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Published August 17th 2012

The Automotive Sector Navigating Social Media

The automotive world is no stranger to innovation, with one of the first models built in 1894. Though, we are far beyond the days of steam-powered vehicles. In fact, it was estimated that in 2010 the number of automobiles rose to over 1 billion vehicles, compared to the 5 million reached in 1986.

In this Automotive Sector Report we provide insight into what social media means for the automotive industry. Navigating online consumer behavior, leading brands and the key issues surrounding them.



Brandwatch Sector Report: Automotive Sector and Social Media 




While car companies continue their advancements so do the individuals buying vehicles. The use of social media has jolted not only the automotive industries marketing tactics but consumer recourses when shopping and researching for their next car.

Making the decision to buy a car isn’t something many people take very lightly. Consumers on the hunt for a new ride aren’t all relying on the speed and popularity of Twitter to have their vehicle conversations. Forums accounted for the largest conversations (38%), revealing that consumers desire to have more than 140 characters when discussing their in depth car discussion.

Twitter may not be enough characters for most auto consumers but it’s not too far behind online forums with 31% in auto exchange. What’s helped certain car manufactures is high profile tweeters. Brand recognition from high profile celebrities and news accounts with so many followers can help create awareness and credibility for those brands.

We gathered conversation about 48 major car brands across the social web using Brandwatch. Unlike other sectors, the automotive conversation is driven by consumers themselves, rather than the brand activities. Our analysis revealed a few of the following key insights:

• Electric cars are the most talked about type of eco car

• Conversation about eco cars is divided, but positive overall

• Initial cost proved to be a more common reason for not purchasing a particular brand

While brands advertising and stories within media drive a significant discussion. It is clear in this sector the consumers are smart, diligent and driving full steam ahead.



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