There are plenty of things to consider when making the decision to buy a new-to-you car. Reliability, performance, use cases, maintenance and cost are all factors that you should consider closely when you’re getting close to buying a used car. But what about a factor like popularity? We are, after all, talking about making a considerable investment here. Why not consider where your possible brand falls on a list of say, the most popular brands on social media?
Recently, social media analytics company Brandwatch ran a study of the top brands that all of us are Tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming about. They took a couple of things into consideration including Social Visibilty (a measure of the volume of conversation a brand has across the platforms), Net Sentiment (a measure of both negative and positive mentions of a brand) and Reach Growth (a measurement of how many followers a brand has gained in a set period of time). They even looked at brands we don’t have here in the states—like Dacia, SEAT and Peugeot. They analyzed trends from November of 2015 through February of this year and took a look at more than 3.4 million conversations on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, and news sites. Some interesting things have come out of the study, too.
For one, the most socially popular brand is Lexus. They rank number one out of the 48 brands that Brandwatch looked at.
That being said, it turns out they aren’t the most responsive of the bunch—Honda is. Replies on Twitter between the brand and people out on the web comprises as much as 39% of the conversation on Honda’s Twitter feed. Brandwatch cautions however, that during the time they were looking at the metrics, Honda was running its #HappyHondaDays competition, which generated a lot of automatic replies. Brandwatch points out that most of the time, most automotive brands are just not that responsive on social media. The average number of tweets sent out by an automaker per day (taking out Honda because of their promotion) was just 5. That even includes the very verbal Tesla and their megalomaniac CEO and founder, Elon Musk. Tesla in fact was at number 5 on the list of most socially popular brands. Overall, everyday people were tweeting at the auto brands more than 180 times per day. The picture is slightly more silent over on Facebook where automotive companies posted just 1.2 times per day and got just 1.9 comments on those posts.
Want to get an automotive brand’s attention and find out more about their offerings or complain about a problem? The hours between 11am and 5pm are the best time to get their attention. It’s when most of the social media managers are working and when they are paying the most attention—at least for conversations based in the U.S.
What’s the most socially discussed brand amongst women? Honda wins again in the period that Brandwatch was looking at.
Amongst men the most talked about brand was strangely Isuzu, a brand that left the U.S. in 2009. Alfa Romeo, which has a limited run of product here in the U.S. was number two on the most talked about by men list. Lexus was also highly discussed amongst men as well.
So what’s all this number crunching mean for you when you’re in the market for a new car? It depends. If you are looking for an investment, choosing a car that falls at the top of the most socially popular brands is a good idea. It likely means that there will be a market for your car when you decide to sell it. It also means that if you need to get in touch with the manufacturer on social media, the will likely be more responsive than other brands. While it’s certainly not the only metric to take into consideration when buying a new-to-you car, it’s definitely something to keep in the back of your mind as you look around for a vehicle.
Digital media content producer/consultant & former CNN senior producer, now running CN'TRL : Cars, Tech, Real Estate & Luxury.