Why Facebook Believes It Can Hook Auto Consumers Best


Car commercials and television have always seemed to go hand-in-hand. However, social media may have an advantage in bringing consumer straight to a model’s landing page as well shutting out competing automakers’ voices. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) says its approach targeting auto consumers beats what search engines and even TV can offer, serving up the results of a comScore study the social media giant commissioned as proof.

According to the comScore study, page views and visits to a specific car model’s page increased nearly 50 percent among those who had viewed a Facebook campaign compared to those who didn’t. The effect on automakers’ competition was also noteworthy. ComScore found that consumers interest in other brands dropped 3 percent after seeing the Facebook campaign, while interest in a specific model from another automaker fell 14 percent after following the Facebook campaign.

While the figures of the comScore study reflect the social media company’s advantage over traditional search engine advertising, Facebook executives were quick to point out the benefits of approaching consumers outside of costly prime-time TV ad slots, saying social media platforms are effectively always on among Facebook users.

Facebook’s Kass Dawson, who fronts the automotive strategy division for the social media company, spoke about the unique relationship between Facebook and auto consumers at the Automotive News World Conference. Dawson mentioned that Facebook not only has unique (i.e. 24/7) access to consumers; it also is able to understand what consumers are talking about and what they’re interests include, Automotive News reports.

Facebook has touted its ability to target consumers better than traditional ad mediums in the past, going so far as to claim the Internet — and especially Facebook — represents the “new first screen” for consumers. When looking at the enormous ad spend of automakers on television spots, the social media giant clearly has grand ambitions.

The decision to commission the study by comScore, a web analytics company, represents the latest push by the company to pull in ad revenue traditionally spent on television spots. Putting up stats such as those comScore found is an important step. If the company can find a way to prove consumers buy more after cars their time spent on Facebook, major automakers may start shifting those millions spent on Super Bowl ads to more affordable Facebook campaigns.

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