Toyota Prius generated most online buzz from January to April 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on May 28, 2013

The Toyota Prius was the most discussed hybrid/electric vehicle online from January to April 2013, resulting to $14.5 million in total media value, according to a new study from a social analytics company GenSent Insights. At far second is the Honda Fit with $4.5 million in online media value. Rounding up the top five most discussed hybrid/electric vehicle online are Chevrolet Volt with $3.1 million, Tesla Motors’s Model S EV with $3 million, and the Honda Insight with $2.9 million.

The New York-based social analytics company tracked the value of online media and exposure for 10 different hybrid and electric vehicles through proprietary natural language processing technology.

GenSent determined a brand's reach by placing a dollar value on the overall level of discussions for a specific period, according to company president Don Damore. Tracking different online venues like Facebook, YouTube and Google, the company computed a vehicle’s media value by monitoring online conversations that mention a certain brand or topic.

For example, when Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson mentioned the Prius in a Twitter post in March 2013, the vehicle reached a peak of 8,371 twitter mentions, Damore disclosed.

For the January-April 2013 period, the Prius gained almost 86,000 Twitter mentions, which is over thrice the amount the other nine hybrid/electric vehicles received. The Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid generated $1.2 million in media value in just five days in January 2013, when it grabbed the “Eyes On Design” Award at the Detroit auto show.

GenSent noted that nameplates also differed visibly in the channels in which they were mentioned. For instance, the Honda Insight and the Honda Fit generated around 96 percent and 80 percent, respectively, of their media value from video sharing websites. The Nissan Leaf, on the other hand, generated 94 percent of its media value from Twitter. The Cadillac ELR and Tesla Motors both generated 72 percent of their media value from news media sources. [source: HybridCars]

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