Volkswagen social media strategy
Volkswagen motors is one of the leading vehicle brands of the world with a global presence. The manufacturing and sales network of Volkswagen motors is spread all over the world. In the leading vehicle markets of the world including the United States and China, VW has maintained a strong presence. In China, its partnership with FAW motors has also been highly successful. VW has a large product portfolio that caters to the needs of customers in varying segments. From passenger cars to luxury vehicles and motorcycles, Volkswagen makes and sells its products in several categories. The automobile industry is undergoing a transition. During 2018 and 19, demand for cars fell in several leading markets including the U.S., China and India. To maintain demand in a difficult scenario, companies need to focus on both innovation and marketing. VW’s Audi was the best selling car in the luxury segment in China in 2018. Not just China or the U.S., but Volkswagen cars enjoy high popularity in most of world’s leading car markets.
The company invests heavily in product innovation, quality management as well as marketing. Apart from the other digital channels of marketing including its own websites, VW uses social media for marketing its products and running seasonal campaigns. Social media has become one of the core channels of marketing for brands due to the advantages it offers. Apart from the price advantage, social media networks also offer access to a very large customer base. Facebook alone has more than 2 billion active monthly users. Number of YouTube’s active monthly users is also around the same. Other social media channels including Twitter and Linked in as well as Instagram can also help automobile brands reach millions of fans, followers and customers. Overall, most automobile brands are using social media to reach people around the world. They have made it a core pillar of their marketing strategy. Here is a look at the social media stats of Volkswagen and how it uses social media for promotions and marketing. Marketing can be a source of competitive advantage for automobile brands. However, while using social media for marketing and promotions, brands also need to be cautious. Before launching a social media campaign, they must have a well planned social media strategy to reap the full benefits of social media marketing.
Facebook strategy of Volkswagen Motors: @VolkswagenIndia
Number of followers : More than 34 million (Sep, 2019)
Facebook has gained heavy popularity as a social media network and marketing platform. The reason is its huge base of users which has grown above 2 billion. Another important reason behind the popularity of Facebook are its features which are suitable for running both real time and seasonal marketing and promotions. The social media platform offers a large number of features which one can use to conveniently run campaigns and promote a brand and its products. Businesses can use Facebook for sharing images, videos, updates and to run real time video campaigns. This is why almost all major automobile brands use their Facebook accounts to connect with their fans and followers worldwide. Several of these brands use more than one Facebook account to connect with their followers. The leading account of Volkswagen (Volkswagen India) has more than 34 million followers. However, the company also has some other Facebook accounts like Volkswagen Dubai and Volkswagen Motorsport. The Volkswagen Motorsport account has more than 6.5 million followers. However, while the number of followers of Volkswagen on Facebook is high, the overall user engagement level is average. Some of the other leading motor brands have achieved higher engagement rate on Facebook. Most of its latest posts have received between 300 and 700 likes only. The number of comments and shares per post is also average. It shows that Volkswagen is using its Facebook account mainly for promotions. The company can also use it to grow follower engagement and achieve higher publicity for each product it markets. Apart from sharing, Facebook account can be used to ignite discussions and resolve customer complaints. Volkswagen also responds to its customer complaints or queries on new models. However, the company should also try to drive user engagement higher. It will help the company with lead generation as well as at gaining higher publicity.
YouTube strategy of Volkswagen motors :
YouTube is a leading video sharing platform with above 2 billion monthly active users. The automobile industry is marked by heavy competition and almost all the automobile brands have a video marketing strategy. Videos are excellent for marketing individual products as well as the whole brand. Auto firms use YouTube, the leading video sharing platform for sharing both educational and promotional videos. Automobile businesses have increased their use of videos for marketing and informational purposes due to their effectiveness. The result is that the importance of YouTube as a marketing platform has grown a lot. Over the years, YouTube has also improved the tools for marketers which can be used for editing, uploading and sharing videos. While it is quite convenient to upload and share videos for promotions on YouTube, the car brands also use it to gain feedback and to connect with fans and followers. Volkswagen Motors has two accounts on YouTube – Volkswagen and Volkswagen India. The main account (Volkswagen) has around 162K followers. However, Volkswagen is not using video marketing too aggressively. In September 2019, it posted 8 videos and most of them except one had less than 50K views during the month. Several other automobile brands are using YouTube more aggressively to create brand awareness and drive user engagement higher. Volkswagen can also achieve higher brand awareness if it uses video marketing strategically for promotions and consumer awareness. However, Volkswagen group has several brands in its portfolio and the company uses separate accounts for each brand like Skoda, Audi and Ducati to promote their individual products. The YouTube account of Volkswagen also shows growing consumer interest in electrical vehicles. One video by Volkswagen on YouTube published in September that received the highest views for the month promoted an electric car model. The video is titled “The all-electric ID.3 – Now you can | Volkswagen” and received more than 146K views as well as more than 500 comments. Users have mostly discussed the technology and shared their excitement for an all electric version. The popularity of electric models has grown in recent years and Volkswagen group as well as the individual brands in the group are investing in research and development on electrical cars.
