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Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facebook. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Infographic Your Superfan Status with BMW

Ever wonder how you rank with a brand's "official superfan" on Facebook?  Yeah me neither.  Regardless, BMW brings its fans the opportunity, through a Facebook data generated personal infographic, to see how superfan they are.

The BMW Infographic application showcases several key stats for their Facebook fan page including the most viral post, most popular video, and a tag cloud showing popular words used by fans: Love, Nice and Awesome top the list.

The application entices fans to create their own infographic to see how they rank against Todor Todorov, someone the BMW social media team has identified as the "Official BMW Superfan." At the end of the personal generated infographic fans can see how they score against Todor. I wasn't too far from making superfan status generating a score of 217 vs Todor's 295. If only I liked more International pages or liked a few more BMW posts, superfan status could be mine!

What the infographic does well is give fans a desire to become more engaged fans.  The whole idea of making it a bit competitive is to show how fans can be more engaged with BMW by liking more BMW fan pages and showing how engaged a person is with BMW content on Facebook. More engagement equals higher scores.

There are a couple misses though with the application. First of all, one can only share the application as a shared link that brings others to a person's created infographic on the application tab.  It seems an image of the infographic would've been a better solution, especially since mobile still lacks support for Facebook tabs and you get comments like the one I received from a friend, "Link didn't work for me." Also if the generated infographic was an image, it could be shared on other websites, social sites, or email.

Unfortunately, the infographic doesn't have a similar viral impact of say Intel's Museum of Me which did some similar things; though, to be fair, the Intel idea requires significantly more budget to do. Intel created a personal video that brought people's Facebook content into a museum like walkthrough.  Perhaps a personal museum of BMW content shared by the person and their friends could showcase interaction with the brand in a more interesting way than an infographic.

Overall the idea here is a good one and it's great when brands use their fans' Facebook content in a way that relates past interaction in a way that tells a story.

Try it out at: BMW Infographic Application
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Cost to Not Ignore Nissan



The simple equation of Return on Investment (ROI) is a hot topic in social media circles as the discipline evolves to prove its value in the media and communications mix for business.  It's a topic that has spawned several conference topics, a multitude of articles and several books all vying to show how social media experts can realize ROI in their social strategy.

Within the ROI dialog is another set of value acronyms that try to show other forms of value other than direct monetary value. One popular one is Return on Engagement (ROE) that looks to show value provided by conversations and the establishment of deeper relationships with one's customers or prospective customers.

Thanks to yesterday's AdAge, Nissan has now entered a new acronym to the social value lexicon: Cost of Ignoring (COI). Erich Marx, Nissan's director-interactive and social-media marketing, shared "you have to be there [social media]. It's not about ROI, it's about COI-- cost of ignoring. It's too big to ignore."


Nissan's COI strategy is currently focusing on five vehicle launches in the next 15 months, all of them to include a "heavy emphasis" on social media.

Ever since General Motors pulled out of a $10 million Facebook campaign, the marketing and investment world has been interested in what automotives are doing on the site.  I'm not sure the story about Nissan's latest Facebook activities is that different from what's been happening on Facebook for the past several years from many car companies.

Nissan will be asking Altima fans to share car ideas that might be implemented in a future product and recently they did an essay contest where winners were selected for a drive event at Nissan's proving grounds.

Which brings us back to COI.

Any idea what the equation is for Cost of Ignoring? Perhaps it's something like Cartman's equation for gold.




[Source]: AdAge "Nissan Looks to Facebook to Help Launch Five New Models"



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Friday, December 23, 2011

The Germans Wish You a Happy Holidays



Everyone is doing their take on the Holiday celebration. While Lexus ties giant red bows on IS sedans, the German car companies are celebrating the holidays in a variety of ways. Volkswagen had some fun with their Facebook fans asking them to share their favorite VW-Themed Holiday photo.

 BMW is having fun featuring the new M5 that is on its way to the US soon. They decided to create "The Fastest Christmas Card in the World" where they sit an illustrator next to performance driver Urs Inauen, or "swiss stuntman" as his website refers to him.


The ad is a great example of appealing to your target audience with some custom web content. It's a simple idea: new M5 + race track + holiday = a ridiculous mess.





