Everywhere I go, people ask me about changes in the automotive industry. Increased competition, shrinking margins, alternative fuel technologies, in-vehicle infotainment and new business models have all changed the industry dramatically over the last few years. But in every market I visit, one thing remains the same. From manufacturers to dealers, everyone echoes this sentiment: the car business is a people business.
It is a relationship business and a word-of-mouth business. Building strong connections with customers has always been a cornerstone for success in the industry. Most people only purchase a new vehicle every three or four years, so automotive marketers work hard to develop effective loyalty strategies that retain their existing owners and keep their businesses growing. Because loyal owners are also some of the best salespeople. Their recommendations and positive word of mouth can help attract new customers.
A successful loyalty strategy begins with a brand’s connection to its customers. Facebook Pages are an invaluable way to connect with people. When owners become fans of your brand, they allow you to publish stories to them. Each of these stories can be the beginning of a conversation and, over time, a relationship. Ongoing, regular engagement not only impacts customer loyalty, but also becomes the basis of meaningful stories they can share with friends.
To pinpoint the real value of these of connections between automotive brands and their owners on Facebook, we conducted a loyalty study* earlier this year and identified several insights:
55 percent of U.S. automotive Page fans own a vehicle manufactured by that brand
Loyalty among those owners who are Page fans is 16 percentage points higher than owners who haven’t fanned (62 percent vs. 46 percent)
The results of the study show that many of the connections auto manufacturers have are with their most loyal owners. We also asked fans of U.S. automotive Pages when they plan to purchase a new vehicle, and 26 percent said they plan to do so in the next year. That underscores why quality connections with your actual owners are far more valuable than artificially inflated fan bases. Their loyalty can translate into real dollars.
The study also revealed the influence owners who are fans can have on their friends:
82 percent of owners who are fans of automotive Pages are very likely to recommend their vehicle to a friend vs. 69 percent of owners who are not fans
On average, owners who are fans of their manufacturer’s U.S. Page are connected to 433 friends which is more than three times the friends of the typical Facebook user
Owners who are fans are stronger advocates than those who aren’t. And they’re able to share their recommendations with three times more people than the average user. That’s a powerful channel for attracting potential customers.
The automotive opportunity
Despite this very promising data, the fan bases of 10 leading automotive brands in the United States represent less than 5 percent of their owners on Facebook. This is a significant opportunity for the industry. Here are some tactics that can help automotive brands connect with owners:
Leverage customer databases: Email your owners with links to your Pages and a compelling rationale for becoming fans, including owner updates, service offers and new product information.
Run cost-per-click (CPC) Facebook advertising campaigns with creative targeted specifically to owners.
Sponsor Page Like stories to friends of new fans. These stories are an effective way to leverage the power of owner advocacy.
Use social technology such as the Like Box Social Plugin on your website to encourage customers to become fans on Facebook.
Today’s automotive industry is more competitive; however it’s still a people business. Connecting with loyal customers and their friends can create a valuable advantage for your brand. Integrating Facebook into your existing marketing channels and leveraging Facebook Pages, ads and sponsored stories will help you capture this advantage and let people drive your marketing.
Doug Frisbie is Head of Automotive, Global Vertical Marketing, at Facebook.
*Note on study methodology: The study was conducted with 15,938 Facebook users who responded to poll questions delivered in two phases of the study between 12/16/11 and 3/13/12. The study included 54 brand and model Pages from 10 leading mass-market automotive brands selected primarily based on historical sales and market share. Phase 1 measured owner and Page fan loyalty, and phase 2 measured owner and Page fan likelihood to recommend. Questions included:
Which of the following brands is your primary vehicle?
When you purchase your next vehicle, will you purchase the same brand you currently own?
How likely are you to recommend your primary vehicle’s brand to friends?
Join us tomorrow, Wednesday, April 18th at 11am PDT (2pm EST, 6pm GMT), with Roland Smart, Sr. Director of Product Marketing of Involver as we explore the intersection of social technology, marketing, and creativity.
Guest Speaker: Roland Smart, Sr. Director of Product Marketing of Involver
Time: Wednesday, April 18th at 11am PDT (2pm EST, 6pm GMT)
Involver is part of the marketing developer ecosystem that helps brands build social applications and experiences. During this talk, Roland Smart will share insights on building meaningful connections from a marketing developer standpoint, along with some of his favorite examples of social applications such as the SuperBowl Ad Meter.
The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A with questions from our online audience. Please share this event with your friends and colleagues and post questions in advance on the event page.
