Historically, the automobile industry has always been known for maintaining a customer-centered relationship, but present day customers are far more demanding from those of even a decade ago. Customer expectations and their relationship with their automobile brands have been changing rapidly over the past decade, since the onset of social media and reecent technological developments. Customer presence on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, and the opportunity to tap them for potential revenue generation is fast becoming a priority among leading automobile giants.
This post is aimed at understanding how automobile manufacturers are using social media platforms to boost customer engagement and tapping new opportunities for growth in short.
We’ve all read the success stories of automobile brands like Ford with the launch of their Fiesta campaign and the YouTube sensation of VW. The Fiesta Movement campaign from Ford, launched in April 2009, has set the bar when it comes to determining the effectiveness of social media campaigns in automotive industry. Brands like VW, Ford, Honda and BMW have consistently excelled at telling their story on social media using photos, videos, contests and interactive applications as new ways of communication with their fans and customers.
Facebook being widely recogonized as the most powerful social channel, Peugeot recently used Vine to run the first teaser campaign for the launch of its new RCZ R model, while Renault used Twitter to unveil its Twingo car using an “online striptease” making us think that other channels can also be more efficient, depending on the need and strategy.
The heart of the automotive industry has technology inherent in it and this is now extended to various social media channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Mercedes-Benz being the most popular and successful car brand on the social web reached more than 16 million fans in the beginning of April this year. The BMW Facebook page has released several mobile apps, for example “The Ultimate Drive App” that provided the users with road maps where they can mark their favorite drives, leave tips and rate roads and the recent one being configuring your own different series of BMW Cars on their Facebook page.
Satisfying the requirements of online users with such brilliant integration leaves a lot of scope for other automotive players to explore. Automobile companies like BMW and Ferrari has been a trendsetter for social engagement.
Even in comparison with global non-automobile brands, Mercedes-Benz is in 2nd position with regard to engaging with its Facebook fans. Only the fans of Walt Disney have more Likes, Shares and Comments according to data released by social bakers, and the reason for the same is however understood according to data released by social bakers.
Not all social media campaigns have seen the checkered flag of success. Sometimes providing space to discuss and shrare their review in a public forum can backfire, especially when emotions come into the picture. One finest example of this is with the Accord Crosstour facebook page launched by Honda where they had to apologise publicily for their negative promotion.
We all know that the automotive industry runs on loyalty. Online reputation management is potentially regarded as the most decisive facet of social marketing, with user-generated content and reviews having a vast influence on purchasing decisions. A single negative feedback from an irrant customer has potential to create communication crisis.
A recent study conducted by Facebook reveled that car owners are strongest brand advocates of their car brand than those who aren’t, and tend to share their recommendations with alteast three times more people than the average Facebook user. Social media is a strong platform to communicate with customers and help make a product better. New generation consumers don’t want to be sold to. They want to be informed, engaged, and entertained. The automobile industry has adopted this modern marketing philosophy, putting the pedal to the metal .
Check out this interesting video idea from Volvo, where Vam Damn is performing “The Epic Split Feat” making it a hugely watched video on YouTube.