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Old 23rd October 2009, 18:48   #1
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I came across various profiles of a number of automobile companies on social media sites. All of them are there on twitter and facebook and what not !

How far do you think it works? They do provide some useful information and updates on products. Tech savvy people get benefited by it. But the number of people influenced by this are not many, according to me.

Chip in.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 18:58   #2
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Interesting topic.

Most companies are moving towards having a twitter feed or facebook page these days because its an untapped pool of younger customers, its virtually free to do (great for those recently downsized advertising budgets) and its also become sort of a trend lately.

One very successful and well done example of using social media to propagate a brand was Mitsubishi's recent "Great Drive Challenge".

Check out the thread here : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...challenge.html (Mitsubishi Cedia : Great driving Challenge.)

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Old 23rd October 2009, 19:05   #3
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1) There is one member from Skoda here on TBHP and the handle is " Skoda.Corporate ".
Till now no steps are taken.

2) Most of the times, even email is treated as free glorified trash cans. I wonder how these public faces of manufacturers are helpful. First question is who is actually behind the profile and what are powers in his hands. Are they just a layer to absorb dissatisfaction details from customers or are these profiles fake ?

I think for our country, this will take years to develop. Even in person the problems are not resolved, how will the internet help ?
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Old 23rd October 2009, 19:08   #4
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I'm sure they are active here too. Ironically I met with a online media company today to get some work done and was informed the discrete methods these bloggers use.
They make common user names with nothing linked to the company and indirectly market the brand on forum/blogs in least obvious ways.

They are hard to track but they are definatly amongst us!
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Old 23rd October 2009, 19:14   #5
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Interesting answers by Rehaan and aaggoswami !
Two conflicting views actually. I have heard a lot of conflicting views on this issue from general people. So precisely for that reason, I thought of asking people who eat sleep and drink cars !

Rehaan mentioned the Great Drive Challenge. Thats one good example. I think internet is the medium to reach people. What actually does the trick is what you do with those people when they come in touch with you. The Great Drive Challenge actually made people take an active part in the process. Facebook, Twitter and Orkut are slightly in a different league in my opinion.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 19:18   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
I'm sure they are active here too. Ironically I met with a online media company today to get some work done and was informed the discrete methods these bloggers use.
They make common user names with nothing linked to the company and indirectly market the brand on forum/blogs in least obvious ways.

They are hard to track but they are definatly amongst us!
That explains a lot of Fiat and Honda threads!

But I think its really good for these companies to be a part of the forum. It tells them what the public thinks and that should translate into giving the public what we want in the future.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 19:31   #7
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I know Ford is using actively using social media to promote their cars.

Article excerpt from BusinessWeek - Ford Spending 25% of Marketing on Digital and Social Media - BusinessWeek

Excerpt- Perhaps Ford’s biggest single bet on digital and social media has been the Fiesta Movement, a program that began in 2008, 18 months before the cars will actually arrive in dealerships. Ford gave 100 European Fiestas to people to drive and live with. The results of the blogging, Facebooking, Youtubing and Tweeting by those people, plus the echoing of those messages by the blogosphere, followers, etc. has been an eye opener.

Another article on how its helping Ford sell cars - Ford Fiesta Movement: Can Social Media Sell Cars?

I also noticed Ford India used bit of Social Media during the launch of Ford Figo.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 20:02   #8
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Even those trial runs in broad day-light with minimal camouflage are all directed towards this end. IMO, it doesnt take much to camouflage a car better.

eg:
* The Figo shots that Benny had first posted - they could have done better.
* Tata's new SUV / Safari upgrade : they could have used different tail lights & hub caps.
* Ford Ikon TDCi : they could have used the old bonnet itself and kept the car running as if it was an old model Ikon.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 20:59   #9
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Interesting. With information easily available, Auto manufacturers' move towards social media is a sign of times. As we see in gaming industry, this is surely going to do atleast one thing, bring out a breed of very very sensitive fanboys. But that would be the yin to the yang of better public relations and transparency.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 21:03   #10
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Here is another campaign by Nissan for their car CUBE. I dont think it will be launched in India soon.
Another Cool Car, Another Social Media Marketing Campaign | Autopia | Wired.com

And why go far .. the recently launched TATA Manza also has a social media campaign going with Facebook and Twitter pages. Came across those a few days ago...
Manza (IndulgeInManza) on Twitter

Both these campaigns sound impressive. Atleast the Manza one is okay since it keeps givin updates at regular intervals. Somone who is interested in Manza can use it. Point is .. how far does this persuade people to buy.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 21:10   #11
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It may not compel people to buy. Just like advertising, people will evaluate even when using social media. Eventually, a manufacturer who is really good on his updates on twitter or any other social media, will have that attitude rub off on the entire manufacturing/selling processes. IMHO, this is a good beginning and with time will evolve into something where customer is no more "cusht mar".
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Old 23rd October 2009, 21:15   #12
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I guess the company should be really careful when using tools like Facebook to sell their products. While there is a lot of opportunity to promote a product, the strategy can also backfire.

Honda Accord Crosstour | Facebook

Honda Accord Crosstour Damaged In Facebook Hit and Run

Honda responds to fans on Accord Crosstour’s Facebook fan page - egmCarTech

Official Honda Crosstour Facebook page all lit up with early negativity [w/POLL] — Autoblog
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Old 23rd October 2009, 21:17   #13
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Yeah well said. I think this also provides the manufacturers an opportuity to target specific customers. So the right kind of people get the message all the time.
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Old 23rd October 2009, 21:32   #14
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Maruti Suzuki A-Star (SuzukiAStar) on Twitter
Maruti Suzuki A-star | Facebook

my addition to the list...
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Old 26th October 2009, 00:15   #15
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Oh cool. That Ford Fiesta campaign was quite unique ! But if I was the guy who was interested in a car and liked it, thought of buying it, would i wait for 6-8 months for the car to get launched.. i mean my mind would be off it in a few weeks. By the time the fiesta is launched, i would have bought some other car !. Dont you think this might have happened ??
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