Mercedes-Benz created a 17 red car salute celebrating Christmas in their latest ad with an all red display for the holiday. Unfortunately, they don't make a red G550 so they shared the red peel coat paint job the marketing team needed to complete the red lineup. The video shows the excitement that goes into painting a SUV. If you don't have time to watch the video just imagine 10 seconds of Pimp My Ride without 40 speakers and gobs of fiberglass.




Audi decided to mock holiday tradition this year with its ad featuring boomer parents taking their son's new Audi A6 for a joy ride right as he arrives home.

 It's a bit dull and lacks some of the fun of recent Audi ads, but this critique seems a bit harsh though I do get the blogger's point. Christmas is about family, not superficial opulence. It is a luxury car ad so opulence is expected.



What are some of your favorite holiday ads from the automotive industry, past or present?
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: September 2011



 September was a fairly quiet month with only a few decent bumps in fan growth. I'm also seeing a lot less automotive fan driven ads from automotive brands. That's not to say the OEMs are not advertising on Facebook, it's just their ads are driving to the brand's website instead of a Facebook fan page.  Perhaps we are seeing a move away from the importance of fan growth to drive to transaction or consideration at a brand website that hosts content relevant to purchase.


It's been awhile since we've seen a brand lose fans in the span of a month. In fact, the only time it's happened since tracking this data in April 2009 is when Infiniti had lost fans due to their over promotion of a circ de soleil event they did one month where their sponsorship team posted too many photos of acrobats to the annoyance of its fans.  This September Kia dropped 8%, the largest negative drop we've seen in one month. There is nothing blatantly apparent why they had a negative fan growth, perhaps it's due to their younger audience who may have fanned the page due to their hamster Soul campaign only to unfan later once the interest waned?


Mercedes Benz is driving consumers to a social campaign they are running on Facebook. The C-Coupe Your Week contest will give 10 of its Facebook fans a C-Coupe to drive around for a week. Fans will also be featured on the Facebook page and given $2,000 and camera equipment to capture their week. Contestants must complete a form and upload a video by October 14. 

Subaru's 25% increase in fans for September was the largest gain. Their push was most likely driven by their charitable campaign Share the Love Charities where fans voted on several organizations resulting in Make A Wish as the winning charity for the Facebook fans. People who purchase a car between November 19 and January 3 get to choose where to allocate $250 to one of five organizations. The campaign resulted in 183,000 likes demonstrating fans responded positively to the effort. 

Finally in my evaluation of this month's fan growth several fan pages operated outside of a secured connection causing Facebook tab experiences unavaiable if a user has security settings active (use of https.) Odd because this is a fairly easy situation to get around with a good tab development team.  


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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: July 2011



The struggling brand smart grew more than any other brand, at least on Facebook where their global page had a 109% gain of 25,821 fans while only selling 327 cars in the United States in July. Therein lies a problem that is growing in this report. Several European brands have created USA based pages, smart being one of them. BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Volvo all have USA pages now and perhaps it is time to modify this report to show a United States view of fan growth by brand.


My only issue with switching to the USA pages is that the USA pages have much smaller budgets, lack a lot of the organic growth that happens. Why? Because people looking for a brand's Facebook page are far more likely to click on the one with the most fans and the cleanest page name. You follow BMW, not BMW USA especially when you see all of the fans and activity on the BMW page. This is a behavior I've seen for years on Facebook and so I tend to focus on the primary brand page.

With so many USA pages, is it time to switch this report to a USA focused report, especially considering I don't track non-USA brands like Peugeot or Citroen.

Let me know your thoughts. Should I switch to this tracking the USA focused fan pages?


One other thing of note last month is Mercedes-Benz overtaking Audi's page in the race for fans. One of the big pushes for the brand is their "Mercedes-Benz & Friends" event coming August 25-28 bringing together all international official Benz clubs.

But most of the fan growth likely came from the marketing efforts of their Drive & Seek game helping to launch the all-new Mercedes C-Class Coupe. The game is centered around the player being a special agent who is trying to outsmart a security system.




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Friday, July 29, 2011

Chevy Pits Its 100 Years of Cars in a Bracket Challenge



Congratulations to Chevrolet as they get ready to celebrate their 100th birthday on November 3. As part of many festivities that are to happen until then, the brand developed an online experience that pits its 100 years of select models against each other. It is basically a bracket challenge where people vote for their favorite Chevrolet cars and trucks.


