It could pay to be a car fan spamming Facebook feeds on February 8, 2013, the day before the 2013 Chicago Auto Show opens to the public.
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Tweeting about problems with your car could help lead to a recall and so could talking about it on Facebook.
According to consumer research discussed at the Telematics Detroit 2012 Conference, social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter are among the lowest priorities when it comes to in-car connectivity features consumers want in their vehicles.
Three time Olympic Gold Medal sprinter Usain Bolt and Nissan Motor Co. have joined forces for a new marketing campaign. Dubbed “WHAT IF” the campaign is designed to tantalize the senses, highlighting Nissan’s vehicles and technologies designed to “excite,” such as the GT-R supercar.
Imagine if you condensed the time you spend commuting annually into one long stretch. It adds up to about a month and an organization in Canada is looking for individuals willing to do it in one shot for cash.
Social media is a great way to keep in contact with friends, family and share baby photos with one another, but it can also be used for finding a favorable car dealership. Thats according to a new study released just on the eve of Facebook’s IPO.
Among the notable names in the automotive industry, Carroll Shelby’s is easily one of the most recognizable. Known for his racing career and for his prowess as an auto tuner and businessman, he is a storied hero to many enthusiasts.
New evidence suggests there’s a reason behind people flocking to that guy with the cool car, well sort of. Having a hot car and the data in the study probably aren’t very related, but it looks like being a car fan on Facebook means you’re likely to have more friends.
According to research conducted by the social media giant, being a little car crazy (as many of us are) means you’re statistically likely to have three times the number of friends, on Facebook that is.
The study examined 15,938 Facebook users between December and March and found that the average person who “liked” an automaker has 433 friends on the network — three times the average. Apparently 82 percent of fans that both liked a brand and own one of its cars are likely to recommend the same company to a friend — 13 percent more than owners who haven’t “‘liked” the marque.
Facebook interaction is a far cry from actually spending time with other auto enthusiasts, but there isn’t any reason why people can’t congregate and discuss within the venue just like they would on an enthusiast forum. The discussion topics and content will probably never find the same depth, but how can you criticize an enhancement for gear heads who already use the service?
Social media is quickly becoming a one-stop-shop for all things info-related. Even the humble team at AutoGuide has a Facebook fan page.
The Facebook game gives users and four of his or her friends the opportunity to create a short virtual trip in the new Ford electric vehicle, using MapQuest mapping data to calculate how far a destination is in relation to available charging stations nearby.
Ford Focus Electric marketing manager Chad D’Arcy says, “This is a great way for consumers to both have fun and learn about the new Focus Electric at the same time. We want to offer people the opportunity to experience the car now, especially those on Facebook who have supported us for so long.”
Throwing a curve ball right down the media’s throat, Lotus issued a press release today that aimed to disarm and diffuse the flurry of speculation and jokes.
It did so by writing in completely unacademic, and some might argue, unprofessional style. Above the text, a borrowed copy of Sniff Petrol’s satirical photo (seen above) that portrays CEO Dany Bahar as “Baghdad Bob,” Iraq’s ex-information minister notorious for insisting things were fine.
Here’s a quick recap of what lead into today’s hilarious SNAFU.
Recently, Ford and Facebook engineers got together for a 24-hour “Hackathon” at Facebook’s Palo Alto campus, brainstorming new ways to socialize the car with one of the world’s most popular social media platforms.
This hackaton (it’s a brief, intense coding event with no restrictions that brings programmers together to create breakthrough technology) was the inspiration for some pretty interesting ideas that could be integrated into Ford’s SYNC system.
A few of cool ideas included the ability to check in as soon you turn off your car, listen to songs that friends have posted on their walls and check out places your friends have liked. There’s also the possibility of the SYNC system checking to see if your friends are nearby and requesting directions to their location, and notifying your friends of an estimated time of arrival if you’re running late.
The ideas generated at the event were demoed at the end of the hackathon, and Ford took a few of the best ideas to further develop at the automaker’s Dearborn labs.
You can check out a video of the hackathon event after the jump.
