Discover the 3 rules of how car manufacturers use social media.
With the latest car scandal about VW on emissions, today’s consumers view their cars as expressions of their personalities. It is unsurprising that car manufacturers use social media as an important marketing platform. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are platforms on which people express themselves and which they use to stay informed about things that are relevant to their lifestyle. By utilising social media, car manufacturers can associate their vehicles with media-users’ lifestyles, which endows their brands with an identity that seems relevant to their prospective buyers. The truth is that social media marketing is a vital part of any car manufacturer’s digital marketing strategy.
Rule # 1 Car manufacturers can garner positive attention simply by maintaining a stylish social media presence
For example, each of BMW’s Facebook posts attracts an average of 25,000 likes. They also have a fan page that has over 19 million likes. Just by giving their well-respected brand a presence on social media, BMW have been able to create positive buzz. Social media users feel that BMW’s posts connect with them because the company reflects their lifestyle choices. Ergo, the brand is able to maintain a high level of popularity.
Rule #2 Car manufacturers create interactive campaigns
However, many car manufacturers take their use of social media one step further: they create campaigns that actively encourage participation from consumers and social media users. Cars are technical, practical products. They are also expensive. As such, car manufacturers’ brands can sometimes seem a little remote. By engaging with their customers directly, car manufacturers can humanise their brands and make themselves more accessible to ordinary consumers. This makes it easier for them to elicit an emotional response from these consumers and associate their brand identities with particular lifestyles.
A brilliant example of this was Mini’s 2014 ‘NOT NORMAL’ campaign. The manufacturer asked social media users to upload videos and images to sites like Twitter and Tumblr using the hashtag ‘#MININOTNORMAL’: they then selected the best videos and images to use as part of their marketing campaign. This successfully broke down the barrier between company and customer and allowed Mini to recruit over 30,000 new followers while helping cultivate a fun, irreverent image for their brand.
#Rule 3 Car manufacturers use social media for customer engagement
Of course, car manufacturers don’t just use social media for big, set-piece marketing campaigns, they also use it to engage with consumers on a day-to-day basis by answering questions, inviting feedback and hosting discussions. All of these small actions are vital to humanising their brands and making them relatable to ordinary consumers.
Social media is a unique marketing platform that allows automotive manufacturers to engage with their customers in creative ways on an unprecedented scale. Car manufacturers have embraced its power and recognise that social media is a vital component of any digital marketing strategy.