Twitter strategy of Volkswagen motors: @VW
Number of followers Volkswagen USA: 581.4K (Sep. 2019)
Number of Tweets : 28K
While Twitter’s user base is comparatively smaller than Facebook, it is still an excellent social media network in terms of marketing. Twitter is best for running real time campaigns. Like Facebook, Twitter can be used to share images, videos and updates. Moreover, it offers the same price advantage and a large base of users. Marketers can use both paid and free options for promotions and campaigns. Volkswagen has used several accounts on Twitter for promotions and to create brand awareness. Apart from market specific accounts that target various regions like USA, India and South Africa or United Kingdom, it has Volkswagen News account on Twitter that promotes latest events and news from the Volkswagen group on Twitter. The Volkswagen USA account is its leading account on Twitter with more than 581K followers as of September 2019. However, the company just like Facebook does not use Twitter for promoting aggressively. Number of tweets in generally limited to 1 to 2 a day. The company has sent almost 28 K tweets till now. Level of user engagement is average. Apart from promoting specific products and technologies, the company uses its twitter account to drive consumer awareness in several other areas too including CSR and sustainability.
Instagram strategy of Volkswagen motors:
Number of followers : 6.9 million (Sep. 2019)
Instagram is mainly a social network for sharing images and videos. However, it has also got some more features that can be used for discussions. Businesses can use both sharing and discussion features which are an important aspect of almost every social media network to connect with their followers and engage them. As an image sharing website, Instagram has become the favourite marketing channel of fashion, food, electronics and automobile brands. Moreover, Instagram has a large group of celebrity accounts. Several businesses promote their products by partnering with Instagram celebs which offers them access to a very large group of fans and followers. Volkswagen has around 6.9 million followers on Instagram which is the second highest after Facebook. However, its level of user engagement is better than any other social media network on Instagram. Some of its Instagram posts have received as much 20 or 30K likes which is much higher compared to the engagement level on Facebook. The number of follower responses on Instagram is also high. Overall, Volkswagen’s Instagram strategy is much more successful compared to its overall social media promotions. The Insta account of Volkswagen also reflects growing consumer interest in electric cars. VW is more active on Instagram than Facebook or Twitter and makes one to two posts at an average each day.
Linked In strategy of Volkswagen motors:
Number of followers: 597,957 (Sep. 2019)
Linked In is the social media network of professionals. However, apart from posting jobs, companies can also use the professional networking site for many more things like driving brand awareness higher as well as to promote its organizational culture. Like Facebook, Linked In also offers attractive options to share posts, images and videos. It also allows users access to features that can be used for content marketing. Now a days, companies are also using content marketing and articles to drive brand recognition higher. The interest if users in Linked In has grown a lot in recent years which is mainly because of its growing use by companies and individual professionals from around the world for posting and searching jobs. Volkswagen uses Linked In mainly to drive follower interest in company culture as well as to grow brand awareness. It engages its followers on several topics like technology, innovation, work culture, HR policies as well as CSR and sustainability. It also drives follower interest in environmental issues like climate change and waste management using Linked In. The company generally makes around a post daily. However, the overall engagement level of Volkswagen is satisfactory. Linked In apart from connecting with a large group of followers, can be used to grow brand recognition all around the world.
Overall, Volkswagen is not highly aggressive in its use of social media. The company mainly uses social media platforms for promotions and to create brand awareness. While Facebook and YouTube have great features which can be used for sharing, growing follower base, driving brand recognition and market growth, the company is using social media cautiously. Of all its social media accounts, Instagram is driving the best engagement level. However, to grow its brand recognition faster, Volkswagen should use a more aggressive video marketing strategy. This can be used to promote consumer awareness in areas ranging from technological innovation to organizational culture as well as CSR and sustainability. A creative video marketing strategy can help VW drive its recognition and brand awareness a lot higher and fund faster growth. However, while sharing and discussion features of the social media networks provide attractive engagement, using them in a proper and balanced manner works to retain user interest. In this area, VW is performing well. Flooding users with promotional posts and tweets can sometime spoil interest as well.