Creatives Talk is a series designed to inspire creativity on Facebook. In this series, we welcome creative thought-leaders from many fields, such as storytelling, fashion, TV, advertising, and more, to share how Facebook influences their creative processes.
The Facebook Studio Awards recognize the best social marketing of the year. This year’s winners include work from agencies and brands both large and small from around the world.
The call for entries is open and our team is busy reviewing and publishing your submissions. In addition to the perspectives from this year’s jury members in the video above, here are some quick tips to make sure your submissions are in top shape for awards consideration:
Include video. While not required, video is great for telling your story quickly. Video doesn’t need to be long—many of the best videos are under two minutes.
Submit several relevant images. If the work you did on Facebook is part of a larger integrated effort, make sure the assets you submit show the work you did with Facebook.
Keep the awards criteria in mind when you write your campaign descriptions. Did you make something happen though sharing? Tell us how your work was social by design in your campaign description.
Check out the Spotlight for inspiration. We’re calling out some of the most interesting and successful work in the Spotlight as it is published. If you’re new to Facebook Studio and looking for examples of successful work and submissions, the Spotlight is a great place to start.
Don’t wait. Work submitted after January 15 through the deadline later this year will be considered equally. We know it seems early, but getting your work published now will give it that much more time to be discovered by the community, including potential clients. Submissions with likes and comments will also get noticed by the jury.
We look forward to showcasing your work! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.
Here are some of our latest product news and updates for agencies and brands.
Locations tab will make it easy for people to find your business
We’re updating the Locations tab on the new Pages to make it easy for people to find your business. If your brand has multiple locations, people will be able to visit the Locations tab on your Page and search for your stores by ZIP code or city. For more information on Pages, please read our Pages guide.
BT lets people participate in the creation of its brand story
Check out our latest video case study to learn about BT’s recent campaign on Facebook that invited people to weigh in on wedding decisions for characters from its long-running TV spots. People’s votes shaped how the ceremony played out in the actual commercial, letting them become active participants in creating the telecom brand’s story—not just passive observers of the TV spots. To engage the public, BT posted videos on its Page presenting the choices—a traditional lace, “Swan Lake” or 1930s vintage style for Jane’s dress, for example. Then it used four Premium Ad campaigns to gather votes from people on Facebook. As a result, some 460,000 people voted and campaign awareness increased by 10 points.
Most marketers agree Facebook is a great place to engage with customers and get your message out. But, as we describe in our recent Social Business Blueprints, Facebook can also be a rich business and marketing platform that can make your product and marketing programs more relevant, efficient and effective.
In the Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Facebook, 71% of marketers surveyed believe that companies can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging social media, yet only 41% of said they have fully integrated social media throughout the company and only 33% said they had a long-term strategy for becoming a social business.
Before we could help bridge the gap, we realized we needed to make a distinction between thinking of social exclusively as a communications channel—which might be owned solely by corporate communications or marketing—versus social as a marketing and business platform, with implications for all customer-facing departments. Here are the key differences we identified:
Social as a communications channel:
Social media: Using social networking as a channel to distribute brand messages and motivate people to engage with and share them
Social as a marketing and business platform:
Social marketing: Incorporating social media and technology into the heart of planning your marketing strategy and delivering the brand experience
Social business: A company that uses social media and social technology to improve core businesses processes like product development, market research, customer service, retail and merchandising
With these definitions in mind, we encourage you to create your social strategy. The first question you will have to answer is: Do I have the basics right to build a connected brand? This will require you to know your social identity, get your customers to connect with you, get good at engaging with them and understand how to leverage those engagements to drive influence. You can read more on these steps in the Brand Building Blueprint.
Once you have a plan for getting the basics right, we encourage you to ask yourself how social can be a competitive advantage and how you can start using social as a marketing and business platform throughout your initiatives. To learn more about how social can influence your entire organization and improve your business, please read the Organization Blueprint.
Here are some of our latest product news and updates for agencies and brands.
Updates to Page Insights
We’re making changes to Page Insights to better capture the viral, organic, and total impressions generated when you post on your Page. The updates are designed to give you more insight into what happens when people engage with your Page posts and share them with their friends. If someone shares a Page post, we'll attribute impressions of those shares to impressions from the original Page post. We'll also be capturing Page post impressions on an ongoing basis. Previously, if a post received impressions after 28 days, those numbers weren’t captured. The new data will be reflected in the next few days in Page Insights for all Pages. Read our Page Insights guide to learn more.
