One of the biggest purchasing decisions for consumers is buying a car. Aside from buying a house, this is a decision which affects your day to day life and expenses for a few years at the least. This puts these companies in an interesting position of advantage, especially when it comes to their social media strategy.
Automotive Social Media Landscape
Many automotive companies are already established online, meaning they have a strong social media presence and large followings. This is important to leverage for long term loyalty. Another reason for these followings is that consumers prefer the social media of automotive companies to television ads and even websites.
The social media following of automotive companies is still largely men, most of who are between the ages of 24 and 35. This is the prime age of people looking to invest in cars, and a time during their lives when research will be conducted to build on their knowledge of the automotive industry. Knowing who you are speaking to is important as it can guide your strategy.
The social media account of a company can be seen as one of the most useful tools to seek knowledge about a brand. Another advantage that the automotive companies have is that social media adverts about cars are well liked, generating high response rates and leads. This is therefore an important element to include in your strategy. The follow-up process needs to be efficient in order to nurture these leads.
There are many key markers of success. The best social media strategies will have holistic sense and orientation, but know when to hone in on specifics too. These markers include engagements, followers, service appointment bookings, leads… Many automotive companies work with agencies who are able to handle this aspect of their marketing for them, as this allows them to outsource to experts.
Automotive Sales Funnel
When considering the sales funnel for the automotive industry, it is important to note that the majority of the process of buying a car has moved online - it should be viewed as a digital experience. A consumer will spend their time as follows:
- Talk: Asking questions and getting general information. This often begins with an internet search.
- Research: An in-depth search according to specific needs. Then, the options will be narrowed down and car reviews will be considered. This is where social media can be especially helpful.
- Options: From finding the car to then finding the dealership(s) and engaging with them regarding the next steps. Having social media call to actions here can assist in securing a test drive and potentially the sale itself.
Tools and techniques
Being online and asking people to make some of their biggest purchasing decisions with you, you really need to inspire and assure them. You can reciprocate the investment by taking the time and effort to personalise your communication and interaction where possible. This works especially well with luxury car companies. Cars for the masses tend to focus less on this, such as Toyota, who maintain an air of mystery with short captions and no interactions.
Having a solid strategy in place is needed in order to guide the purchasing processes. The social media accounts need to be equipped with the necessary tools to accommodate ease of use for the consumers. The combination of strategy and tools is what will increase the chance of a purchase and for many, ease in the process of purchase means they’ll be willing to spend more. With that being said, these are the key aspects to note:
- Search: Optimise content with keywords and hashtags so that content is easily found when searched for.
- Information: The posts and accounts need to have links and all of the relevant details - a customer should know exactly where to go next if they are interested.
- Sign up: Call to action forms to sign up for a test drive or call back, for example.
- Tools: Social media can demonstrate the tools available on your website, such as credit qualifiers, which is something people value greatly.
- Automation: Good automation can be useful for people who are looking for specific links and information, ensuring that they are provided with this instantaneously.
- Service: Reviews are crucial, so your interactions online should be seen as a key element of the customer experience and a chance to showcase service excellency. Some companies not only showcase their reviews, but share them as content too in an automotive take on sharing user generated content.
Social Media Content
The main goal of your content is to be aspirational. Whether you’re a luxury brand or not, cars are big purchasing decisions and one which people are required to save up for and invest in. The content you share can inspire them along the way, and when they reach a point of potential purchase, it needs to educate them and facilitate the process towards purchase. After the purchase, it needs to sustain the image and reinforce the decision made.
One way to do this is inline with one of the biggest trends in social media: invest in video. Video is set to take over social media content. This is a medium that works very well with cars. Showcase the driver’s experience and play on the senses of sight and sound. People prefer to watch rather than read and videos can be so compelling - a roaring engine can literally increase the heart rate.
Which settings and contexts should your content be shown in? The most successful automotive posts are:
- Lifestyle: Showing the car in natural settings, like the open road.
- Racetrack: Whether its a sports car or not, pedal to the medal certainly has its place.
- Photoshoot: Where you see the car in a showroom, photographed specifically for its detail.
Automotive companies have many benefits when it comes to social media usage. With the right tools and strategy in place, they can facilitate the process of buying a car in a digital-first experience that leads to increased sales and loyalty.
Nexa has experience working with many automotive brands from Ferrari, Audi, VW and more. Interested in learning more? Speak to us today by completing the form on this page.