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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Do You Have Automotive Klout?




I ran across an interesting development in the online influencer news today. No I don't know what Brian Solis had for breakfast; instead, there is news today that the controversial influence score website Klout teamed up with Audi's Facebook page to create unique content only available to those fans who have enough social "influence."

I put quotes around influence because many feel, and yes I'm one of them, that Klout's scoring system is far from perfect, but I will give Klout credit in that they are trying and evolving their system in ways that are interesting and worth watching. They also are not trying to determine one's full influence, it is only a view at one's online influence which mainly focuses on social conversation and how much one talks online and one receives two-way conversation in return. It's more accurate to call it a volume score than an influencer score, but you can read a gizillion blogs on that topic.


So what is Audi doing in this? They are using the Klout engine to provide special access to content. Today's launch of the functionality is around their recent win at Le Mans. It was a great race and win from Audi. What a year and what a horrific beginning to the race that fortunately resulted in zero causalities other than a couple really expensive Audi cars.


If you have a Klout score high enough to gain special access, you will be granted the bonus of a Le Mans wallpaper to save to your computer. Wallpaper? Can't I just use Google Images and find a ton of them including some amazing pictures from the great coverage provided by blogs like QuattroWorld (props to my good friend Mike Juergens)?

Regardless of how 1996 the free wallpaper incentive feels, there is an interesting event here. Brand pages can now reward their most social media active fans. Unfortunately, it's doubtful most fans know what Klout is or how to get it. And there is a potential backlash that a brand's most hardcore Facebook page fans lack enough Klout to get special access, since they may only be active on the brand's page and not across social media.

It will be interesting to see how this develops and kudos to Audi for taking the first try at this approach. I just wish it was something cooler than a wallpaper...



NOTE: Please let me know if you tried it and failed regarding your own Klout score, I would love to know how much one needs to score to get access.

UPDATE: There is no qualifying Klout score, at least for the current promotion today. Perhaps that will change, but according the Audi Facebook wall team "everyone gets one." You can see their Facebook post on the topic and fan feedback here. Most of it is very positive, no surprise. Here is an image of Audi's wall team's response to a fan asking about the score question:


I don't feel as "special" anymore. ;)


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: April and May 2011



I've been tracking Facebook automotive fans since November 2009 and have never missed a month of data until last month. Unfortunately my early May was extremely busy and I overlooked capturing Facebook fan numbers that month. What is here is fan growth for the months of April and May 2011 combined.

Let’s get to what happened in April and May for automotive brands on Facebook. MINI had the strongest growth over the past 60 days. MINI has been activating user participation with their simple, but elegant idea of “Getting Billboarded” where fans
were able to show their image on a MINI billboard in Berlin. Fans were given the opportunity to share their image from Facebook and those in Berlin were given a photo booth to shoot a picture that would appear on a real billboard. It was a great way to create out of home media with social media. Plus participants were able to save their billboards as images that they could share or use as Facebook profile pictures, but they weren't doing this to only engage but rather to win their very own MINI car.

MINI is also activating their global fan base as a lot of its fans are coming from many countries. This is creating some significant separation on this analysis as brands like Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche are also all activating their global fan base and that is why they are growing at such a stride compared to brands with less of a global impact. Plus all of these brands are aspirational, which helps organic growth dramatically on Facebook, since people fan luxury, high social value brands.


The other brand with some significant growth is Mazda. It’s an interesting time to see some big growth from Mazda since they do not have a vehicle launch during this time.

Mazda is doing their best to increase engagement with their fans and are leveraging their other social properties on the Facebook fan page. They added YouTube and Flickr tabs and are actively promoting content through wall posts. They have also implemented a #MiataMonday idea that asks open questions to their fans.

Mazda is also doing a “Flickr Photo Spotlight” where they are actively looking for Mazda photos on Flickr and then asking photographers to join a Mazda photo Owners Group. Then they are choosing photos to feature on the Mazda Facebook fan page. See the image at left showing one such engagement from Mazda with a Flickr user. This is a great example of showcasing owner enthusiasm and it also brings some fame from the brand to the owner and does it in a simple, respectful way. Bravo to Mazda for being creative in how they leverage multiple social media channels.

One quick thought...

Most automotive ads I’m seeing on Facebook seem to be driving less and less to the brand’s fan page. Most automotive ad buys on the site are sending people to the brand’s website. This makes me wonder if brands are not seeing significant value in growing fans and instead are finding value in Facebook’s ability to segment ad buys by consumer interests and bringing people to brand pages where there is abundantly more information about the products than the brand’s Facebook fan experience.

We are all learning what works and does not work so well on Facebook. After seeing massive ad buys the past couple years from automotive brands spending media to grow fans and now not seeing that behavior; it causes one to wonder if fan growth is not THE metric of success as it once was, that said this blog will still track it to see how a brand’s audience grows.




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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jaguar Tries Sponsored Stories on Facebook



Facebook launched the ability for brands to sponsor posts and this morning I caught one example from Jaguar who decided to shine some attention on a recent Forbes magazine review of its Jaguar XJL.

The ad shows up as a "Sponsored Story" from Interactive Jaguar, which is the Facebook fan page for the Jaguar brand. When you click the story you are brought to the Forbes website to read the review.

In a bit of media buying hilarity the Forbes article that Jaguar is sponsoring on Facebook is being heavily sponsored by Hyundai and BMW with the two competitors (well I guess only one is a direct competitor) advertising on the Forbes website. Fortunately the review is about Jaguar and does offer some great thoughts on the XJL for readers.
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