The 100 Years of Chevrolet website combines several social media connections with the brand where people vote by clicking a Facebook like button all to answer the age old question "What's the best Chevy of all time?" I know I wasn't asking that question either, but it is fun choosing which car or truck you like best in each round.

Most votes have a clear winner in the first round, but the 1970 Chevelle SS convertible and the 2010 Camaro are in a pretty close match with only 100 votes separating the two cars after almost 4,000 total votes in the match. Psst...I voted for the Chevelle SS.

I'm already a fan of Chevrolet on Facebook, but if you are not you need to be to cast your votes. Unfortunately, once you are a fan the experience got a little spammy after I went back to my Facebook profile since the Chevy 100 website doesn't tell you that every vote is published to your Facebook wall (see image on right.)

Other than the minor publishing to Facebook situation, and yes I get why they did it that way as it creates interest to my friends on Facebook and hopefully more traffic for Chevy's website, the experience is solid and focuses more on people's love of the current lineup and their love of Chevy's prolific automotive history.

So go and vote for your favorite Chevrolet vehicles!


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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Google+ Is More a Threat to Twitter than Facebook



Let's talk about the latest buzz in social media and even though this article will not be talking directly about automotive I still think it is relevant here.

After a week of using Google+, I think a lot of pundits are off on who Google+’s competition is. It is not Facebook. It is Twitter. It may be Facebook someday, as Google continues to rollout more functionality and soon will launch brand pages, which will begin their pilot phase in two weeks, but for now the site really looks like a challenger to Twitter.

Let me explain.

Circles are Better Lists

Everyone is talking about Google’s Circles functionality that allows one to select which group a new person you add will exist in. People can be placed in multiple groups, for example I can add someone to my local Dallas group and in a work-related group. To me, this is an improvement over Twitter Lists where one can divide their community in an easy way and filter their “Stream” by circles, similar to how one might display a Twitter list as a feed only viewing the tweets for that group. I use lists more than I’ve ever used groups on Facebook and the intuitiveness of Google’s Circles feels like a great evolution of this functionality.


Add to Circles is More a Follow than a Friend Request

You can add anyone to a Circle who is on Google+. There is no request, the person being “circled” does not have to approve your decision to include them in your community and I’m sure we’ll see social media articles in the near future talking about the ratio of people in your circles and how many have you in their circles and if you should circle back others who circle you. Community building sounds more Twitter-like than Facebook-like to me.

Extending One’s Community is Like Watching @ Mentions

I find a lot of new people in my social sphere by seeing who people I follow on Twitter are conversing with and when it looks interesting and that person’s profile and content looks compelling I follow them on Twitter. I don’t do this on Facebook. I don’t send friend requests to people my aunt might be talking to in a comment thread or send a request to a co-worker’s high school buddy even if I think that person’s comments are interesting.

Google+ is different since I can easily add people to Circles who have common interests and it’s not as awkward as sending a friend request to someone you have never met before. Perhaps adding people to Circles will be less social as more people join and it really does become an alternative to Facebook than Twitter. Currently adding people to a Circle is a behavior that is more socially similar to a Twitter Follow action.


Hangouts are the New Hashtags

Want to join a more focused instant conversation that anyone can join and jump out of easily? Well Hangouts are for you and I’m sure we’ll see brands using this functionality in a way twitter hashtags are used. I’m guessing Hangout trivia contests to win products and weekly Hangouts will develop around specific days and times for the community to come together to discuss their shared interests.

SEO is Google+’s Silver Bullet

Like Twitter, Google+ content is publicly available on the world’s most used search engine and many are wondering how Google might change its search algorithm to benefit Google+ content. This is important to brands, publishers, content creators and others who concern themselves with things like Page Rank and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but I can guarantee you my old high school friends or family members have no idea what Page Rank and SEO are nor will they ever care. So the Google+ silver bullet may be an audience that is interested in how content better lives in search and again here is where the link to Twitter as a competitor is more apt than Facebook. Many are on Twitter trying to get better SEO and I’m sure they will also join Google+ to improve their search rankings.