You never forget your first car, it’s special. Now Subaru wants you to share your story. As part of its 2012 Subaru Impreza campaign, the automaker has launched FirstCarStory.com, a cool site that lets you tell the story of your first car with animation.
Using an animation generator, you’re able to lovingly recreate your first car and share it with the world via an animated video, complete with music and narration. Then, using text-to-video technology, FirstCarStory.com turns words and phrases into custom animations.
Here’s how it works: the site’s home page features the car generator, which you can use to recreate your first car down to the smallest detail. Then you move onto story entry page, where you type out the story behind the car. Once you’ve finished typing it out, the animation generator tool isolates key words and populates visuals. As well, you can pick key words and phrases that highlight your story.
If you really want to make your story stand out, you can a personal narrative to go along with the animation. To finish it off, you choose a soundtrack to complete the video.
And what good is a great story without an audience to view your masterpiece? It’s a good thing you can tag your Facebook friends in the video. As well, you can share the video across a variety of social media platforms and see how your story shared common elements with other stories on the user community.
Start working on your directorial debut on the FirstCarStory.com website.
Teen drivers need to be extra vigilant on the roads – especially in winter. This isn’t just about distracted driving… it’s also about staying on top of proper car maintenance at a time when roads are at its worst.
According to a Consumer Reports survey, 40 percent of drivers postpone car maintenance or repairs, and drivers 18 to 34 years old are the most likely to put off work on brake pads or tires – items that are necessary for safe everyday driving. By cutting corners on proper car maintenance, a teen driver’s risk of getting into a car accident in inclement weather increases, as does their long-term car care costs.
To help combat this issue, Honeywell Friction Materials presents “Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety.” This social media campaign educates parents and teens about how important it is to keep up your car’s maintenance. Here are a few handy and easy tips to keep in mind:
• Change your wiper blades when you change your oil and check your fluid reservoirs once a month during the winter.
• When you brakes start to squeal, it’s time to change the brake pads, and if you here grinding noises, that signals a more serious problem. Get a certified technician to check out both noises immediately to prevent costly repairs.
• Do a tire tread test with a quarter – if you can see the top of Washington’s head, it’s time for new tires.
• Your car contains a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, so make sure the level is full and the mixture is accurate.
Visit Bendix Brakes for Teen Safety on Facebook or YouTube for information on getting teen drivers ready for winter. We’ve included a Bendix video after the jump – it’s a humorous stand-up routine that pokes fun at teens and winter drivers.
In the days leading up to the super bowl, Twitter users were spammed by a whole army of Toyota’s verified Twitter accounts. Users who tweeted anything in regards to the big game, especially with hashtags of #Giants, or #Patriots, were sent a reply by one of Toyota’s Camry Effect Accounts, informing that person about the contest. Even unsuspecting Twitter users were spammed; those who never even mentioned the Super Bowl.
Eventually, after many complaints, all but one of the Camry Effect accounts were suspended, and the remaining account was then switched to Private, making last night’s tweets only available to those that Toyota allow.
Later, Kimberley Gardiner, Toyota’s social media manager commented on the situation. “We apologize to anyone in the Twitter-verse who received an unwanted @reply over the past few days. We were excited to share the message of our Camry Effect campaign in a new way and it was never our intention to displease anyone. We’ve certainly learned from this experience and have suspended the accounts effective immediately to avoid any additional issues.”
Toyota is taking the blame, although it’s not entirely clear the automaker was in full control. Toyota employs the services of ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi, which in turn sub-contracts some of its work to social media marketing agency known as American Pop. A representative of American Pop has contacted AutoGuide to distance itself from the campaign, however, with Gipson Bachman, the Director of Digital Strategy commenting that, “our company was
not responsible for the tweets you received from Toyota’s efforts…”
Toyota will be launching a “Shazam Campaign” similar to that of The Camry Effect with the 2013 Lexus GS. The idea is that while watching TV, viewers can use the Shazam app on their mobile phone to gain extra TV content, media on the Lexus GS, and a chance to win “a custom travel package.” Hopefully, there will be less reliance on spamming twitter this time around.
