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Social Media & Big Brands: Using Social for Communication

2011 January 12
by Ann Smarty

*Learning what others do to succeed online inspires you to get creative add as well*

From Toyota to Chrysler, Ford to General Motors, it seems all of the best automobile makers have moved into social media communications.

Focusing on flash campaigns, viral videos, and big reveals at auto shows like the North American International, these auto magnates have been more or less successful with social media. What differentiates the successful, with more than 100,000 views on viral videos and Facebook pages, from those still waiting to make an impression online?


With the best brands, there have been steady innovations. At the Detroit Auto Show of 2011, Toyota not only unveiled an entire line of their beloved Prius, but they did so with A.) A contest geared towards younger users, B.) A viral video with a famous international skater before the unveiling, and C.) An unrelated event (Toyotathon Shareathon) that took place beforehand, warming up lines of communication for the main event. Others have acted similarly and been successful, like the new Porsche Plug-In, which has been teased for months.


Other brands such as Kia have tried desperately to do the same thing, releasing zombie-attack videos, tweeting constantly in order to keep their public pre-heated, and winning Ad of the Year for Kia Soul Hamsters. Although a grossly successful commercial, in and of itself, the results did not necessarily cross into dollars for Kia. Using social media, Kia may have noticed, is trickier than getting viewers (and more about analytics, audience tailoring, and promoting a single, clear brand image).

Mini Cooper

Another brand that seems to know social media and younger users (and drivers) incredibly well is the CEO of Mini Cooper. Challenging Porsche to a race via YouTube, then reacting with an equally entertaining video when he was denied, Mini Cooper successfully left the impression in people’s minds that it can and would beat Porsche in a race. Owning a Mini has never seemed so cool.

Clearly, the big brands are entering the rostrum of social media, but only a select few, like Mini Cooper and Toyota, have made a success of it so far.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. January 14, 2011

    It is a relieve to know that some big companies also use the power of social media since it is confirmed that social media is truly a real for marketing.

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