How Toyota, Merc, Tata, Hyundai, Ford Are Leveraging Social Media To Create Buzz For 12th Auto Expo

Ahead of the 12th Auto Expo, we look at what auto brands are up to on social and how they've been gearing up fans for their new launches

Auto Expo 2014

Auto Expo 2014Automobile companies have resolved to revive the Indian market this year. If the promotions on social and mobile by the organizers of the 12th Auto Expo – the Motor Show 2014 are anything to go by, 2014 is sure starting on an exciting note for automobile brands. This year the 5-day Auto Expo will have the highest ever collection of cars, bikes, trucks, buses and two-wheelers, displayed across 64,000 sq mts at the India Expo Mart in Noida, and a component show at Delhi’s Pragati Maidan.

The hope for a good year is seeing auto brands exploring social to get more footfalls at their pavilions. Here, we look at what the brands are up to on social and how they’ve been gearing up fans for their new launches at the Auto Expo.

Toyota India

Reflecting a wave of mobility that Toyota has brought in by its presence in each vehicle segment, Toyota Kirloskar Motor will exhibit vehicles ranging from the Etios Liva to the LC 200 at the Auto Expo. Interestingly, the wave of mobility is reflecting on its social media promotions too. Along with sharing visuals of the upcoming models, Toyota set to create the biggest Twitter wave too.

Powered with a microsite enabled by a Twitter login, the biggest Twitter wave contest had Nokia Lumia phones and Benetton watches for prizes. One had to follow the brand’s Twitter handle, tweet with the hashtag #ToyotaWave and tag their friends too. The more they tagged, the bigger their wave gets.

Toyotawave_microsite

Each of the tweets with #ToyotaWave has been represented graphically at the microsite. If you hover over the wave, you can see the user and their score. The microsite has Facebook like and share buttons too, to help spread the word on Facebook. The contest has been promoted on Toyota India Facebook page too.

Mercedes-Benz India

Mercedes-Benz India is all set to unleash new stars at the Auto Expo – the CLA 45 AMG, M-Guard, Showcar GLA and the S-Class. The luxury car brand is leveraging YouTube for a live unveiling today 3:30 pm onwards, and has already uploaded teaser videos revealing the models in bits and parts.

Additionally, the Mercedes-Benz India Facebook page has created an app that will take your questions on the brand. These will be answered live at the Expo by Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board responsible for Marketing & Sales at Merc, and also streamed at the Facebook app. The app takes your question along with your name, phone no and email id. Twitter is being used to drive users to the Facebook app using the hashtag #MBConnect. The top 20 questions win goodies.

Also, the brand has been creating conversations through its Facebook and Twitter pages using the hashtag #ExcellenceIs. Users have been asked to define what excellence means to them and stand a chance to win Merc merchandise. The new buzz is around experiencing excellence at #MercAtAutoExpo2014.

Tata Motors

As part of its revamped customer focused strategy, Horizonext, Tata Motors will be showcasing the first pillar i.e. product focus at the Auto Expo. Unveiling an exciting range of vehicles like the Tata Zest and Bolt, the auto brand has also ensured excitement carries on to social. Short videos of the new models have been shared on YouTube.

The Tata Motors Facebook page looks a tad dull, perhaps owing to the ill-timed death of its MD, Karl Slym, but the brand has fun contests where top scorers can win daily Auto Expo passes, RFID bands, exclusive merchandise and more at the microsite.

Tata_motors_video_jigsaw_contest

Powered by a Facebook login, the microsite features a video jigsaw contest featuring the Tata awesome ad. It needs to be arranged in the right order in the fastest time by dragging and dropping the video blocks into their correct positions. Another contest is the Auto Trivia that has 10 questions with 30 seconds to answer each correctly; one can also replay to improve their score. Facebook sharing and invite options ensure social spread.

The RFID powered wrist band called Tata Motors Connexion is for the social media junkies. The wrist band requires you to only flash and you can share your experience from the Tata Motors pavilion on your social media accounts in no time. There are daily Auto Expo passes and Flipkart vouchers for signing up.

Hyundai Motors

Hyundai Motors, endorsed by actor Shah Rukh Khan, will be revealing the all new dynamic Santa Fe at the Auto Expo. The auto brand has released an official teaser on its YouTube channel after sharing a personal video invite by Shah Rukh.

Uploaded on Jan 31, 2014, the official teaser has crossed 8 lakh views, which can be attributed to the #SpotthePower contest on Facebook. The contest requires a participant to like the Hyundai India Facebook page and watch & share the video. While watching, they have to take a snapshot of the Hyundai car zooming through the video, which displays their YouTube username too. These snapshots need to be then shared in the comments section on the contest post along with a supporting caption, using the hashtag #SpotthePower.

The auto brand has also created a dedicated mobile app called ‘Hyundai Buzz’. The Android and iOS enabled app makes it easy for a visitor to stay updated with the latest Hyundai updates at the Expo, get a virtual tour of the Hyundai pavilion, make picture collages and share their experiences on social media.

The other exhibitors

Ford India launched its official Instagram channel a week ahead of the Expo, where the auto brand will share exclusive Auto Expo photos with the #FordAE2014 hashtag. It hosted a week-long photo-contest integrating its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels with a unique theme for each day. One could win free business hour passes to the Auto Expo 2014.

While Audi India is excited about its sports fleet to be launched at the Expo, it gave away 3 winners an all-expenses paid trip through a Twitter contest on Jan 30. Users had to tweet what makes a car an Audi. On the other hand, Volkswagen India will be live telecasting the launch of its Taigun through the Auto Expo 2014 app on its Facebook page. Fiat India is giving away free passes and a special tour of the Fiat stall for rightly guessing the 3 cars that the brand will unveil at the Expo. Nissan is all for promoting the launch of its signature Nissan GT Academy in India.

Almost all of them have dedicated pages for the Auto Expo at their official website, which talks about their vision for technology and innovation. However, only a handful of them have leveraged social media to spread the word about their new launches, or their concept cars.