Despite being the largest social network in the world and perhaps the most widely recognized website in history, Facebook’s advertising potential has often been questioned. However, the social network has reason to rejoice, as a new study by independent researcher comScore has confirmed that Facebook ads can be remarkably effective, particularly in the automotive sector.
According to the study, car-model advertisements on Facebook cause views of their product pages to jump 50 percent, with total page views increasing at an average rate of 46 percent. The study also suggests that Facebook ads cause an increase in research and general shopping of up to 17 percent on sites like AutoTrader.com and Cars.com, with accompanying brand view increases of 19 percent.
The study was conducted on five unnamed major automotive brands that ran campaigns on Facebook from May 2013 through August of the same year. Ads were tested by comScore’s extensive consumer panel.
This makes sense when one considers that, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau, those shopping for cars are 71% more likely to place their stock in digital ads rather than any other type. This is especially significant when considering that when automotive brands employ Facebook ads, the brand searches of competitors that don’t utilize similar campaigns drop by as much as 14 percent.
With Facebook’s incredible popularity, it’s understandable that the website has such a pronounced effect on purchasing patterns and overall brand engagement. All evidence indicated that automotive companies have recognized this fact and are adapting accordingly. From GM reinstituting its Facebook advertising following a highly publicized withdrawal two years ago to the Carfax ads that litter the average sidebar, it’s very clear that the auto industry is taking Facebook’s advertising potential very seriously.
Although some brands have clung to traditional advertising, it’s becoming increasingly clear that social media marketing plays a dominant role in today’s markets. With social content comprising an ever-increasing share of the average agency’s budget, it’s reasonable to expect emphasis on Facebook advertising to continue, if not increase, particularly among competitive automotive brands.