Automotive Social Media Reinforces ROI

By Lindsey Auguste

Social con­ver­sa­tions and media plat­forms have an over­whelm­ing influ­ence on the auto­mo­tive pur­chase process, but hope­ful­ly that’s no sur­prise to any­one these days in any retails mar­ket.  But a new study com­mis­sioned by Star­com Medi­aVest Group and led by Big Fuel showed just how auto­mo­tive social media impact your ROI.

Accord­ing to the study that ana­lyzed more than 10 mil­lion auto­mo­tive con­ver­sa­tions over a 12 month peri­od, auto pur­chase deci­sions are being dis­cussed 21 times per minute on social media, amount­ing to over 30,000 times per day.   That’s a lot.

These con­ver­sa­tions are most­ly tak­ing place in the pur­chase phase (29% of the time), and are notice­able in the rise of sta­tus updates and check-ins. Peo­ple are ask­ing their friends’ opin­ions, involv­ing them­selves in the con­ver­sa­tions, and mak­ing deci­sions accord­ing­ly.

Rein­forced Mes­sage

Of course, this isn’t real­ly new infor­ma­tion. Back in 2011,, in part­ner­ship with Dri­ver­Side and GfK Auto­mo­tive, pro­duced a study ana­lyz­ing con­ver­sa­tions on Face­book and found that infor­ma­tion on social media net­works — such as sta­tus updates, com­ments and “likes” — plays a sig­nif­i­cant and expand­ing role in car-buy­ing expe­ri­ence.

Their study, fit­ting­ly titled The Rise of Loy­al­ty, Advo­ca­cy and Influ­ence: Social Media and the New Auto­mo­tive Buy­ing Cycle, demon­strate the pro­gres­sion from peo­ple advo­cat­ing for your brand, to becom­ing loy­al to it to the point that they don’t even con­sid­er oth­er brands, and final­ly mov­ing for­ward to the inevitable influ­ence they have over the peo­ple in their social net­works which encour­ages them to con­sid­er your brand as well.

At the end of the day, peo­ple pre­fer infor­ma­tion from peo­ple they trust – their friends.  The results from this new study rein­forced the find­ings of the old: Peo­ple are much more like­ly to post pos­i­tive reviews than neg­a­tive ones, the largest part of the social con­ver­sa­tion resides in the con­sid­er­a­tion phase of the pur­chase process, and post-pur­chase sat­is­fac­tion is the key to stronger rela­tion­ships and brand or deal­er­ship loy­al­ty.

Mar­ket­ing Oppor­tu­ni­ty

The most impres­sive find­ing from this new research is that if a car is not men­tioned in their social con­ver­sa­tions in the pur­chase phase, that brand is rarely, if ever, con­sid­ered in the final stage of pur­chase, defin­ing a spe­cif­ic junc­tion in the pur­chase process that mar­keters should be inter­cept­ing.

The social con­ver­sa­tions demon­strate mas­sive oppor­tu­ni­ties for mar­keters to get involved and increase the effec­tive­ness and effi­cien­cy of their efforts.  Mar­keters can now not only con­firm which cus­tomers to pin point in their mar­ket­ing efforts, but also where they are in the buy­ing process and if their deal­er­ship or brand is being con­sid­ered.

What’s promis­ing is that the results from’s orig­i­nal study were repli­cat­ed by a non-auto­mo­tive com­mis­sions study, inher­ent­ly adding more cred­i­bil­i­ty and lift to both the orig­i­nal and these new find­ings. Anoth­er tip of the hat to the study by for being at the front of the game, and a huge win for both cus­tomers and deal­ers in the auto­mo­tive pur­chase process.

Lind­sey Auguste is a Busi­ness Intel­li­gence Spe­cial­ist at Dri­vingSales LLC. Read the full arti­cle here.





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