Cathay Pacific reaches nearly 30 million friends of fans on Facebook
Check out our latest video case study on Cathay Pacific to learn about its unique “Travel The World in 80 Days” campaign. Instead of telling people about all of its exciting destinations, the Hong Kong-based airline used Facebook to find the perfect brand ambassador to do the job. Cathay ran Facebook Ads to find the right person. The winner, Michael Corey from Canada, embarked on an 80-day adventure around the world and posted about his journey on Facebook as he went. The airline says that Facebook has enabled it to reach the right consumers by country, age and gender like never before. And thanks to its more than 124,000 fans, the airline can now reach nearly 30 million of their friends.
One of the first topics covered in the Social Business Blueprints is organizational design. Getting your organization aligned to execute on a long-term social strategy requires a different type of organizational collaboration and adaptability. As described in the Organization Blueprint, successful organizations have two things in a common: a strong leadership team that is dedicated to building a social strategy and a clear sense of how social can help drive business objectives across the organization.
The Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Facebook as part of this project showed that while 71% of VP-and C-level marketing professionals surveyed believe that companies can gain a competitive advantage by leveraging social media, nearly 70% have not started integrating social into their long-term business strategy. In addition, social ownership is distributed across the organization with many teams having partial ownership. This partial ownership makes it difficult to align objectives and create a comprehensive strategy for how the organization can best leverage social to move the business forward.
The Organization Blueprint makes several recommendations for CMO leadership, including:
Take on social leadership across the enterprise by building social into C-suite business planning and ensuring that social is being leveraged across the organization and customer-facing departments to drive impact
Create a united marketing front to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals by unifying internal social marketing teams as well as orchestrating agency collaboration
Build social into an established process so there is a mechanism to share learning and best practices back into the organization and constantly improve the product and marketing efforts
The Organization Blueprint also highlights how social can help all customer-facing departments achieve their business goals. For more examples and specifics on how social can enhance marketing, public relations, market research, customer service, product development, e-commerce, retail, and merchandising, please read the full paper here.
When Corona Light decided to get on Facebook, there would be no half measures. The brand set the goal of becoming the Most Liked light beer in America. In an effort to thank people for helping Corona Light achieve that, it would post its fans’ photos on a billboard in the world’s media center, Times Square. Within two months, Corona Light increased the size of its fan base from 2,000 to 237,000, and people were incredibly engaged and excited. Mark George of Pereira & O'Dell sat down to tell us more about the bold campaign that established Corona Light as the country’s Most Liked light beer.
What were the objectives of the Corona Light “Most Liked” campaign?
Corona Light had never officially been on Facebook or had any real digital marketing presence. Unaided awareness of the beer was low, at around 10 percent. We knew that we had to get people talking about Corona Light. We also knew that we couldn’t migrate the existing 2,000 fans to a new brand-managed page and then just expect people to come. We needed to announce our presence on Facebook in a meaningful way, make Corona Light top of mind with a new audience and reward that audience for wanting to be a part of our brand. In other words, we needed to create a movement.
So how did you engage that new audience?
We came up with the idea of making Corona Light the Most Liked light beer in America. It was a lofty goal. A key component would be to grow our fan base, but we also wanted to give people a reason to get behind the brand. So we decided that if a fan liked Corona on Facebook, we would put the fan’s photo up in Times Square as a thank you for joining our movement. People were very excited. A security camera across from the billboard took a shot of every fan’s photo when it was on view in Times Square and posted it to that fan’s Facebook wall. This was an important aspect to the campaign because it enabled us to reach out across people’s networks when they shared it with friends and commented on it. One of the coolest things that we observed was the sheer number of people who changed their profile picture to their Times Square photo. That was a wonderful thing to see.
Was the campaign integrated with other media?
The big piece was the billboard in Times Square. Our TV spot had a call to action to like us on Facebook. We had a lot of online banners running, all driving traffic to Facebook. We also ran Facebook Ads, targeted by demographic, keyword and region that were wildly successful. A huge piece of the significant fan growth is due to the success of the Facebook Ads, which helped our message spread to friends of our fans.
How did you measure the campaign’s success?
When we launched in October, we set the goal of reaching 100,000 Facebook fans by December. Well, in that amount of time we ended up with more than 237,000 fans. From our perspective this was unbelievably successful and exceeded all of our expectations. We also saw increased engagement on the Corona Light page; we had more people posting on our wall, engaging with posts and sharing content with friends. Those metrics were important to us and we saw a significant uptick in all of them. Corona Light went from being a brand with no representation on Facebook to having an incredibly dynamic and active fan base. Mission accomplished.
Now that you have all of hundreds of thousands of fans, what are you doing to keep them engaged?
