Changes to Facebook Vehicles for Dealers & What You Can Do
May 2023 Update: Two significant updates to this information were released in May 2023.
- On June 5, 2023, all Classic Facebook Pages will be automatically updated to the New Page Experience. The post had previously stated that the date for this change was TBD.
- As of April 24, 2024, Facebook will only support Facebook and Instagram Shops with checkout enabled. Previously, uploading vehicle inventory as Products and adding them to a Shop Tab without checkout features had been a popular workaround for the removal of the Vehicles Tab.
RV, trailer, powersport, boat and other vehicle dealerships have seen huge website traffic and sales successes from running dealership Facebook ads for years. However, as changes are implemented by Meta and by government agencies, it’s becoming more difficult to run a truly effective Facebook vehicles ad campaign. A combination of privacy restrictions and Facebook policy changes has impacted the way that dealers run ads. While these restrictions present new challenges for advertisers, it’s still possible for dealers to garner leads and reach new customers on Meta platforms, like Facebook and Instagram.
New Page Experiences vs. Classic Pages
Facebook introduced their New Page Experiences in January 2021. This new format changed how businesses manage their page, including answering messages and viewing notifications. In New Page Experiences, business pages function similarly to personal accounts. Businesses were given their own News Feeds where they can follow other pages and interact with users as if they were their own profiles. Business Page users now have to “switch into” a business account rather than manage the page from their own personal accounts.
This transition to New Page Experiences also came with changes in how Page access is presented. In Classic Pages, users were assigned roles like Admin, Moderator and Editor. In New Pages, there are only two roles: Facebook Access and Task Access. Facebook Access is the equivalent of an Admin, and gives the user full control of the Page. Task Access allows businesses to grant users access to specific tools for the Page, like answering messages or making posts. These specific tasks can be toggled on and off so users only have access to the tools they need.
Changes in 2023: Vehicles Listed by Business Pages on Marketplace
Meta announced that, on January 30, 2023, Business Pages will no longer be able to create vehicle or real estate listings on Facebook. This is an update to the initial removal of dealership vehicle feeds from Facebook Marketplace in September 2021. Before September of 2021, Facebook Marketplace listings could be auto-posted via feeds on Business Pages. These automated listings would appear organically, without the business promoting them, in Facebook Marketplace.
In the late 2021 update, Facebook stopped organically showing vehicles uploaded by dealer feeds in Facebook Marketplace. Feed-uploaded vehicles would only appear in Marketplace if they were promoted or sponsored as an ad. Dealers could only list vehicles on Marketplace organically if they were manually uploaded to the Business Page by an individual user.
The January 2023 update announced that dealers will not be able to create listings from their Business Pages at all. It is no longer possible for Business Pages to organically list vehicles in Marketplace. Only individual user accounts can do so. However, all business vehicle listings can appear in Marketplace if they are sponsored as a paid ad.
Facebook Vehicles Tab Removal
As a part of the January 2023 update, Facebook announced the removal of the Vehicles Tab from Facebook Pages. The Vehicles Tab was a list of the vehicle inventory offered by a dealer. While individual users, like dealership employees, can still manually upload and list vehicles on their personal Profile, there will be no connection to the Business Page.
Facebook Ad Restrictions in Special Ad Categories
Another recent policy change that will affect dealership Facebook ads is the removal of Special Ad Audiences. Special Ad Audiences were a form of Lookalike Audiences (ad audiences made up of people with similar interests and demographics as those who are already part of your audience) that were removed in October 2022.
They were removed as part of a settlement with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The legal settlement, a result of discrimination concerns in Facebook advertising, was only focused on housing ads. However, Meta has decided that these restrictions will be put into place on all of their Special Ad Categories: Credit, Employment, Housing, and Social Issues/Political Ads.
Special Ad Categories and Dealership Facebook Ads
While there is no direct Special Ad Category for vehicle-related ads, dealerships offer financing and credit opportunities. This means that dealerships are, through credit offers, part of the Special Ad Categories. Dealers can attempt to run ads without marking themselves as a Special Ad Category, but if Facebook flags the dealership as an advertiser offering credit opportunities, the ads will be removed for discrimination. If dealership Facebook ads are removed for discrimination, the dealer’s ad account must mark that campaign as a Special Ad Category to continue running ads.
In Special Ad Categories, businesses will face added restrictions on audience targeting. This includes the removal of any ability to target based on gender or age. Additionally, some interest-based targeting segments are removed. Lastly, Special Ad Categories no longer offer Special Ad Audiences, a Lookalike Audience that removed age and gender as part of collecting lookalike users.
Now that Special Ad Audiences have been removed, many dealerships have seen a drop in Facebook ad performance. Dealerships cannot easily expand their audience to Facebook users who match their current customer’s interests and demographics. So far, Meta has not offered a solution for businesses in Special Ad Categories to help expand their audience.
How Can I Run Dealership Facebook Ads?
Despite all of these changes, it’s still possible to run successful dealership Facebook ads! Through traditional ads and Automotive Inventory Ads dealerships can reach customers and find new leads. While audience restrictions make this more difficult, Facebook ads are still a great way to reach people interested in your business.
Automotive Inventory Ads
Though Facebook’s vehicle detail pages created by vehicle feeds will no longer be available organically, they can still be found by users through Automotive Inventory Ads! AIAs allow advertisers to promote specific vehicles on Facebook Marketplace, in the Facebook Feed, on Instagram and more. These ads are created “dynamically,” which means that Facebook shows users specific vehicles based on their interests.
For example, if a user has searched for fifth wheel RVs on their browser, Facebook may show that user sponsored fifth wheel vehicle listings through AIA. Additionally, if a user is searching Facebook Marketplace for fifth wheels, it’s possible that a dealership’s fifth wheels could appear in search results though AIA. The vehicle listing will be marked as “sponsored,” but it will appear in Marketplace among personal listings.
Types of AIA
All dealership pages can run off-Facebook AIA. This refers to AIAs that, when clicked, bring users to the dealership’s website. Users can click on a specific vehicle they are interested in to be taken to that unit’s vehicle detail page on the dealership’s website.
The other AIA format is known as on-Facebook AIA. These allow dealerships to optimize their ads for on-Facebook leads. On-Facebook leads can refer to Facebook Lead Forms, where users can enter contact information for the dealer in a pop-up window without leaving Facebook. They can also refer to connections made through Messenger. Users can click on the unit they are interested in to start a Messenger conversation with the Business Page of the dealership.
Dealership Facebook Ads with NetSource
The constant policy and restriction changes by Meta can be overwhelming and difficult to keep up with. But, you can trust the social media experts at NetSource Media to always be on top of the most recent industry changes. Our team of experienced Facebook advertisers are ready to help your dealership. The social media marketing experts at NetSource have successfully run dealership Facebook ads for RVs, trailers, powersports dealers and more. As a Meta-Certified company, we have the knowledge and resources needed to help your dealership grow. You can find out more about our social media and Facebook AIA services online or by contacting our sales team. NetSource Media is here to help your dealership succeed!
Let's Talk Facebook for Dealerships!
Dealership Facebook ads and organic management is a lot to handle! Let the experts at NetSource help. Our team offers Facebook AIA, traditional ads and organic page management. Contact our sales team to find out how we can help you!
All Facebook Pages converted from Classic Pages to New Page Experiences