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.
Of course, this isn’t really new information. Back in 2011, Dealer.com, 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.
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 Dealer.com’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 Dealer.com 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.