The Stream

Google’s feed is called the “Stream” and it pretty much behaves like Facebook’s News Feed with the ability to add links, images, videos, or a location along with commentary plus your community can comment and +1 (similar to “Like”) your posts. This functionality is very much like Facebook today, but if people recall the evolution of Facebook’s News Feed borrowed from Twitter’s interface (and Friendster.) Sure it is more media-rich than Twitter, but this feels like Twitter on steroids and allows for conversations around a particular topic, but I agree this functionality is most like Facebook and hence why most feel Google+ is a Facebook competitor; however, I feel this is where Twitter ultimately may have evolved if Facebook hadn’t beat them to it.

Still Evolving

Google+ certainly feels more like Twitter today, because a lot of the people I’ve connected with have come from my Twitter connections than say real-life connections. That of course may change if the masses, read my mom and non-social media types, start to gravitate to Google+. Without a compelling reason to move to another social community platform for the masses, it is doubtful my mom will want to re-establish all of her connections on a new website when Facebook has years of photos, years of accepted friend requests, and years of familiarity she has come to like.

For now, Google+ isn’t replacing either Facebook or Twitter since the community is still small and invitations are slowly trickling out, but as the site gains momentum it will be interesting to see if Google+ takes time away from Twitter more than Facebook. My guess, after a short week of using it and liking it, is it may be a formidable challenger to Twitter.


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: June 2011



It's another million fan milestone for BMW this last month as they crossed 6 million fans and have annihilated the challenge they were receiving from Audi earlier this year. It's tough to say how much of BMW's fan growth is due to sheer brand advocacy or how much of it is due to marketing efforts from all of its International markets. What is known is that the BMW team is leveraging the behaviors of the Facebook platform in creative ways.

Take for instance the latest activation from BMW where they are showcasing their Two Originals hommage promoting the original 328i with a revised future 328i concept. Part of the effort is a Facebook application that let's their fans create their own film and personal expression that they can then share with friends. It actually gives people a reason to share. It's not just a share button next to a video or promotion asking people to simply "like" a post. This is content integration that is creative and self-expressive which is what social media is all about.

The BMW example pulls in photo content from a Facebook profile and uses that to express the person's originality. It's not too much different than a recent viral execution from Intel called the Museum of Me that also recycled a user's Facebook content for brand benefit.

Meanwhile other brands continue to buy ad units promoting their page. Of note in June were some significant ad buys from Fiat USA who seemed to have an ad pushing their fan page to me about every second or third time I logged into Facebook, oddly I've been a fan for several months. Lexus also ran some ad units that drove to their fan page which accounts for their double-digit 10% growth in June.


Mazda, Dodge and MINI also experienced some decent fan growth in June. Dodge is expanding their social presence and activating some attention to the SRT brand with its Driving SRT and SRT Track Experience fan pages. Oddly the primary Dodge fan page does not "Like" these pages. Though fan growth for Dodge is not really being driven by the SRT pages; instead, Dodge has been running ad units also promoting its brand pages last June. I did not run across media for Mazda or MINI in June, but that's not to say there was no media or promotion through other mediums like email.

Overall it was a pretty slow month in June for automotive Facebook fan pages. The latest development is Google+ in the past week and already Ford has created a page. Perhaps someday this report will be looking at Google+ Circle numbers.




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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do You Have Automotive Klout?




I ran across an interesting development in the online influencer news today. No I don't know what Brian Solis had for breakfast; instead, there is news today that the controversial influence score website Klout teamed up with Audi's Facebook page to create unique content only available to those fans who have enough social "influence."

I put quotes around influence because many feel, and yes I'm one of them, that Klout's scoring system is far from perfect, but I will give Klout credit in that they are trying and evolving their system in ways that are interesting and worth watching. They also are not trying to determine one's full influence, it is only a view at one's online influence which mainly focuses on social conversation and how much one talks online and one receives two-way conversation in return. It's more accurate to call it a volume score than an influencer score, but you can read a gizillion blogs on that topic.


So what is Audi doing in this? They are using the Klout engine to provide special access to content. Today's launch of the functionality is around their recent win at Le Mans. It was a great race and win from Audi. What a year and what a horrific beginning to the race that fortunately resulted in zero causalities other than a couple really expensive Audi cars.


If you have a Klout score high enough to gain special access, you will be granted the bonus of a Le Mans wallpaper to save to your computer. Wallpaper? Can't I just use Google Images and find a ton of them including some amazing pictures from the great coverage provided by blogs like QuattroWorld (props to my good friend Mike Juergens)?

