Social media in its broad form is really people having conversations on-line. These conversations or interactions can take place in many forms of social media. Those being: Blogs, microblogs, Online Chat, RSS, Social Networks, Message Boards, Wikis, Podcasts, Video Sharing Sites, Photo Sharing Sites, Communities, and Forums.
When looking into the auto industry, one could look at Ford Motor Co., which has moved $1.5 billion of its total $3 billion budget to digital and online media spending. Ford and its Head of Social Media, Scott Monty put a social media strategy in place using multiple Social Media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Flickr, and Fiestagram.
Ford also enlisted the help of 100 social media experts who received a European version of the Ford Fiesta 18 months prior to it being manufactured and ready for release in the states. Those people were asked to share their experience with the car over a 6 month timeframe via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube Channels.
They didn’t spend $1 on traditional marketing. Some may think that the results of doing this would be very poor. On the contrary, Ford had 11 million Social Networking impressions, 5 million engagements on social networks (People sharing and receiving), 11,000 videos posted, 15,000 tweets, 13,000 photos posted, 50,000 hand raisers who have seen the product in person or on a video who said that they want to know more about the car when it comes out. Of those 50,000, 97% didn’t’ currently drive a Ford. There is 38% awareness by Gen Y about the product, without spending a dollar on traditional advertising. Compare that to the Ford Fusion. The Fusion doesn’t have that kind of awareness after 2 years of being on the market. The other huge difference is that Ford has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in traditional marketing campaigns.
Ford isn’t the only company in the auto industry to turn to Social Media. Honda has a Facebook page. Volkswagen has a community in which they look at pictures, gender, etc. and try to match you up with the right Volkswagen for your needs. Toyota partnered with The Muppets to let the public know their Toyota Highlander has #NoRoomForBoring. Launched around this year’s Super Bowl, the ad campaign featured massive social tie-ins, with related tweets and posts to Instagram from both companies. Car industry folks have said that Facebook is a powerful database that could make the difference of 3-5 cars per month or 25-35 cars per month depending on how you work it and the amount of dedication.
Measuring social media metrics is important for understanding the performance of your respective Pages. Companies can identify business problems and resolve these problems from the valuable insights gained from analytical tools.
When it comes to marketing the brand name for car models, automotive companies have a challenging task. The average consumer’s decision to purchase a car relies heavily on the brand name and reputation – this is hard to measure. However, by properly using social media measurement tools, automotive companies can increase brand awareness, receive product feedback, boost dealership traffic, and more.
Some important Social Media Metrics for the Auto Industry
• Fan Growth: The increase in Fans during a select time range.
• Engagement Rate: The amount of user interactions (Likes, comments and shares) that occur with your Page.
• Response Rate: The percentage of user posts or questions that the admin responded to.
• User Activity: Identifying the times of days and the days of week in which your users are most engaging most frequently with your Page.
• Shareability: The amount of shares a Page receives per day.
• Interactions: The number of interactions that a Page or post receives and the types of interactions (Likes, comments and shares).
• Paid Advertisement Engagement: The number of likes, comments and shares received on a Newsfeed advertisement.
• Paid Advertisement Reach: The number of Facebook newsfeeds that a Facebook advertisement will reach.
Some Business Solutions for Social Media include
• Brand Awareness/Loyalty
• Social Customer Service
• Soft ROI for Increased Dealership Traffic
• Product Feedback
• Event Promotions
In 2013, the car brand with the highest level of brand loyalty was Kia. In a recent study, they boasted that 48% of their buyers this year were returning customers. This statistic is just an example of how important it is to maintain a positive and memorable brand image for automotive manufacturers. With effective social media measurement, automotive brands can effectively raise brand awareness and foster brand loyalty, which ultimately results in increased sales.
Social Media is a powerful tool if used correctly and with new ways of measuring success, I think other industries will start advertising this way or if they already are, increase their presence in social networks to get their names out there to try and drive their products and focus to market. The opportunity is huge.