DriveSRT posted a sign on their Facebook fan page last week saying they would release a teaser of the 2013 SRT Viper if the number of “likes” they got exceeded 10,000 before February 1.
Needless to say, it did so without much difficulty. We published an article last Friday talking about the fan page. The Viper’s return is sure to be one of the more exciting things to happen this year. We’re extremely eager to see how the 8.4-liter, 600 hp V-10 we saw in 2010 has evolved. Dodge cars are seeing some serious changes, like the 2013 Dart, under new owner Fiat.
It’s been a good thing: according to the Detroit Free Press, Chrysler is expected to report its first annual net profit since 1997 at $600 million. That said, we’re curious to see how much of the raw America spirit the Viper maintains.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below.
GALLERY: SRT Viper Teaser
If there’s really such a thing as car porn, then DriveSRT is the fluffer. They’re offering to release a teaser video of the 2013 SRT Viper if their Facebook fan page gets 10,000 hits before February 1.
Enthusiasts are aware, but in case you somehow missed it, Dodge discontinued the Viper in 2010 because of money problems to much hissing by the automotive community.
While any information on the iconic car is a titillating promise, we’re starting to feel a little teased. As of publication, their page had well over 10,000 “Likes” and that number grew larger every time we tapped the refresh button.
The 2013 Viper is one of the more exciting releases slated for this year and we’re feeling as impatient as a high school senior on prom night. The page says they are “racing towards 10,000 fans” and that they will unlock something that will hint at the lines before the official unveiling in April.
We’re not sure if they mean that this “unlocking” will happen on February 1, or if they’re just taking their sweet time on giving up the goods. Your best bet is to check the page frequently, though we’ll be doing the same and letting everyone know as soon as we get a glimpse.
Automakers have seen the benefits that social media can have on its brands, and as a result, are spending more time (and money) cultivating a presence on these online channels. And this effort is paying off – especially for Nissan. Nissan North America has been interacting with fans of its brands through social media and building a loyal brand following.
Nissan is seeing increased fan interaction on the big three social media venues: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Nissan ranked #8 on list of Top 15 Brands on Twitter for 2011 (as indexed by HootSuite), joining other famous brands such as Apple and Nike. Boasting more than 75,000 Twitter followers across various Nissan brand accounts, the automaker is following the lead of automakers that like to tweet. Take Lexus – the luxury brand is rated the most active tweeter when it comes to automakers, conversing with 288,000 followers… not too shabby.
Nissan is also making great strides with its Facebook account. The company has passed the 500,000 likes count, thanks it part to the all-new Pathfinder Concept reveal that can be accessed by liking Nissan’s Facebook page. Nissan still has a way to go before catching up with BMW’s Facebook page, which boasts over 7,000,000 fans.
Considering how popular online videos are, it’s no surprise that Nissan is having increased success on YouTube. The Nissan channel views have jumped to 10,000,000, thanks to frequent and updated video content.
As a lead-in to a range of new products planned for introduction this year, Lexus is putting together its first ever Superbowl commercial, which will air during the first half of this year’s game on February 5th on NBC.
The almost Super 8 esque 30-second commercial, centers around the new 2013 Lexus GS, which officially launches in February, as well as emphasizing future products to come (catch a sneak peek below).
In the run up to the Superbowl XLVI commercial, Lexus is also launching a social media activation tool called “TweetDrive Engineered by Lexus.” This airs live on NBCSports.com and will provide football fans with the opportunity to put both their knowledge of the game and social media skills to the test during the actual Playoffs, according to Lexus’ vice-president of marketing Brian Smith.
The objective is for each fan to gain enough yards on the “field” so their “team” can score a touchdown, by providing the correct answers to both trivia and predictive game questions, using a Lexus TweetDrive hash tag.
For every Playoff game in which fans play TweetDrive, they are entered into a draw for a grand prize, which is a trip for two to any NBC Sports Premium Event.
Watch the teaser video below:
Mark Zuckerberg, the introverted king of social media, has his fingers in so many pies that it’s starting to look like he grew a few thousand extra hands.
