Social media getting more important when customers want to buy a car

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 24, 2012

Ford’s advertising agency Team Detroit realizes the impact of social media marketing and the credibility of friends in deciding on buying a car. This is why Team Detroit is urging consumers to share Fusion prelaunch content through social media, which are derived from word-of-mouth, the oldest and most potent form of marketing.

Social media marketers want to encourage people to pass along a message about a product. Marketers think that a promotional pitch about a product is more reliable if it comes from a friend than when comes from a TV ad. According to Scott Goebel, Team Detroit’s vice president for social strategy and enablement (the Ford brand’s advertising agency), this is their main goal.

Goebel said that while they hope to achieve at least 100,000 views, they would also want to know how quickly people would share the information. He said that when consumers share their story using their own voice, it’s “very powerful for a brand.” Brad Adgate, director of research at Horizon Media in New York, said that this strategy is ideal for automotive marketing. Notably, autos were some of the first few products that were offered online.

Web shopping continues to be robust while the purchase of cars is heavily influenced by word-of-mouth. Adgate said that cars had relied on social media even there was no internet yet. He said that what people mostly talked about were “cars, movies and restaurants.”

Jeff Doak, social platform director at Team Detroit, said that it makes sense to measure the observable things like the number of Facebook fans or tweets. However, these only demonstrate “surface activity.” What matters most are not so obvious. He said that the impact of social media is very hard to measure. [source: Automotive News  - Sub. required]

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