Regardless of how 1996 the free wallpaper incentive feels, there is an interesting event here. Brand pages can now reward their most social media active fans. Unfortunately, it's doubtful most fans know what Klout is or how to get it. And there is a potential backlash that a brand's most hardcore Facebook page fans lack enough Klout to get special access, since they may only be active on the brand's page and not across social media.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and kudos to Audi for taking the first try at this approach. I just wish it was something cooler than a wallpaper...



NOTE: Please let me know if you tried it and failed regarding your own Klout score, I would love to know how much one needs to score to get access.

UPDATE: There is no qualifying Klout score, at least for the current promotion today. Perhaps that will change, but according the Audi Facebook wall team "everyone gets one." You can see their Facebook post on the topic and fan feedback here. Most of it is very positive, no surprise. Here is an image of Audi's wall team's response to a fan asking about the score question:


I don't feel as "special" anymore. ;)


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: April and May 2011



I've been tracking Facebook automotive fans since November 2009 and have never missed a month of data until last month. Unfortunately my early May was extremely busy and I overlooked capturing Facebook fan numbers that month. What is here is fan growth for the months of April and May 2011 combined.

Let’s get to what happened in April and May for automotive brands on Facebook. MINI had the strongest growth over the past 60 days. MINI has been activating user participation with their simple, but elegant idea of “Getting Billboarded” where fans
were able to show their image on a MINI billboard in Berlin. Fans were given the opportunity to share their image from Facebook and those in Berlin were given a photo booth to shoot a picture that would appear on a real billboard. It was a great way to create out of home media with social media. Plus participants were able to save their billboards as images that they could share or use as Facebook profile pictures, but they weren't doing this to only engage but rather to win their very own MINI car.

MINI is also activating their global fan base as a lot of its fans are coming from many countries. This is creating some significant separation on this analysis as brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche are also all activating their global fan base and that is why they are growing at such a stride compared to brands with less of a global impact. Plus all of these brands are aspirational, which helps organic growth dramatically on Facebook, since people fan luxury, high social value brands.


The other brand with some significant growth is Mazda. It’s an interesting time to see some big growth from Mazda since they do not have a vehicle launch during this time.

Mazda is doing their best to increase engagement with their fans and are leveraging their other social properties on the Facebook fan page. They added YouTube and Flickr tabs and are actively promoting content through wall posts. They have also implemented a #MiataMonday idea that asks open questions to their fans.

Mazda is also doing a “Flickr Photo Spotlight” where they are actively looking for Mazda photos on Flickr and then asking photographers to join a Mazda photo Owners Group. Then they are choosing photos to feature on the Mazda Facebook fan page. See the image at left showing one such engagement from Mazda with a Flickr user. This is a great example of showcasing owner enthusiasm and it also brings some fame from the brand to the owner and does it in a simple, respectful way. Bravo to Mazda for being creative in how they leverage multiple social media channels.

One quick thought...

Most automotive ads I’m seeing on Facebook seem to be driving less and less to the brand’s fan page. Most automotive ad buys on the site are sending people to the brand’s website. This makes me wonder if brands are not seeing significant value in growing fans and instead are finding value in Facebook’s ability to segment ad buys by consumer interests and bringing people to brand pages where there is abundantly more information about the products than the brand’s Facebook fan experience.

We are all learning what works and does not work so well on Facebook. After seeing massive ad buys the past couple years from automotive brands spending media to grow fans and now not seeing that behavior; it causes one to wonder if fan growth is not THE metric of success as it once was, that said this blog will still track it to see how a brand’s audience grows.




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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jaguar Tries Sponsored Stories on Facebook



Facebook launched the ability for brands to sponsor posts and this morning I caught one example from Jaguar who decided to shine some attention on a recent Forbes magazine review of its Jaguar XJL.

The ad shows up as a "Sponsored Story" from Interactive Jaguar, which is the Facebook fan page for the Jaguar brand. When you click the story you are brought to the Forbes website to read the review.

