Carmakers tap social media power ahead of Auto Expo 2018

6th Feb 2018 12:49 pm

Launch aggressive online campaigns to stoke public interest in the run up to motor show; expo to get custom Twitter emoji.

The country's most awaited motor show, the Auto Expo 2018, is just around the corner and automakers are in a frenzy to make the most of the buzz surrounding the event that’s set to showcase over a 100 vehicles. It is particularly interesting to note that automakers have rapidly ramped up their presence on social media in the run up to Auto Expo 2018 to stoke the interest of car buyers and enthusiasts alike.

Active social media readers will agree that an automaker whose activity was hard to miss was Tata Motors, even though others such as Maruti, BMW, Honda and Renault also strengthened their social media game.

Tata Motors' social media campaign stood out as the homegrown carmaker nearly flooded the internet with teasers of its new models every day, since it kicked off its campaign on January 18. Till now, Tata Motors has released a staggering 18 teasers and more than 15 posts on Twitter. The campaign has reached 29 lakh users, a company spokesperson told Autocar India. 

The new models it plans to unveil are the much awaited H5 SUV, the X451 hatchback and the Tigor Sport, the performance version of the compact sedan. 

BMW, too, has used social media platforms such as Twitter to expand its marketing campaign. Apart from teasers, the German carmaker ran a contest inviting participants to guess which cars would be unveiled, with winners receiving BMW merchandise. It also urged participants to visit the BMW Pavilion at the Expo to experience their very first virtual test drive.

The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki, did a one up and offered select participants a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Auto Expo. Interestingly, the carmaker has set up a dedicated section on its website with a countdown for its official unveilings at the motor show where it plans to showcase its Future S compact SUV, the new Swift, and the quirky e-Survivor SUV concept.

Japanese carmaker Honda gave netizens a chance to win free passes to the motor show by conducting a Q&A contest on their website.

Similarly, organisers of the Auto Expo, too, ran contests on their Twitter handle daily in an effort to stoke greater interest among enthusiasts and offered free passes as a prize. 

Renault India teased its Trezor electric GT concept, the Zoe e-Sport and its F1 race car via its social media platforms, stirring a significant amount of interest.

Interestingly, Twitter recently announced its collaboration with the motor show organisers, Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM), and announced the creation of a branded custom Twitter emoji for the Auto Expo. According to the company, the emoji has been created for the first time for any motor show in Asia.

Social networking has come a long way in enabling automakers spur interest among auto enthusiasts and potential car buyers. And the timing couldn't be better as technology usage and smartphone ownership has seen a spurt especially after increase in availability of affordable mobile data. Car companies seem to have got the formula right as far as use of eye-catching images, videos and customer engagement is concerned. It will be interesting to see if the heightened activity on social media translates into higher footfalls for them.

Either way, we’ll be reporting live straight from the show floor on web, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Stay tuned for the most comprehensive coverage of Auto Expo 2018. 

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