When it comes to Twitter, the car brand in front is a Toyota. Research from Auto Trader and social media analytics platform, BirdSong, suggests that Toyota is miles ahead of the field, partly due to strong engagement outside normal office hours when consumers are most ready to engage.
Toyota scored 76 points on a collation of metrics including presence, engagement and activity, 21 points ahead of second place Nissan, followed by Citroën and Fiat. The @ToyotaGB account was also the most effective in the entire auto industry, according to the October leader board of 647 accounts.
“We know that car buyers are looking to engage with brands in the evening, with peak research times coming between 6 and 9 pm”, said Nick King, Auto Trader Market Research Director. “With 64% of research happening after 6pm, it makes absolute sense to have a social media strategy that does not switch off after 5pm or at weekends. Out of hours multi-screening is now the norm and brands that ignore this fundamental change in buying behaviour will start to lose ground to trail-blazers like Toyota.”
The research also looked at the franchise network and independent dealers. With dealerships in Reading, Guildford, Hatfield and London, Porsche Retail Group’s @PorscheRetail topped the franchise leader board with a BirdSong Twitter score of 50. Its Twitter presence was judged to mix inspirational images from related accounts like Club Monaco, with local updates such as support for St. Albans Fashion Week. Second and third spots were taken by Arnold Clark and Pendragon respectively.
“The largest franchise groups typically have numerous accounts, some managing over 20 profiles covering different franchises and locations, and that can potentially lead to problems” said Jim Haysom, Consultant and former Business Development Director at Auto Trader, who worked with BirdSong to compile the research. “Dealers should focus on creating a social strategy and fully committing to it for all profiles. The best campaigns can be spoiled if dealers are tweeting the wrong type of content to the wrong audience at the wrong time.