When automakers use social media to promote brand loyalty – and sales

Social media

Photo: automobilemag.com

Sometimes all you need to sell a car is 140 characters or less – at least that’s what Twitter is suggesting after teaming up with a marketing analytics to find the effects of tweets on car sales.

Twitter and MarketShare determined that the social media channel drove $716 million in auto sales among 20 nameplates in 2013 through the use of Twitter Ads, positive brand mentions, amplification of TV advertising and the Twitter activity of the automakers themselves.

The study found that the return on investment for the campaign was 19 percent higher when used to amplify television advertising compared to running TV ads alone.

“In addition to its merits as a stand-alone platform, Twitter is very powerful as an amplification tool for TV and other media,” said Abe Mezrich, head of marketing communications for MarketShare.

This is not the first time the social media giant has researched the impact it has on car buyers:

It announced in February that households with Twitter users were twice as likely to purchase a new car as households without them, and that Twitter users that engaged with promoted tweets from auto advertisers were 32 percent more likely to purchase new vehicles.

Car sales in general have been steadily on the rise in recent years, and Edmunds.com has projected an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 16.3 million after healthy October sales.

The auto industry has been vocal about capturing the millennial generation, many of whom have opted for urban living and avoided purchasing vehicles by using car sharing and ride services such as Uber. Some industry experts and manufacturers hope Twitter can provide insight into gaining their interest.

Speaking recently about the Twitter study, Mezrich referenced Audi’s summer campaign for the 2015 Audi A3, which was launched in connection with the ABC Family’s show, “Pretty Little Liars.” According to Audi, the show is “the most tweeted scripted series ever,” thanks to its 2.46 million Twitter followers.

During the campaign, the car brand was mentioned nearly 30,000 times, an article on AdAge.com reported, and made 487 million impressions on networks, including Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook.

While Audi conceded it was difficult to find a direct correlation between the Twitter campaign and sales, a Nielsen brand-effect study based on two control groups – one that had watched the show and one that had not – found that opinions of Audi became 56 percent more favorable in the exposed group.

Other brands that have launched coordinated Twitter and TV promotions include Jaguar in 2013 and Acura as recently as this past August.

– Larissa Padden


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