In a bit of media buying hilarity the Forbes article that Jaguar is sponsoring on Facebook is being heavily sponsored by Hyundai and BMW with the two competitors (well I guess only one is a direct competitor) advertising on the Forbes website. Fortunately the review is about Jaguar and does offer some great thoughts on the XJL for readers.
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Promo Magazine Guest Article



I had the opportunity to do a guest article for WOMMA's (Word of Mouth Marketing organization) PROMO magazine. I covered some of the things we are doing at AT&T to tighten up our Facebook presence and why that matters on a platform like Facebook. Also, I should add that automotive brand Acura did a similar effort late last year as they moved to consolidate all of their vehicle fan pages under the one Acura brand fan page, a wise decision in my humble opinion.

Take a look if you are curious what I do in my day job leading social media at AT&T. Click here to read the article: "AT&T’s Social Exec Talks About Focusing its Facebook Presence"


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Introducing the All-New "Doug" to Yahoo! Mail Users



I really like the ad unit Yahoo! started last year on their Yahoo! Mail website where a company can purchase the entire login page's background. It has a crisp, generous look and the ad never gets lost in the typical clutter of ad banners, typical of other Yahoo! web properties. Today Ford decided to run a full page unit for the Ford Focus. Or did they? It seems like that was the plan until someone, or is it some thing, decided to takeover the promoting of the all-new Ford Focus.

That "thing" if you haven't heard of it by now is Doug, Ford's Spokespuppet. And yes, "spokespuppet" is not a real word; instead, it is a whole new concept in automotive marketing lingo. Doug and his human sidekick John are bringing some humorous snark to the launch of the Focus. It's almost a little sad that the focus (pun intended) here is an orange puppet when Ford has an amazing new re-introduction of the Focus, having finally brought over to the States the European model that many have been asking for for years.

Back to Yahoo!

Ford's ad unit brought significant awareness not to the car (well indirectly it did), but to a puppet. All of the calls-to-action for the ad unit go to Doug's Facebook Fan page where one can "Like me. Love was not an option." Not one link goes to the Ford Focus website to learn about the car.

It's an interesting decision and perhaps a wise one as one website put it, "Ford Profit Fueled in Part by Social Media".

I can't think of any situation in the almost 4 years I've been writing this blog where a major ad buy from a car company drove entirely to a puppet on Facebook. Sorry, "spokespuppet."


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Monday, April 11, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: March 2011



March was a rather subtle month without a lot of on-site fan growth ads from the automotive brands, but it was the first month a new brand returned to the United States. It’s been 27 years since Fiat has sold a car here. They returned with the Fiat 500 and I have added Fiat to this list. Like BMW, MINI and Mercedes, Fiat also has a USA-focused Facebook fan page, but like those brands I am reporting on the global brand’s Facebook fan page, but do record all of the USA-focused fan pages.


Meanwhile, Acura continued to run and promote their “Compete Like a Pro” contest for the all-new TSX Sport Wagon (as an interesting side-note, the TSX Sport Wagon is the Japanese Honda Accord wagon that everyone was hoping for back when the Honda CrossTour was announced last year causing quite an uproar on the Honda fan page.) The “Compete Like a Pro” contest is an interesting example of fan growth from marketing, CRM, and engagement.

Back in January they promoted the contest and bought some Facebook ads to support the effort creating a 23% increase in fan growth. In February, some marketing continued but most of the effort to promote the contest was done through Acura’s email communications (see image at left from a February 22 email) and there was some promotion by contestants to create interest (votes) for the contest that resulted in a 10% fan growth. As the initial surge of contestant promotion tapered, so did the fan growth, as it was only 5% in March when the contest was closing the voting.

Many of us see friends in our own communities promote – ask for – votes when they do an online contest. This initial surge in friend participation comes to an end rather quickly and then near the end of the contest, the highly competitive top people in the votes make an additional request for votes, but this is a much smaller group. What we see with the Acura contest is fairly typical and shows that the biggest impact in fan growth is still advertising to promote instead of counting on organic growth. The final 5% growth in March is a normal organic fan growth so the contest was doing very little in fan growth. Of course it might of (and hopefully did for Acura) create more clicks to dot.com and engagement which were probably the primary goals of the contest.

There was very little else going on in March for the automotive brands on Facebook. Lexus saw some positive growth with the biggest bump of 22% fan growth coming from their heavy media buys around the all-new Lexus CT200h.



Note: Unfortunately I missed a month in March, a first since starting this monthly post in November of 2009. I did record the fan numbers and you can see the early fan numbers from March in this post. I never did a February 2011 report, but have all the raw data if any one wants it. Please send me an email at red335i@yahoo.com if you do.


