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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: March 2010



It’s getting pretty interesting on Facebook these days. Facebook is finally making brand Fan pages, oops I mean Like pages – more on that later, clearly pages owned by brands. Unofficial pages will soon move to the new Facebook Community pages designation with some changes in functionality, plus if they reach some threshold of fans they turn into community ran pages (think Wiki.)

The Like pages, okay they will still be called Fan Pages, will change a commonly held behavior where people “Become a Fan” of a brand or product. Soon people will simply “Like” a brand or product page. According to Facebook, people choose Like significantly more than they choose Become a Fan; though, how is this really that surprising when one can Like just about everything on Facebook? By design, Like should garner far more clicks than Become a Fan, but someone looked at some data and didn’t think about the user interface already in place to justify the decision.


Free Cars & Basketball

The big news this month was a nicely ran promotion from Infiniti that was done to support a College Basketball bracket game on CBS Sports. Infiniti ran banner ads supporting their marketing of the new M37/M56 models where one could win a new M.

What was interesting is that Infiniti also bought some media on Facebook supporting the CBS Bracket Challenge but also gave people an opportunity to Become a Fan of the Infiniti fan page. In the day or two the ad started running on Facebook, Infiniti added around 50,000 fans. Now I never know how many impressions a brand bought to get such a gain, but it is still an impressive upswing for the brand and the combination with the College Basketball passion point surely helped increase engagement.

Jeep was an interesting one this month too. They ran a Tweet-to-Win contest to increase the exposure of their @Jeep Twitter account, but to find out when Jeep was going to ask a trivia question for their Twitter contest people had to visit the Jeep Facebook page to learn the time. One would think this promotion would also increase Facebook fan page numbers for Jeep since they were giving away a free Jeep Wrangler Islander Edition. Unfortunately, Jeep had typical fan growth that ran in the 3% increase realm for March, in other words no gain from the Tweet-to-Win contest; though they did have significant follower growth on Twitter (more here.)


Continuous Marketing

Several brands continued running ads throughout most of the month of March, if not all of March. They included Mazda, Dodge and Toyota; though, Toyota’s ads were not a promotion to increase Fans of their fan page; rather, they promoted Toyota loyalty (you can learn more about that effort by reading my post on Toyota’s marketing loyalty.)

The Mazda and Dodge ads were constantly showing up on my Facebook pages even though I’m already a fan of both brands. This makes me wonder two things. Does Facebook not support a good retargeting message capability on their site or is it that the Facebook inventory of relevant ads is so small they keep serving me the same units? Seems it could be a little of both and one would think after a brand has gained that person as a fan that other messages could be sent to support further brand engagement.



Housecleaning

Lincoln has officially taken over their fan page and now are doing regular updates yet still not Become a Fan campaigns or promotion of the page (full disclosure: I'm involved with this effort.) Scion had asked their unofficial fan page to be identified as such last month, well now we know why as Scion has started an official Facebook page that had it's first post Monday March 29, 2010.

In European Facebook news, Aston Martin finally took ownership of a friendly URL for their fan page http://www.facebook.com/astonmartin. Also, I changed my tracking of SMART as I follow the global fan pages for BMW and MINI so it seemed appropriate to follow SMART's global page instead of it's USA specific fan page.



Download the Excel file: Facebook Auto Fan File (March 2010)
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