Facebook: Pay to Play

paid social media

Facebook is a tremendous tool for the automotive industry. For years, Facebook allowed you to reach and engage your fan base for free. Sadly, after Facebook’s IPO in 2014, organic reach has continued to dwindle year after year. It has become increasingly difficult to successfully grow and communicate with your fan base without investing money. It’s official: Facebook is pay to play!

Facebook Market Revenue


Before we take a look at some of the tools for growing your Facebook presence, let’s look at Facebook’s growth. Facebook’s revenue growth over the past 3 years has been remarkable. The chart above gives us a look at their revenue over the past 7 years. Look at that growth! Facebook had 10 BILLION dollars in revenue in just the last quarter. There’s a reason that Mark Zuckerberg is now the 5th richest person in the world – Facebook has started charging for what used to be free.

But dealers can take advantage of the new Facebook standard. Here are three ways to pay to play and reach your fans and more on Facebook:

Boosted posts

Adding as little as $10 to “boost” your posts can pay big dividends. This post will now show up in people’s newsfeeds alongside posts of their friends. It will look like a normal organic post to the Facebook browser, but Mark Zuckerberg will be making money from it. Boosting posts through strategic targeting will allow your dealership to customize who can see your posts based on the demographics of your buyers.

Paid Ads

You can also pay Facebook to run ads. These ads will run in the newsfeed, in the sidebar and everywhere else Facebook can place it. These can be shown to people who have visited your website as well as custom audiences designed by Facebook. Again, this is another way of strategically growing your Facebook presence based on the demographics that your dealership is wanting to reach. Plus, these ads are also relatively inexpensive.

Paid Video Ads

Paid video ads are a great way to build a positive association with your brand. Facebook will allow you to run video ads alongside videos placed on Facebook by friends and family. Placing a picture or video on your ads and posts has proven to get more “likes” and create more influence for your Facebook presence. Plus, you can take your existing television spots and run them on Facebook to maintain your monthly strategic campaign ads without having to create new videos.

If you want to grow your Facebook fan base effectively, you’re going to have to pay to play. Businesses and brands are slowly beginning to treat Facebook for what it is now – another paid media stream. The old way of organically growing your Facebook presence is gone. Every business that is successfully growing their social media campaign is utilizing Facebook to its full potential. Are you using Facebook correctly to ensure you’re driving next day traffic to your dealership?

Let Strong Automotive Merchandising help you get the best return on your social media investment and drive more traffic to your dealership.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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