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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Way to Get Your Dealers Involved



I’m guilty like most automotive bloggers of covering the larger brands more than some of the small players in the market. One brand that doesn’t get a lot of play is Mitsubishi. Well I wanted to find out what a Mitsubishi was doing with their efforts in social media and to my surprise I came across an unique way for the brand’s Facebook page to include their dealers.

Right now Mitsubishi is asking its fans to vote for the best dealer walkaround video. A walkaround video is where a dealer employee shows the features of a vehicle. The Facebook fans were asked to select from several dealer videos finalizing on three videos that are currently competing for a $2,500 prize to be awarded to the winning dealership.


Some of the videos are typical walkaround experiences where the dealer representative simply details every single feature, one with background Minnesota polka music. There definitely is a format to what the dealers were supposed to do here as all the videos cover every feature inside and out and run about 4 minutes plus in length.

Other videos are more entertaining with a bit more style, but still with substance. “Check out my curves and check out my lines,” sings one Omaha dealer who realizes there has to be some personality to keep people’s interest. Unfortunately like the more professional examples, none of the videos are that compelling and sitting through three 4 minute videos with basically the same exact content is a lot to ask, even from your fans.

I do like the idea of getting dealers involved in a real way with the greater Mitsubishi Facebook fan base and it incorporates fans thoughts through voting which video is best. Unfortunately, the $2,500 prize money that is offered is offered to the winning dealer and not a supporting local charity which would’ve had a more compelling appeal to a national audience.

Regardless, Mitsubishi is getting inventive with how to engage fans and finding ways to bring their dealers into the conversation. Sure this example isn’t going to turn into viral gold (total video views on the 3 final videos is at: 1,839 views), but it’s one way to extend goodwill between the OEM’s efforts in social and letting the dealer network reap some publicity too.



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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: January 2011



There wasn’t a lot of growth in January’s Facebook fan numbers. Perhaps it’s all of the ad agencies working on their Super Bowl ads. Many brands were pushing their vehicle sites and a couple of German companies were focusing on their USA Fan pages, instead of their global brand pages.

Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW created USA focused brand pages in 2010 (see the USA pages growth in the image below to the left.) Mercedes just completed a “Tweet Race” contest between 4 teams spending all kinds of money on celebrities, charities, providing luxury vehicles, and all congregating this weekend at the Super Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Even though it was a “Tweet” contest, Mercedes spent quite a bit on advertising the event on Facebook throughout most of January.

BMW ran several advertisements promoting the new X3 and the all-new 1M. The X3 Matchup was promoted in January ads on Facebook to promote their coming Super Bowl ad. Players match different images and watch for clues in the Super Bowl ad to win a X3 for 2 years and a VIP trip to their Spartanburg plant, museum, and most importantly their Performance Driving School. Facebook fans are asked to build a X3 where they try to guess the exact build of the one appearing in their Super Bowl ad. I’m guessing silver.

Toyota heavily promoted their name the “Prius Goes Plural” campaign after the brand launched several new Prii, Prius, Prium vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show in early January. It seemed as if every day Toyota had the reachblock bought on my Facebook’s Home screen. With all of their promotion, only one of my Facebook friends voted and I have a ton of friends who are car nuts and in the industry (661 friends total.) Sure my checking my friends against people participating is far from scientific, but it did surprise me when the typical auto ad on Facebook has at least 3 or 4 of my friends liking it. Voting of course is different.

An important note on Toyota’s Prius campaign, it didn’t drive fans to the brand’s Facebook page; hence, the measly 2% growth rate for them in January. Fortunately, Toyota has a pretty strong presence with their Prius brand and many in the industry wonder if they’ll ever move Prius off to its own brand. Perhaps with so many new models that scenario may be playing out.


Finally, the strongest growth came from Acura. They recently abandoned their separate vehicle pages so now whenever they have a vehicle promotion they drive traffic to their brand page. In January, they ran a promotion to their “Compete Like A Pro” contest for the all-new TSX Sport Wagon. What’s great here is that they grew their overall fans instead of just a single vehicle fan page so they can promote other products to those fans. It was a smart move for Acura and their growth in January shows how it helps the overall brand presence.



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