTok Videos

Build more hype for new vehicle release videos on YouTube and TikTok. You can make short and long-form videos on YouTube and then short-form videos on TikTok. 

Some dealership social media ideas for YouTube and TikTok posts are:

  • New model year sneak peeks 
  • New vehicle launch countdowns
  • Influencer new vehicle promos
  • Behind the scenes of design studios and testing facilities

These videos act as product spotlights, building excitement with potential customers for upcoming vehicle releases because they’re entertaining and informative. 

Facebook Educational Content

Did you know that Facebook is the most popular social media platform consumers use to hear about new cars? A Facebook IQ study shows that people use their family of apps (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp) more for vehicle discovery than any other social network. 

CMM Council also reports that 84% of car shoppers are on Facebook, and 24% use this channel as a resource for buying their next vehicle. Consumers want to learn more about what they’re purchasing and don’t want to buy blind—especially since cars are a big purchase. 

That’s why creating educational automotive social media content on Facebook is crucial. It shows that your dealership is an authority in your industry by becoming a reputable resource for them to reference. 

Some car dealership social media ideas for educational Facebook posts are:

  • Car buying tips
  • Financing guides
  • Model year and competitor automaker comparisons
  • Used car recommendations shared as blog post links 

In return, sharing informative content increases your market reach and brand awareness by generating more organic traffic to your website. 

Instagram Engagement Content

A person displaying a car on a desktop computer

Automotive social media marketing is primarily visual-based, making Instagram a key platform for your business. In addition to image posts and Reels, you should create engaging content. Interacting with your audience is imperative because it increases your content’s engagement metrics and performance. 

Some car dealership marketing ideas for engaging Instagram posts are:

  • Discount giveaways
  • Favorite used car brand polls
  • Personalized vehicle recommendation Q&As
  • Virtual showroom tour live streams

With Instagram engagement content, you gain valuable insights from your followers. You’ll discover which type of posts they interact with the most, allowing you to tailor your social strategy for better results. 

Who better to get feedback from than the people you’re trying to reach?

X (Twitter) Trending Posts

Staying current on X by posting with trending hashtags helps you stay engaged with the automotive community. As a local branded dealership, you can join the discussion with your OEM’s posts. They might engage with your post by liking or reposting it, which increases its reach and impressions from their larger following while the topic is still relevant. 

LinkedIn Thought Leadership Posts

As a dealership owner, acting as a thought leader in your field and networking with fellow dealerships can build your credibility. A leading presence resonates with potential customers when they see you’re a reputable seller and resource they can depend on.

A case study showed that Cox Automotive generated 61.8 million media impressions across major networks, including USA Today and Automotive News, with thought leadership marketing. They shared in-depth perspectives of the automotive industry, consumer preference projections, and interviews with fellow thought leaders.

Some car dealership social media ideas for LinkedIn thought leadership posts are:

  • Commenting on the automotive industry and car buying trends 
  • Sharing current car shopper challenges and innovative solutions
  • Providing tips on ways dealerships can better serve their customers
  • Advising on ways OEMs can better support their local branded dealerships
  • Recapping automotive industry events and how other dealerships are succeeding

Create LinkedIn thought leadership content from an authoritative perspective using your own storytelling and success stories.

User-Generated Content (UGC) Reposts

Two people looking at customer response reports online

UGC is one of the easiest and most effective automotive social media marketing strategies because you don’t have to create original content. Sharing posts from previous happy customers tagging you on their personal social media platforms is free-of-mouth marketing, and it generates up to 40% more engagement and 10% more dealership sales!

Additionally, consumers may see your UGC posts from their peers or non-influencers, acting as further social proof from someone they can relate to. Studies show that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from earned media and are 71% more likely to purchase from social media referrals. 

Drive More Sales with an Automotive Social Media Marketing Team

With many social media and advertising platforms and consistent testing to ensure your strategies are successful, it can be challenging for dealership owners to navigate. You have to invest consistent time and resources while managing your business. 

At Reach Marketing Pro, we have extensive experience in automotive social media management. We’ve worked with local branded and used car dealerships and know how to effectively create social content and ad campaigns on various platforms for your bottom line. 

We also offer more than just social media marketing services for the automotive industry. 

Our Dealership VIP Program helps streamline your vehicles in production pipeline to sell more cars before they arrive on your lot. We make it easier for your consumers to pre-order vehicles with user-friendly reservation pages, and we’ll even manage your Google Drive spreadsheets.

Our Absorption Boost services for auto dealers can also revamp your website with optimized designs on your service department center, car parts, and specials pages to boost your fixed operations. We combine stronger visualization, QR code functionality, and data-driven SEO to custom-build these web pages within your website and OEM guidelines. 

No matter which service you choose, we’ll continuously monitor your marketing strategies with monthly reporting to ensure they generate results that support your long-term goals. 

Need help deciding which service is best for your dealership? 

Contact us for questions today! 

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