Stories form the soul in social media. While brands can leverage the medium to tell their stories, the medium also enables them to showcase their consumers’ stories. And social media platforms are extensively turning into a story-telling yard, as can be seen in the new Etios promotions on social media.
Toyota , one of the world’s leading carmakers, has launched a new hybrid version of its famous compact sedan Etios for the emerging markets including India. First launched in India in December 2010, the Toyota Etios has managed to strike a chord with consumers and the sedan is now making an attempt to collect memorable stories of Etios owners.
Real Sedan. Real Stories
Toyota Etios India has launched the ‘Real Sedan. Real Stories’ Facebook app, where Etios owners can share their travel stories with the sedan. The app requires you to ‘like’ the page before you can start sharing your story, and win Toyota goodies.
The app gives two options: one to share your story and the other to read stories submitted by others. ‘Share your Story’ brings up a form with an empty box to add your story with an upload photos option. The app also takes your name, email, contact and car details.
‘Read other stories’ displays a list of stories shared by other Etios owners, but these cannot be shared. The Facebook and Twitter button beside each story enables you to share the Facebook app link on your wall or Twitter feed, and not the actual stories.
The little button at the bottom ‘#TheRealSedan’ takes you to the car brand’s Twitter page, and not to the Twitter hashtag where the conversations regarding #TheRealSedan are taking place.
Could it be better?
The concept of having all Etios owners share their story is a good one, although a very common practice followed by major car brands. The campaign does manage with its objective of connecting with Etios owners and using their stories to promote the new Etios, but a few things could have been better.
Good design needs to be backed with good navigation. While one can read others’ stories and move to sharing their own story, there’s no way one can go back to home page or the previous page, just in case you want to submit your story later. Besides, the Facebook and Twitter logo displayed with each story come across as social sharing buttons for the story, but they are not; these buttons are the general sharing buttons to help spread word about the app. Enabling each story to be shared individually would have helped more connected promotions within the social network.
The hashtag ‘#TheRealSedan’ featured on the Facebook app, should have ideally been used to enable more conversations on it, but that is not so. The button takes you to the Toyota Etios Twitter page. Additionally, the micro social network has not been leveraged to create buzz for the Etios, though it does provide regular updates on the Toyota Etios Motor Race Trophy 2013.
‘Real Sedan. Real Stories’ is a simple Facebook campaign by Toyota Etios where existing owners have been used as brand advocates and also to build the Facebook community, however, it could have been better executed. What do you think?