How manufacturers use Twitter to engage with their consumers.
So what manufacturers are out there Tweeting away for you to interact with? Simply put, nearly all of them. I’ve assembled my Top 5, but to be honest, if you’re on Twitter, follow them all. To prevent a Twitter-war, I won’t apply any ranking. As a person who follows just about every manufacturer out there, that wouldn’t end well for me. Therefore, in the interest of full disclosure, this comes from the perspective of an enthusiast and avid user of Twitter. So, now to some of the best Twitter accounts in the automotive industry…
Well, one of the German stalwarts has made it into the top 5. So what makes Audi so good? To start off, they created the #WantAnR8 campaign which delivered an R8 to an unsuspecting “victim” for a given period of time. Who wouldn’t love that? Also, it is run by a crack team of individuals that utterly love social media, and that makes a difference. Since some recent developments resulting in the S6 beating the M5 and E63 AMG in Car and Driver’s test, Audi has come up with yet another slogan: #thingsslowerthananS6. Sure this takes a shot at BMW and Mercedes, but the world needs more competition like this. Remember in the end who results from car companies fighting? The end consumer benefits with better products.
All-in-all, Audi is much noted as the forefront of automotive social media, and their #WantAnR8 campaign was in fact, the most successful Twitter campaign of all time. Also, they’ve donated an Audi A3 TDI, for the documentary #ffthefilm, and we may have more on that at a later date.
Fair warning, they’re the only American based company to make the list. Individually, Chrysler wouldn’t have made it…but as a group, well, there is strength in numbers. Utilizing the numbers game, Chrysler Autos, Chrysler LLC, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, Official Mopar, SRT, and even Fiat have their own Twitter handles. So with so many handles, you would think that we would have to do each individually. Not really, because on Monday nights, many of these handles come together and discuss everything Mopar. It is a chat stream put on by enthusiasts and Mopar themselves that allow users to interact directly with the manufacturers handle. Brilliant idea, and if you’re free Monday nights around 9pm eastern, I’d suggest you join in, even if you’re not a Moparian you still learn some things.
So Chrysler has done the divide and conquer theme here and it has come away looking like a royal flush. Their interaction through mentions, retweets, and #Moparchat really allow the enthusiast to feel like they matter, and of course, they do.
Another German joins the ranks in favor of the high and mighty Mercedes-Benz. Much like Audi, they are one of the forerunners of the high-interaction level. With retweets and mentions, they engage users on a personal basis, which sometimes allows that user to be found by others and connect with them as well. The point of an everyday auto enthusiast on Twitter is to be recognized, and with Mercedes, you get recognized more than others. Personally, they have interacted with me and retweeted me many times. Even now, seeing a retweet from a manufacturer makes a nobody feel special, and for that, I would like to thank Mercedes.
Some of you may be asking yourself, why Lexus? Well, to put it simply, they have the largest following for luxury auto makers on Twitter, and at this moment are just over 300,000. Lexus doesn’t interact as much as others, but they do have an interesting concept as in having #LexusTrivia on Friday afternoons here on the east coast. They follow the users who get it right, and to have a manufacturer follow you is a win, no matter how minimalistic, for your inner car enthusiast. Needless to say, I did win, and they do follow me. Lexus does things a little differently than others in which they’re mostly business, news, and pictures a lot of the time. You learn about Lexus when following Lexus, and that is what I enjoy about it.
A small note on this one, they would not have made the list a couple days ago and this spot would have gone to VW, but alas, Nissan has beaten them out. A couple of days I posed a question to Nissan asking them, in a rather sarcastic way, to tell me what the “Zero Gravity Seating” meant in the new 2013 Altima. You wouldn’t think they would have answered…but they did. Their answer was a link to a video and a small greeting thanking me for asking the question. I was surprised in fact to find out what those seats were all about, and since that experience I completely and utterly understand it. The best part was, they actually had to search for the video, it wasn’t made by Nissan, but rather a third party and as a result, they have made their way into the top 5.
So, if Twitter isn’t your thing, these manufacturers are everywhere, and yes…I mean everywhere. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Foursquare to name a few, are other outlets in which you can keep up with the industry. All we, as enthusiasts, can do now is keep tweeting and pray for a mention, retweet, or ultimately a follow.