Indian Car Manufacturers Most Popular With Fans on Facebook While Aspirational German Brands Enjoy the Highest Fan Engagement

Indian Car Manufacturers Most Popular With Fans on Facebook While Aspirational
                German Brands Enjoy the Highest Fan Engagement

  PR Newswire

  CHENNAI, November 22, 2012

CHENNAI, November 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

In the Most Comprehensive Study of how Top Car Brands are Using Facebook in
India, Audi and Tata Motors Lead the Sector Whereas Toyota and Chevrolet are
yet to Make a Major Impact

As middle class India mobilises on a scale not seen since 1960's America,
having a car is no longer a luxury of the few but an essential part of
everyday life. The car market in India has come a long way since the Premier
and the Ambassador, with today's discerning buyer being able to choose from a
Rs. 1.5 lakh Tata Nano up to a Rs. 1.5 crore Audi R8. As car showrooms pop up
in towns and cities across India, a new marketing frontier is opening up on
Facebook to win the hearts, minds and hopefully, the loyalties of young,
upwardly mobile citizens.

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Today, Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company, released the most
in-depth and comprehensive report on how 16 car manufacturers in India are
using Facebook to leverage their marketing efforts. The report examines every
aspect of the brands' Q3 social media strategy (July 1st and September 30th).

Key to rating the performance of the various car brands is the Unmetric Score,
a unique measurement designed to give 'sector aware' context to social media
activity. The Car Brands in India Report highlights successes in specific
metrics, while the combined Unmetric Score represents those brands with the
best social media performance on Facebook. The score is a scientific blend of
various qualitative and quantitative social media metrics, weighted and
balanced to produce a single benchmarkable number.

Despite being a new entrant in the market compared to the other manufacturers,
Audi tops the performance table with an Unmetric Score of 53. At number two is
India's own Tata Motors with an Unmetric Score of 52 while another German
brand, BMW, drives home in third place with an Unmetric Score of 40.

In terms of raw numbers, the Indian car manufacturers come out on top.
Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Tata have 91 lakh fans - more fans than every
other car brand combined. Not surprising, perhaps, considering that these
brands control over 52% of the market. It was the aspirational German brands
which dominated the foreign car makers. BMW, Audi, Mercedes and VW have 39
lakh fans between them despite commanding less than 0.8% of the market share.

A demographic analysis of all the brands' pages yielded results that might be
surprising to some yet unsurprising to others within the social media
industry. The average fan of a car Facebook page in India is a young, single
male, under the age of 21. While we know (and hope) that not too many 19 year
olds are driving around BMW's or even XUV's, it should come as no surprise to
see these figures since over 80% of Facebook users in India are young, single
and male.

As any social media agency will tell you though, fans numbers only give a
small fraction of the whole social media story. How well a brand engages with
an audience is far more important than fan numbers alone. Unmetric calculates
engagement on a Facebook page by weighing the number of Likes, Comments,
Shares and Estimated Impressions for each post.

Once again it was the premium German marques that got the most people talking.
Audi blazed a trail with an average engagement score of 490. There was a
surprising showing from Mitsubishi, which achieved an average engagement score
of 265. This was followed up by BMW and Mercedes, who managed an average
engagement score of 222 and 144 respectively.

To find out how different types of content affect engagement on Facebook,
Unmetric uses 'human computing' along with advanced algorithms to uncover and
dissect the content strategy of brands on Facebook. In this analysis of car
manufacturers in India, it was found that most brands were talking about
themselves while, in fact, talking about the car sector in general scored
better engagement among the fans.

Taking the content analysis one step further, Unmetric also sub-categorised
the "talking about the brand" posts. This analysis found that most brands
posted news about the brand but what fans really responded to were new model
announcements and events such as the Delhi Auto Expo.

For example, on August 14th, 2012, BMW posted the most engaging piece of
content for the time period analysed. It was about a new concept car and asked
if people would want to go and see it. The post got an engagement score of
2,264 thanks to 66,759 Likes, 3,415 Comments and 15,811 Shares. No other post
came close to this level of engagement although all brands saw higher
engagement for new model announcements.

One of the ways brands can encourage a Facebook community to grow and engage
better is to be responsive to their fans. In this respect, Unmetric looked at
how well the car manufacturers in India were responding to fan posts. Most
pages responded to less than 10% of fan posts, with Tata Motors replying to
the highest percentage of fan posts.

Tata Motors cemented their position as the number one caring brand by
responding to fan posts in just over 3 hours on average. Hyundai was the
second most responsive brand, replying to fan posts in around 7 hours on
average. Chevrolet came in third with an average response time of 11 hours.
Honda sat at the bottom of the table of brands that engaged with fans, taking
over 3 days on average to reply to fans.

Here is a breakdown of the study which shows the top 5 brands for each metric
analysed:

- Top Unmetric Scores on Facebook

1. Audi - 53 2. Tata Motors - 52 3. BMW - 40 4. Hyundai - 37 5. Mahindra - 32

- Most Fans on Facebook

1. Mahindra Motors - 4,137,641 2. Tata Motors - 2,848,144 3. Maruti Suzuki -
2,163,328 4. Audi - 1,255,698 5. BMW - 1,176,361

- Most Engaging Brands on Facebook Based on Average Engagement Score

1. Audi - 490 2. Mitsubishi - 265 3. BMW - 222 4. Mercedes - 144 5. Renault -
100

- Fastest Average Reply Time on Facebook

1. Tata Motors - 3 hrs 24 mins 2. Hyundai - 7 hrs 18 mins 3. Chevrolet - 10
hrs 50 mins 4. Mercedes - 11 hrs 3 mins 5. Skoda - 13 hrs 57 mins

- Most Engaging Content (average engagement score combined from all Facebook
pages)

1. New Vehicle Launch - 79 2. Events - 41 3. Brand News - 35 4. Questions to
Fans - 26 5. Contests - 20

"Young India has always had a penchant for the aspirational so I am not
surprised to see the German auto manufacturers leading the way when it comes
to social media performance in India," said Unmetric CEO, Lakshmanan Narayan.
"With sales of just over 7,000 units in the last 12 months, we can probably
count on one hand the number of 19 year olds that are able to buy their own
Mercedes, so why does the brand page have nearly 6 lakh young fans? I think
what we are seeing is the younger generation defining their own personal brand
by aligning themselves with brands associated with money, wealth, success and
power. It's interesting to see when compared to Facebook pages of car brands
in North America because it is the everyday brands like Ford, Chevrolet and
Chrysler that lead the way there on social media performance."

Methodology:

Unmetric compiled its report by sourcing data from its social media benchmark
platform. Where brands like Mahindra Motors, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki had
multiple pages, weighted averages were taken to combine all the data. All
statistics were gathered from July 1st, 2012 to September 30th, 2012.

About Unmetric

Unmetric Inc. is headquartered in New York and works with clients across the
world including Citibank, Subway, Airtel, MakeMyTrip and Campbell's. The
Unmetric platform was established to give Fortune 500 companies, large global
brands and leading digital agencies key performance data around which they
could benchmark their social media efforts and answer the question "Are we
doing well?"

Primary Media Contact: Peter Claridge, peter@unmetric.com , 91-89-39704365

Secondary Media Contact: Olivia Gallion, olivia@vscpr.com , 1-415-6779125

Contact: PRN
 
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