Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Social Media @ Honda Motors - Honda Loves you back & #Hondainnovator series

Honda Motor Company had been using social networking sites since past five years and had been present on all the major social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, etc.  Honda social media strategy is based around supporting business and corporate goals such as new product launches, corporate communications, public relations messages, tackling rumors, engaging with customers and communities like  fans/ racing community and more. Honda is effectively using the social networking sites to humanize the brand, keeping track of the conversations about the company, deliver key messages about their corporate social responsibility efforts on topics related to the environment and innovating new technologies, and also build relationships with journalists and bloggers. Another advantage of social media is to share customer stories around Honda products And Services, events or happenings that Honda fans might like to know about and also engage the customers, fans and others in such events.

Honda was recently given the first-ever "Driver Engagement" award at the Chicago Auto Show for the Japanese automaker's campaign, “Honda Loves You Back”. The Honda campaign showcased a music video from the band “Monsters Calling Home”, as the video was filmed inside one of the band member's Honda. The car company got the band booked on" Jimmy Kimmel Live!" in a symbolic gesture of giving back to fans of the brand. Social media campaigns like this help drivers connect more personally with a brand, as they can interact with a company by uploading their stories and photos.Since social media has become an integral part of marketing for most major car companies, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association decided to introduce a new award at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show to showcase the effectiveness of marketing through sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Recently Honda launched a social media program, the #HondaInnovator Series, in support of a TV ad for its 2013 Civic that emphasizes on inventors and innovation in various fields. The series also includes social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube to initaite conversations about innovation and the car itself, as well as the idea that progress never stops. In a series of six one-hour tweet chats, users will be able to submit questions to inventors featured in the Civic TV spot, like baby product company 4moms co-founder Henry Thorne, Waterfall Swing inventors Ian Charnas and Drew Ratcliff and 2013 Civic Senior Product Planner Jay Guzowski. Additional content will include: Facebook posts to introduce fans to the Innovator Series; behind-the-scenes photos from the commercial and an assortment of Civic images on Instagram; and a "Things Can Be Better" board on Pinterest. In addition, on YouTube, Honda has created a so-called Innovation Playlist featuring additional content tied to the inventors featured in the Civic TV spot. Honda says its Civic TV campaign ties Honda's philosophy of innovative thinking and continuous improvement to other inventors working to develop better solutions. Promotion will include sponsored posts on the social news site Buzzfeed, promoted tweets, promoted posts on Facebook, YouTube ads and search.

Early 2012 Honda Motors launched a unique promotional campaign on Pinterest, a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, ‘re-pin' images to their own pinboards, or 'like' photos.  Honda’s "Pintermission" campaign identifies top "pinners" and offers each one $500 to take a 24-hour break from Pinterest to explore some of the places or buy some of the products they've pinned about. Initially two women had been handed checks by Honda and are putting the money toward travel. The goal of the Pintermission campaign was to uniquely establish Honda’s new CR-V and promoted the vehicle’s “get out and live life” personality. Marketing the vehicle on Pinterest was a suitable choice, as target customers for this vehicle are young people on the edge of adulthood’s big milestones like marriage, children, etc. and young people plan those milestones on Pinterest. More than 4.6 million people were exposed to the #Pintermission boards, which produced more than 5,000 repins and almost 2,000 likes. Additionally, more than 16 million media impressions were garnered from the campaign.

Honda Motors social media presence include Facebook with close to 2.7 million likes, Twitter with close to 91,000 followers and more than 3,400 tweets, YouTube with close to 106,000 subscribers and more than 32 million video views and Pinterest with close to 6,600 followers. The company has also framed a Social Media policy and guidelines for its associates and employees that provide the rules and regulations they need to follow on social networking sites. Automobile industry is aggressively using the various social networking sites for marketing, customer service and customer engagement and they are allocating significant financial resources, appointing the relevant agencies that specialize in the social media and even recruiting exclusive managers as Social Media Managers within the company. Honda Motor Company has been using the social media effectively in its marketing, brand promotion, engaging customers and new product launches.

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