In today’s increasingly technological society, many industries are integrating social media strategies within their marketing campaigns. Subsequently, GfK research has revealed that, in 2013, “38% of consumers said they would consult social media before making their next car purchase while almost a quarter (23 per cent) use it to communicate their purchase experience.”
According to social media statistics, the German motoring manufacturer BMW has the biggest Facebook Page in the automotive industry. The marketing success of BMW’s Facebook Page can be directly linked to how BMW encourages their fans to post pictures and share their driving experiences across social media. In return, these users receive exclusive news, information and entertainment content related to their favorite cars. This campaign has proven to be extremely effective, as highlighted by BMW’s 9 million Facebook fans.
This marketing approach has been particularly popular with millenials. As Ophir Zardok, co-founder and CEO of Evento, states, millenials engage more actively with these types of social media marketing campaigns because they appeal directly to millennial ideals and online social media habits. Zardok believes that, “It’s a matter of culture and how they consume. They publish everything to the world. They like to share, are open to share, and want to share. They want people to know what they’re doing”.
This theory is supported by a recent survey, which was carried out by Inside Facebook. The survey highlighted that 81% of millennials are active on Facebook with a median amount of 250 friends, statistics that far exceed those of other generations.
A primary distinction between millenials and previous generations which may account for their prolific social networking activity is the fact that millennials have had access to online connections their entire lives. As Jeremy Daniel, the chief financial officer of Advanced Healthcare Partners, reveals, millenials “grew up with [the Internet] and have muscle memory.”
Similarly, Fredda McDonald, executive vice president and chief creative officer at PSCU, advocates that companies should, “look at Millennials both as customers and as the next wave of the workforce…They are different, they think differently about their lives, their work and the commerce they conduct. It’s somewhat unappreciated how different this generation is from the Baby Boomers and Gen X. Companies that understand that are the businesses that will win in the future.”
The automotive industry seems to be the most receptive to the potential of this specific client base. Subsequently, automotive brands have begun to engage with millenials via the immense marketing potential of Facebook. Events such as the Auto Expo now host Facebook pages in an attempt to engage with their current fans and attract the attention of new participants. For instance, “The 2014 Auto Expo Motor Show” was able to amass 81,788 likes for their Facebook page.
Motoring manufactures, such as BMW, have also begun to capitalize upon social media tools. One of the most popular platforms these manufacturers use is Facebook’s Timeline, a format which at its core focuses upon storytelling and sharing information. Consequently, BMW launched campaigns such as their “0 to Desir3” YouTube video contest in which they encouraged their fans to submit 5.9 second videos expressing how much they want a BMW 328i.
Other motoring manufacturers have been quick to follow suit. For instance, Ferrari utilizes Facebook to advertise their Theme Park. Their Facebook fan page is full of exclusive images, videos and comments from Ferrari officials, all of which are engineered at enticing and sustaining customer interest. Motoring company Jardine Motors highlights how Ferrari engages with their clients by releasing, “Teaser images of the park’s design…the main building is expected to be modelled on the front wing of a Ferrari Formula1 car.”
The motor industry has become adept at appealing directly to millenials by stimulating intrigue and sparking consumer awareness via social media marketing campaigns. By engaging with Facebook and other online networks, the motor industry can cultivate a loyal fan base that will publicize their products across their respective news feeds resulting in user-generated content. Millennials are also becoming professionals. As such, Facebook provides a lucrative opportunity for motoring manufacturers to establish trust and brand loyalty with their future clients, in order to consolidate their long-term financial prospects.
Bradley Taylor contributed to this post.