When we first sat down and talked about becoming the Most Liked light beer, we asked ourselves how the Most Liked light beer in America would act and what kind of things the brand would do. We then set out to accomplish these goals. For one, we would give back to charity. We partnered with the V Foundation and created a tab for them on our page. We donated $1 to the foundation for every person who liked us in the month of December. The Most Liked light beer would also give prizes to its fans, so we created “The Big Like Back.” If you liked our page, you were automatically entered into a raffle and could be selected to win a surfboard or other swag. We are using our philanthropy and giveaways to continue to engage our fans. We are rolling out more initiatives to continually reward people for being part of our movement and helping us be the most liked.
Did you submit a photo for display in Times Square?
Absolutely! We all want our five minutes of fame. But seriously, one of the first things we always look at when we think about projects is whether or not this is something that we would want to do ourselves. When we came up with the Times Square idea, everyone immediately said that of course they would want to participate. Last Thanksgiving I told my mom that we needed to be in Times Square at 1 p.m. on Black Friday. She had no idea why I wanted to be there so badly. The photo I had uploaded of our family was due to be up on the billboard at 1 p.m. My mom was blown away. I snapped a photo on my camera and we actually used it as our Christmas card that year. I think it’s easy to create marketing campaigns in a vacuum and never really stop and think about whether it’s something you’d want to be part of. This was one of those times when everyone felt like yes, I want to be part of this.
Do you have any advice for agencies or clients developing campaigns on Facebook?
First and foremost, what are the target consumers already doing? Can you observe through Facebook what gets people excited about the brand and see if there’s a way to leverage that? Secondly, are there creative ways to use the Facebook platform that haven’t been used before? There are so many tools at your disposal on Facebook; it’s just a question of combining them in the right way to help bring an idea to life.
Mark George is a Senior Account Executive at Pereira & O'Dell in San Francisco. Learn more about Corona’s evolution on Facebook in this video.
Here are some of our latest product news and updates for agencies and brands.
Check-in numbers on Pages will be updated in the next few weeks
We will be revising the total check-in number on Facebook Pages to provide a more accurate picture of how people are visiting your business. If someone checks into your business multiple times within a 12-hour period, that action will be counted as one unique check-in. Previously, if an individual checked into your business multiple times, each check-in was tallied toward your Page’s total number of check-ins.
When people tag their friends at your business location and upload a photo, those photo tags will be counted in aggregate. For example, if someone uploaded 20 photos to an album from a specific location, we'll now count that as a single check-in. But if someone checks in to a location and tags five friends in the photo they upload with the check-in, the total check-ins number will be six—that person’s check-in plus those for their five friends.
Reminder: Upgrade to the new Pages design by March 30
All Pages will be upgraded to the new design on Friday March 30. Check out our Pages Product Guide to find out how to best express your brand’s identity with new features like cover photo and Page timeline.
Case study: Aveeno sees 7% increase in sales with a key retailer after a Facebook sampling campaign
Watch the case study to learn how Johnson & Johnson used Facebook to help launch the skin care and hair care brand in Australia. The company decided to do a sampling campaign since it realized people would buy the product after having the chance to try it. When consumers ordered the sample on the Aveeno Discoverers Page on Facebook, they received not just the sample but also a coupon to buy it. The company not only exhausted all of its samples in a week—but also saw sales of the product increase 7% at a key retailer after the integrated campaign. To view other case studies, visit our Success Stories site.
Last week we introduced the Social Business Blueprints and this week we wanted to focus on brand building in the connected world as a follow-up to our Brand Blueprint. The Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Facebook as part of this project showed that 76 percent of the marketers surveyed think social media is important for brand building, and 72 percent think it’s important for customer loyalty. We are often asked how brands get built in the connected world. The real question though, is how do I build a connected brand?
People are increasingly relying on their friends to learn about brands, make purchase decisions and engage with brands in social situations. These conversations about brands are happening in social channels all the time. To make sure your brand is guiding that conversation and taking advantage of the opportunity to deepen relationships with your customers, you must build a connected brand.
The Brand Blueprint outlines six steps marketers can take to become a connected brand.
Articulate: Define the brand’s social identity so you communicate in a unique, compelling, and authentic voice.
Connect: Find you best and most likely customers and give them a reason to like or follow you in social channels.
Engage: Interact with people by making brand communications and content more personally relevant and participative.
Influence: Inspire and enable people to share stories and messages about your brand.
Integrate: Build social into the brand and product experience to make it more cohesive and useful.
Rejuvenate: Use insights from social channels to continuously monitor your brand’s health and improve the brand experience.
For more on building a connected brand and for a checklist to help you assess how to evolve your brand for the connected world, please read the Brand Blueprint.