Zavy Deep Dive: Which Auto Brands Are Strongest On Social Media?

Zavy Deep Dive: Which Auto Brands Are Strongest On Social Media?

The Zavy scoreboard here on B&T shows a range of brands across categories – from insurers to television channels, retailers and airlines. This month, we’re kicking off a series that uses Zavy insights to zoom in on specific categories, and understand the strategies driving the best brand building on social media. First up, we’re looking at automotive.

It’s hard to do a test-drive in a pandemic. In 2020, vehicle sales reduced by 13.7 per cent in Australia, picking up again to pre-pandemic levels in June 2021, just before July lockdowns started in Victoria and NSW. We know that around 88 per cent of buyers research their next vehicle online, and that 60 per cent of these buyers take over six months to make a purchase. What does this mean? Smart marketers in this category will be focused on reaching their audiences in innovative ways and driving mental availability and presence during that extended and deep consideration period.

But, automative marketing, overall, is “lagging behind, according to Tom Treanor, writing for Forbes:

“Automotive companies are used to buying TV ads and primetime broadcast spots, yet the live television-viewing audience continues to drift to streaming services. That has only increased during the pandemic. Beyond that, the true impact of TV ads is hard to track, as more people multitask and check their phones, mute commercials or walk away from the screen during breaks. To stay competitive, automotive companies will need to embrace digital marketing tactics, where they can more closely track how ad spend influences buying decisions.”

Digging into the Australian automotive category on Zavy

We can see the brands who are embracing social media channels as a way to reach their audiences in our Australian automative scoreboard, which shows, that this year, Audi has been in the lead, closely followed by Ford. Audi has almost double the score of Kia, which is taking third place. What does this tell us? Well, that there’s lots of opportunity to for these brands to take their social media marketing in to a higher gear (excuse the pun).

Looking at our Pulse graph below, we can see that from February to April, Zavy scores are clustered, then, whether due to reduced marketing budgets or adjusted strategies, the majority of the brands’ scores reduce – leaving Audi (the black line) to take break away.

What’s driving Audi’s success?

It’s not necessarily frequency or volume of posts, but engagement across the board for Audi. Take a look at the Pages chart from Zavy below. You can see that by engagement metrics, comments, likes, and shares, only two brands really stand out, Toyota (seventh from the left), and Audi (second from the right). Audi’s high level of likes suggests there is quite an investment behind their Facebook activity. By comparison, Toyota is seeing engagement via valuable shares and comments. Meanwhile, brands like VW and Nissan have high follower numbers, but low engagement.

A smart content strategy from Audi

From what we can see, Audi’s success is strategic and clearly flow across deliberate content pillars that resonate with audiences. These content pillars make sense during a time when people are feeling nostalgic, keen for escapism, and investigating more sustainable ways of getting around:

  • Retro and vintage design – giving fans opportunities to reminice and share photos of their family’s old Audis in the comments.
  • Domestic travel escape – associating Audi with iconic Australian roads and journeys, with fans sharing their hopes for a holiday somewhere new soon.
  • Electric technology performance – showing Audi’s advanced electric cars, and giving their followers the chance to sound off and debate in the comments.

In Zavy, we can see that 8 of top 10 posts of the year to date are Audi, whilst Toyota claim the #1 and #7 spot purely off the back of their new Landcruiser (which is an icon).

This has resulted in the below, where Toyota achieved higher numbers of shares and comments for the sum of its activity than any other brand, but Audi has extremely high sentiment, and is achieving comparable engagement levels.

So through smart social media investment, a consistent content strategy and engaging posts, we’re seeing Audi lead their category in social media. And with Zavy, we can see the impact this work is having on Audi’s brand building – high engagement and sentiment soars above others in the category.

Want to see where your brand sits in a Zavy scoreboard? Sign up here.


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