When we talk of social media and businesses, the automotive industry is also a keen participant online. In fact, some auto brands are leading the pack on social media, which is a top destination for people who want to discuss automobiles. In this blog post, we deal with all of the available data, how social listening can help, and how the automotive industry has been performing on social media as a whole.
What does Social Data say about the Automotive Industry?
Automobile companies have embraced the digital world and some of the leading brands have set quite an example in running successful social media campaigns. Data predicts that by 2020, millennials (the fastest-growing generation of car buyers) will make up more than 40% of the US automotive market. With over 3.5 billion active social media users of which 90% are millennials, you can understand the importance of effective social media marketing.
Automotive industry’s followers discuss every little detail in a critical way online. The rich source of social data lies in their discussion of which brand is the most innovative, whose designs offer luxury, who is engaging with fans and followers the most et cetera. Everything is noticed and talked about online. Listening into the conversations gives you an insider’s view of how people perceive your brand. The benefits do not stop at that. One of the major pluses for the automotive industry is that social listening and monitoring social data can help them to identify the gaps they could fill. A great example of this would be how Honda expanded its motorcycle market to the US using the insights derived from their market research.
How are Auto Brands Performing on Social Media?
Over 50% of millennials fear they are missing out when their friends share posts of their new cars on social media. This only goes to show how involved this generation is. Listening to the chatter can also help car brands to devise the components of their management strategy in the following areas:
- Handling Customer Complaints
- Lead Generation
- Identifying Market Opportunities
- Competitor Analysis
- Consumer Insights for Strategic Decision Making
Looking at the performance of some of the top brands on Facebook, we see that Skoda did quite an impressive job with its 2017 campaign which gathered much user-generated content for their flagship model – the Superb. Their engagement count for this campaign managed to eclipse the efforts of giant brands like Ferrari and Mercedes Benz.
Besides Skoda, the other brands performing well on Facebook are Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Maserati, Chrysler, Audi, Tesla, and BMW.
If you are in the automotive industry, you know how driven this industry is – both literally and metaphorically. If you do not engage with your customers, your business would not thrive for long. The very first step to understanding customer preferences in a given automobile’s features requires you to listen to them. Knowing the demographics and the preferences based on gender, age group et cetera will help you decide the target audience you need to follow.
A very interesting study showed that over 44% of females discussed Mini Cooper over social media while for all the other cars and brands together, the number of female social media contributors was below 39%. Can we assume that car size matters and that Mini is more popular with the ladies because of that?
So how can Social Listening benefit the Automotive Industry?
The numbers clearly tell you that social media marketing is the most obvious way to go forward if you are trying to build your brand as number 1. Yet, social media marketing is not simple. The data generated is huge and zeroing down on to the people who are talking about you can be daunting if you are trying to do it manually. Thanks to modern times, technology and AI bring you social listening tools which make social media listening and analytics easily accessible.
Monitor Complaints and Reviews Diligently
The very first thing that will establish your brand as trustworthy is when you listen to your customers, their problems and respond to them quickly or resolve their issues.
It is easy to overlook comments when your social handle is burdened with thousands of mentions every minute. A social listening tool helps you divide and conquer. The tool segregates positive and negative comments; highlights the comments which need your immediate attention, like that of the KIA Motors customer above which needed a quick resolution, in real-time. It can also present you with an analytical map of your whole online marketing campaign.
Finding leads gets simpler when you can customize search results to include a specific keyword or particular locations on a social listening tool.
In-built search facilities in the tool allow you to find leads by listening for specific keywords. For example, a person looking to buy a car would look for recommendations online. Setting up a specific search for this keyword phrase helps you find prospects. Next step would be to engage with them and social listening helps your sales team with that too. Your sales team can listen for the trending topics, the interests these prospects have and pitch the product in such a way that it sounds more personalized and attuned to their interests.
Competitor Analysis and Identifying Market Opportunities
The major advantage of social listening for the automotive industry is that social listening platforms serve as a great hunting ground for new market opportunities. And there are several ways to do this.
While listening for the needs of your customers you might identify a gap in coveted product features. Fulfilling these needs that no other company has delved into can set your brand as an exclusive one. Listening for competitors can also help you acquire market share. When the customers aren’t happy with your competitors, you would know about their specific grievances. Make sure you swoop in to pitch the model from your line which best suits their requirements.
The comment here by these customers clearly show how they have been put off by Tesla’s quality-control issues. And these weren’t the only people complaining about the paint issues. Social listening tools track down all such comments within 5 seconds. Workflow and business decisions become quick and efficient with a social listening platform at your fingertips.
Customer Insights for Strategic Business Decisions
Such instances can help with your core management and strategic decisions. Your tactical team can make crucial business decisions like whether or where to expand the business, what features to include or exclude, how well your online presence is growing and the like. Social listening also helps in zeroing down on problems your company might be facing at the operational or branch level.
Social listening tools help you track comments and know the exact location they are originating from and the analysis will give you an exact picture of the location where there’s most chatter, analyze its tone whether it is negative or positive, and provide a detailed insight into the reasons behind the negative chatter. If your showroom in Dallas has rude salespeople, analyzing online comments tell you of this. Social listening makes it easy for you to learn about employee attitude and customer experiences together, in real-time.
In conclusion, we trust we have presented a wholesome view of how you can set up a social listening tool to benefit your business and prosper in the competitive environment of the automotive industry. And yet, with advances in AI, new possibilities are endless. Till then, let’s enjoy a part of what is possible to achieve using social data.