Seven Ways Auto Suppliers Can Supercharge Their Social Media Impact in 2016

Dec 15, 2015, 09:00 ET from Bianchi Public Relations

TROY, Mich., Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- While many of North America's top automotive OEM suppliers have increased their use of social media since 2014, they can boost the horsepower of their social media programs in the coming year by following seven simple tips, according to Bianchi Public Relations, Inc., a PR firm specializing in the automotive supplier and business-to-business sectors.

"Last year, the largest auto suppliers made significant strides in improving their social media efforts," said Jim Bianchi, APR, president of Bianchi PR. "To leap to the next level, our study shows there are several key steps managers can take that will help supercharge their social media effectiveness in 2016."

Bianchi PR's proprietary study, "Social Media and Automotive Supplier Habits 2.0™" (SMaASH 2.0™), analyzed social media usage by the top 25 North American automotive OEM suppliers during the first six months of 2015 and compared and contrasted results with a similar 2014 study.

Bianchi PR's seven tips for better auto supplier social media effectiveness in 2016 are:

  1. Plan, don't just react – Many suppliers post sporadically and reactively, often neglecting their followers for days, weeks or even months at a time. To build engagement and relationships, it requires a steady cadence. By using editorial calendars and planning tools now supplier social media managers can post with a consistent rhythm to reach and engage their communities.
  2. Make more of your posts NOT about your company – No one wants to be in a relationship when one party talks only about himself. Be considerate of your audience and strive to have three audience-focused posts for every one self-focused post. For example, acknowledge a customer contact, vendor or partner; share industry news that gives your followers perspective; run photos of customer people or facilities your employees visit; make it about them.
  3. Employ more posts that beg interaction – Solicit your followers' opinions, ideas, suggestions and nominations. Conduct one-question surveys or simple polls on industry issues; ask them to pick which product design, color or layout they like best; ask them to nominate your best customer service rep; ask them to share their success stories. Everyone has a story, encourage your followers to tell theirs by posing a question.
  4. Share more of your company's positive media coverage – There's nothing as powerful as the third-party credibility and validation offered by coverage of your company by a trusted media source. Share that coverage via your social channels with followers, leverage that credibility and extend the story's reach. Sharing the links to online stories also builds goodwill with the reporters, who are increasingly being measured by the volume of traffic and engagement their online stories generate.
  5. Post on LinkedIn more frequently – Not only is LinkedIn by far the largest professional network going, it's also the social channel where the typical auto supplier has the largest following – an average of more than 110,000 followers who are professionally interested in them. By sharing more useful content on LinkedIn, suppliers can better leverage that reach and natural interest.
  6. Customize posts for each platform – While tools such as Hootsuite make it quick and easy to share one post across multiple social media platforms, what works on Twitter may not be effective on Facebook. Consider the characteristics of the platform – such as the ease of posting video on Facebook or the 140-character limit of Twitter – as well as the tone and audience of the channel … and tune your posts to fit accordingly. You may want to use Facebook for more fun or humorous posts, LinkedIn for more professional interactions, and Twitter for quick updates or breaking news.
  7. Use more visuals with your posts – Everyone 'reads' pictures. Studies show that posts with visuals get at least twice as much engagement as those without. So taking the time to find (or create) a photo, chart, infographic or video that catches attention and illustrates your story, is well worth the extra effort.

"Overall, success with social media revolves around the four C's: Consistency of effort, Content, Consideration for the audience and Customization to fit the unique environment of each platform," Bianchi said.

Completed in September, the 2015 SMaASH 2.0 study showed that the average top 25 North American OEM automotive supplier:

  • Increased its social media following by 363 percent in the past year, to some 178,000 followers across the four most popular platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube);
  • Posted some 58.6 updates per month, more than double the 2014 average of 26.9 posts, across its top four platforms; and
  • Doubled the number of videos it shared on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in 2015 over the previous year.

Last year, Bianchi PR conducted a similar study – the first of its kind – that reviewed auto supplier social media use in the first half of 2014.

For more information on the study, visit http://www.bianchipr.com/article/automotive-world-article-top-u-s-suppliers-increase-social-media-activity-144-2015/ or email bianchipr@bianchipr.com.

About Bianchi PR

With special expertise in automotive supplier PR and business-to-business PR, Bianchi PR was founded in 1992 and is ranked in the top five independent PR agencies based in Michigan, according to PRWeek's 2015 ranking of public relations firms.

Among Bianchi PR's ongoing automotive and business-to-business PR clients are BASF, Cooper Standard, Eisele Connectors, Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, Johnson Controls, Schaeffler Group and ZF TRW. The firm has also worked with organizations such as SAE International, the Automotive Industry Action Group, the Center for Automotive Research, the Steel Market Development Institute and the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council.For more information, visit http://www.bianchipr.com or call 248-269-1122.

Bianchi PR is the Detroit office for the Public Relations Global Network – "The World's Local Agency" – one of the world's largest international public relations networks. PRGN harnesses the resources of nearly 50 independent public relations firms and more than 800 communications professionals to connect international companies and organizations with individual and culturally diverse markets globally. Visit PRGN online at www.prgn.com or on Twitter at @PRGN.

 

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