The auto industry has slowly steered in to the world of social media marketing. For instance, Volkswagen and Toyota are using social media to encourage owners to share positive experiences about their brands. They have both been pushing the campaign via national television commercials.
The VW brand launched “Why VW” campaign on a social microsite. The ad campaign and the social hub are designed to encourage storytelling and spark conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube. As an incentive for participation, they periodically reward consumers with special perks such as event tickets or Volkswagen gear.
Toyota is using social media to reach Camry owners. They launched the “Camry Effect” about a year ago to debut the 2012 model. There were a few glitches in the beginning, but they figured it out and have married the Camry Effect site with its more traditional media. They are encouraging Camry owners to share their stories with other owners and have demonstrated they cared about these stories by featuring them prominently.
Both brands are enjoying rising U.S. sales. According to a Forbes article, VW had a 37 percent jump from the same period a year ago and Toyota is reporting a 30 percent increase through August.
Michael Scissions offered a few tips in an Ad Age article on how the auto industry can step up their use of social media to effectively improve and manage their messaging, engagement, and service with consumers.
Following are his three tips:
Senior executives need to understand social media and how it aligns with business objectives. Scissions says the more interest and sophisticated understanding senior executives have of social media, the more the future of consumer interaction and service becomes a C-level conversation.
Cultural and Technology Changes
Dealers and sales networks should be activated to collaborate on, and initiate new, customer loyalty cycles. You also need the right integrations with existing customer-relations management systems, partner networks, and brand tracking systems. In order to succeed, you need technology and services to extend from the top to the bottom and across the organization.
Measuring the number of fans or followers is not going to cut it in the C-suite. The goals of social need to be aligned with business objectives and measured against key performance indicators. Scissions says, “Social management that can assign, track, and standardize metrics will allow the shift in focus toward long-term goals of message effectiveness, forecasting, and overall marketing optimization.”
These days, almost every company is seeking to capitalize off of social media, and why shouldn’t they? In many ways it is an extension of word of mouth and a powerful forum of advertising based on personal experience. It’s a place where we can reach an audience who may not have had our brands at the top of their minds.