To be fair, it’s not so much Zuckerberg having a hand in Mercedes as it is Mercedes integrating Facebook into their new cars. Nonetheless, the fact that it’s happening and that this isn’t the first instance, means Facebook is evolving far beyond anything other social media tools creators could have fathomed.
We published a story late last week that talked about Mercedes’ mbrace2 technology, but at the time there wasn’t as much information as there is after the company elaborated.
Since then we’ve learned that the cloud-based apps previously mentioned will include Google, Yelp and -you guessed it- Facebook.
Feel free to debate the merits of checking your friends newsfeed or status update in the comments below, wasn’t that part of why we all started buying smart phones?
Regardless, other manufacturers are doing it, and Mercedes insists their adoption of the technology is just representative of staying on the cutting edge. Aside from keeping up with your BFF’s latest relationship quibbles, mbrace2 will let you stay up to date on news and events via a real-time concierge service.
Some people might look at this and feel a pang of nostalgia for when cars ran on gas, got fixed with wrenches and had little more than a spare tire and owners manual packaged with it from the dealer. Then again, the allure of being constantly connected could prove to be a seller. Expect mbrace2 in the MY13 SL-Class.
German automakers like BMW and Audi aren’t shy about tooting their own horn when it comes to Facebook followers. BMW has long lead the pack and currently lists almost seven million fans on the “social network”.
But Facebook isn’t the only social media in town and increasingly Twitter is attracting new users. Here’s it’s not the Germans that lead the way, though Audi has a strong presence with 174,000 followers. Nor is it mainstream automakers with companies like Chevrolet, Toyota and Ford tallying 46,000; 69,000 and 95,000 followers respectively. Rather, the automaker most active in the 140 character or less format is luxury brand Lexus, with over 288,000 followers.
To find out why that is, AutoGuide spoke with Lexus Prestige Communications Manager, Nancy Hubbell. “Lexus is committed to engaging with our fans,” she says. “We tweet regularly, respond to tweets and do things like trivia contests and live tweets from special events.”
Experts will tell you the key to success in social media is interaction. A one-way stream of information won’t do much for your brand. “Perhaps the most important thing that happens through Twitter is that we solve any customer issues that may arise,” says Hubbell, who explains that Lexus has a dedicated team of customer service reps who’s job it is to track down problems and solve them. “Lexus believes in exceeding customers’ expectations and, to do that, we need to be where they are,” continues Hubbell, “Now, more than even, that’s on social media sites.”
Easily the most original of Lexus’ social media activities is tied into a more face-to-face social interaction program where Lexus hosts a dinner party at a customer’s house. “Lexus’ Coventant says we will treat each customer as a guest in our home,” Says Hubbell. “With these dinners we treat customers as guests in THEIR homes.” Lexus brings in a “top-notch chef” and all the party requirements, and just asks that the individual takes care of inviting the guests. Lexus General Manager Mark Templin acts as host and Hubbell comes along, live-tweeting the evening – with discussion often revolving around Lexus products, or cars in general. Hubbell starts the online portion of the evening with a “Bon Appetweet” tweet, “then I relay the conversation at the dinner and reply to people who tweet back, so we get an online conversation going.”
Chevrolet is using social media as a “sampling source”, so if you’ve got some pull on social media hubs, you could be sampling the Chevy Sonic for three days.
Working with Klout, a company that rates and ranks a person’s “social influence,” Chevrolet is trying out a new kind of sampling program for people with social media influence. This could be bloggers or Twitter-savvy individuals who have a Klout score of at least 35 (scores range from zero to 100 and measure a person’s social influence). These people will then have the chance to “sample” the 2012 Sonic for three days. The program, which started in November and runs through December 14, has already generated quite a buzz, with complimentary blog posts and about 2,000 tweets so far. People who test drive the car can say whatever they would like about the car, whether it be positive, negative, or nothing at all.
“It’s effective for getting out the message,” said Cristi Vazquez, a Chevrolet spokeswoman in Detroit. “One of the things we’ve found is that the best way to get people to change their perception about our company is to get them behind the wheel.”
For this sampling program, 139 test drives will be offered in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco, with about four or five Sonics available in each city.
[Source: Automotive News]