Auto unveilings enhanced using Facebook, Twitter

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Photo taken from the interior of a car just unveiled at an auto show. Audience, camerapeople and emcees are visible.

A new car unveiling is an event too big for a mere auto show. Facebook and Twitter are picking up the slack. (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Esther Dyson/Wikidi)

Auto unveiling used to be the exclusive domain of car shows. With social media like Facebook and Twitter, however, automakers are able to transform the experience into customizable entertainment for new car enthusiasts far and wide, notes Automotive News.

Automotive marketing in an on-demand world

“On demand” has become a common element in today’s entertainment world, thanks to the Internet and countless streaming media providers. Automakers have come to recognize this in recent years, notes Ford Motor Co. Social Media Director Scott Monty.

“The notion of must-see anything has really gone to on-demand,” he said. “No longer is a one-size-fits-all marketing approach appropriate.”

Automotive marketing through such avenues as Facebook, Twitter and mobile apps has been an easy fit. Various automakers have utilized their social media crew to create apps that appear to be just a game on the surface, but at the heart sits a great advertising opportunity. Logo placement in place of a standard “start” button quickly leads to the revealing of exciting new models on the horizon for the automaker in question.

Then comes the game

The game reinforces the brand message. By accomplishing tasks within the game, the user is driven deeper into a seamless experience that melds game and advertising. The balance is striking.

Social media is becoming more and more a part of everything that we do rather than just an add-on for a single vehicle,” Monty says. “With the app, even if they’re not following the tweets coming out of Cobo or not following the live-stream video or broadcast coverage, they have another way of seeing the car in a customizable way to them.”

The power of Facebook teasers

While some automakers use apps to unveil exciting new designs to the public, others use Facebook teasers to get the point across. Fan pages for General Motors, Buick, Nissan, Chrysler and Dodge showcase what’s happening at the Detroit Auto Show. In December, Nissan released the silhouette of its new Pathfinder concept, which had yet to make its auto show debut in Detroit. Nissan used Facebook in a similar fashion before and during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, notes company spokesman Brian Brockman. This included the unveiling of the Infiniti JX.

Buick is more of a newcomer to Facebook, but as company social media manager Rebecca Harris told Automotive News, Buick has already embraced the medium.

“I think the majority of the folks we’re communicating with are folks we don’t normally communicate with,” she said. “It’s a place where people might be looking at us that might not be looking at us in a normal, everyday setting like a dealer.”

Harris remarked that Buick has more than the traditional unveilings in store for Facebook and Twitter followers.

Twitter 101 for automotive dealers


Automotive News


Fast Company

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