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2019-01-24 What Happened to Facebook in 2018?

What Happened to Facebook in 2018?


Adjusting to the Changes


By Justin Osburn


Facebook made some drastic adjustments to its platform in 2018.

From an advertising perspective, Facebook is certainly a different chess board as we move into 2019 from just a year ago – especially for Buy Here-Pay Here dealers.

The business page is still necessary, but for entirely new reasons.

Facebook made a major algorithm change last summer that heavily diluted posts from business pages and/or profiles that were considered frequently connected to everyday users.

In English, that means the organic posts you upload and/or boost appear with significantly less frequency in the feed or “wall” of the everyday users you are attempting to connect with.

They just don’t see posts from your business pages as much.

That really wasn’t a difficult process for the powers that be at Facebook to adjust.

If a post was/is originating from a business or fan page and not from a personal profile, they have a big golden lever they throttle back. Then, boom! Less frequency of business page content shows up on user news feeds.

The action by Facebook makes it exponentially more difficult to use your business page to grow audiences organically.

But that isn’t necessarily a huge negative for BHPH dealers.

In the BHPH space, dealers have hesitated to grow through the organic method(s) on Facebook for fear of soliciting negative comments and reviews from unhappy customers (right or wrong).

Certainly, a segment of BHPH prospects and customers will have something negative to say online without giving the dealership an opportunity to offer reasonable solutions.

The good news is Facebook is deploying new functionality to compensate through creative and more direct advertising opportunities for businesses.

While having a business page is arguably becoming less relevant for lead generation in the traditional sense, you still need it to set up a Facebook Business Manager.

Business Manager is the “brain,” if you will, behind all comprehensive Facebook advertising.

If you don’t have a Business Manager and a Pixel, you are most likely already extremely frustrated with any (or all) the Facebook advertising you have experimented with.

The most current best practice is to set up your Facebook Pixel and Facebook Business Manager – those are critical steps.

Once you’ve done that, you are positioned to use your own data to target and retarget customers in the market – in your local area.

And it’s working.

Imagine being able to use your CRM data to serve ads directly to your customers, their family and friends, and others in your community who demographically match your current customers and prospects.

That can be achieved by using Facebook “look-alike” and match campaigns, dynamic ads and re-targeted campaigns, and constructing highly targeted and specific audiences.

I might have already lost some of you. It’s OK – you are not alone.

In fact, when I have Facebook conversations with dealers in my 20 Groups and in my consulting travels across the country, I find a large majority of dealers are still struggling to figure out Facebook marketing. Technology moves quickly.

So let me use an analogy to unpack this a bit.


We get radio.

Imagine being able to cut a great radio commercial and instead of serving that commercial to everyone listening to the radio station when your ad is played, the radio was able to serve your commercials only to the BHPH customers and very similar people who are listening to the radio.

Not only that, but you only pay the radio station based on the BHPH prospects and customers hearing your ad, not the entire radio channel audience.

That’s pretty direct. Plus, it’s cheaper and in comparison with radio or TV – or even traditional third-party digital advertising – it is drastically more efficient.

Until Facebook and similar platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn came along, that was generally not possible in advertising.

Facebook Marketplace continued to surge in 2018. Facebook has quickly expanded its “net” of partners who upload your inventory to Marketplace.

I have watched many dealers for the first time begin to sell a large percentage of their overall volume on Marketplace, while obviously dramatically decreasing advertising expense because Facebook is less expensive than other digital methods of advertising.

Don’t overlook Facebook Marketplace for inventory acquisition. Many dealers haven’t thought to use Marketplace as a source to buy cars, but there is a high percentage of BHPH inventory posted for sale.

Last, get a Pixel set up. It’s a must!

Here’s a pro tip: If you do nothing on Facebook, still set up a Pixel. It’s free.

The reason: The Pixel begins tracking data on your website. It tracks data of prospects hitting your website the minute it’s installed.

That data collects in the background whether you are advertising on Facebook or not. So when you are ready to move more into that space, you have a ton of data collected from prospects you can market directly to.

If you would like my short “white paper” on setting up a Facebook Pixel (it’s free and easy to do) email me at


Justin Osburn is a moderator, consultant and trainer for NIADA Dealer 20 Groups, offering more than a decade of experience in retail and Buy Here-Pay Here executive management. He is also instructor of NIADA’s Certified Master Dealer program. He can be reached at


Would you like to learn more about marketing on social media?  Don’t miss Justin’s Digital Marketing and Social Media Training, Thursday, February 21stFor details, contact Diann at or call 941-203-3580.