Automotive Social Media: Four Car Brands Winning at Social Media

The following is a guest post by Jon Mowat. Jon Mowat runs award-winning video marketing agency, Hurricane Media. Having previously produced documentary films for the BBC, Jon now works with international clients to tell their stories. You can follow @HurricaneMedia on Twitter and Connect with them on LinkedIn.

A recent CMO Council report on social media and its place within the automotive industry showed that 38% of customers intend to consult social media next time they buy a car and 84% of automotive shoppers are on Facebook. These stats can’t be ignored and that’s why so many car brands are pushing themselves forward and making waves on social media.

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Automotive video marketing plays a huge part in all of this with different brands taking a range of approaches depending on their audience. These videos tend to get huge amounts of engagement because the brands know their markets so well.

Ford – Having Fun with BrandingAutomotive Social Media - How car brands can win in social media with branding, customer service and customer engagement.

The American car giant mixes its own motoring heritage with a healthy dose of fun. This starts on its Vine where it regularly teams up with well known viners to produce some really funny videos as well as producing its own too. Most of these videos tend to be quite low budget too so it just goes to show how effective social media can be, even when you’re not throwing cash at it.

Ford’s Instagram is another great example of where it’s winning at social media. The content posted here doesn’t get shared across different social media channels and is instead tailored to what Instagram users want. The images of cars from Ford’s history are beautifully shot and make great use of those artsy filters. Keeping this content exclusive encourages people to follow on multiple platforms and not just Twitter or Facebook. It’s a good example of why you need to post native videos on social media.

It’s big campaigns that often show how well a brand takes on social media. Ford’s personalised Fiesta 24 campaign got its customers involved and used influencers to help spread the word by filming their own 24 hours in a Fiesta.

Toyota – Excel in Customer Service

Toyota’s customer service is brilliant across social media, with fast replies, a decent amount of banter and friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to answer questions. Not only will they help with any issues but they’re more than willing to get into a conversation with anyone who mentions the brand. This is a great way to engage with customers and more social media managers need to keep an eye on brand mentions even when they’re not tagged.

On Twitter, the brand manages to get a nice mix of video, photo and text content. This kind of variety is so important when it comes to keeping people engaged.

Toyota is also very good to jumping on the latest news and events for its own gain. While it’s good to be proactive, with things like Halloween, it’s so important to keep an eye on the latest news so you can be reactive too.

Volvo – Engagement is Key

Volvo also does a great job in engaging its customers but does so in a very emotional way. The #MyPolestar campaign encourages parents to send in children’s drawings of cars. The idea behind the campaign is that daddy is a racing driver and promotes the Polestar, a powerful car that’s also a practical family estate.

It does well to appeal to all the dads who don’t want to sacrifice a powerful car as they begin to build a family. Volvo shows that not only do they not have to make the move to a boring MPV but they can earn hero racing driver status in the eyes of their children too.

This emotional marketing is a great way to draw in new customers as what petrolhead dads don’t want their kids to think of them as racing drivers? Asking parents to send in their kids’ drawings of race cars is a great way to up the engagement and get more people getting actively involved in the campaign, thus strengthening that emotional tie.

It’s this kind of viral video marketing that really gets people sharing as they can relate to it.

BMW – Early Adopter

You can’t ignore BMW’s millions of followers and these come from a great brand, lots of content and a loyal following. The brand adopted social media quite early on but it sat very separately from the rest of its marketing activities. It wasn’t until the drift mob video launched on the YouTube channel /DRIVE that BMW really took its social efforts to the next level.

This was the beginning of BMW using social media to do more than just tweet about offers and new launches. It’s now using video more than ever and is engaging with users in a number of different ways.

Honourable mentions

While the following two brands aren’t car manufacturers, there’s a lot we can learn from the way they use social media. Firstly, the Lotus F1 team takes a serious sport and puts a funny spin on it. Something that’s hugely popular with their fans. Not only do we get a behind the scenes look at what the team is up to but there’s a decent amount of banter and comedy there too.

Lotus even replied to a comment from F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone about not needing young people in the sport with a telegram essentially telling him he was wrong.

Secondly, as one of the most recognisable brands in the world, Turtle Wax has to keep on top of that accolade. It does this with interesting content that gets people involved. It also works closely with influencers such as racing driver Rebecca Jackson to spread the word of what its doing and to generate extra interest in its series of short advice videos.

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We can learn a lot from these brands but the biggest take away from this is engaging with customers through cleverly crafted content. It’s so important to know your target market inside out because that way you’re better placed to deliver content they’re really going to want to look at across social media. Volvo appeals to petrolhead parents and Ford to young adventurers, while BMW focuses on the needs of its loyal fans.

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