Millions of people, young and old alike, are entering social networking sites like Facebook. Likewise, manufacturers are flocking into Facebook aiming to convert at least a fraction of the total number of the site’s members into paying customers. Despite words of wisdom from social media experts that carmakers should view Facebook more as a brand advertising tool than as retailing, no one could stop them from deploying their marketing tactics on the online social media giant. Jeep was convinced by around 2.7 million Facebook fans to offer its Altitude edition on all vehicles in 2012, rather than just on the Grand Cherokee.
Rick Case Honda, a dealership in Davie, Fla., was able to sell 100 cars in the first weekend of June after posting an "employee pricing" advertisement at its Facebook page, according to general manager Richard Bustillo. Audi was convinced to offer TT RS coupe in the United States and Europe by around 12,000 Facebook fans who inked a petition pledging to plunk down $50,000 if the company would bring the car in the country.
Fiat, meanwhile, breached 500,000 fans on Facebook in February after offering each of them a $500 coupon on a Fiat 500 subcompact as well as a chance to win one of twelve 500s by using a code at a Fiat dealership. According to Casey Hurbis, head of advertising for Fiat in North America, they have yet to see how much their Facebook efforts are worth in terms of return on investment. Hurbis said the results would be known early July, after the coupons expire.