Scottsdale, AZ – (November 19, 2015) Digital Air Strike, the automotive social media and digital engagement company, reveals auto manufacturer-specific findings from its fifth annual Automotive Social Media Trends Study. The Study highlights consumer behaviors on social networks, review sites, and mobile devices related to the car shopping, buying, and service experience. Co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike, Alexi Venneri, presented the results at the NADA and J.D. Power sponsored 2015 AutoConference LA earlier this week.
OEM specific findings include:
- 90% of Toyota buyers said reviews helped in their dealership selection process vs. 81% combined average of buyers of all other makes
- Online reviews influenced 59% of Kia buyers to stay with or change dealerships vs. 55% of buyers of all other makes
- 91% of Kia buyers say reviews sites were helpful in their dealership selection process vs. 81% combined average of buyers of all other makes
- 78% of GM buyers — 79% of Cadillac buyers – would drive 20-60 miles to do business with a dealership with good reviews vs. 75% of buyers of all other makes
- 85% of GM buyers — 92% of Cadillac buyers — said online reviews were helpful in their dealership selection process vs. 81% combined average of buyers of all other makes
GM has the highest reputation of all OEMs, as GM was first to include Social Media and Reputation Management (SMRM) as part of their in-market retail programs for dealers resulting in approximately half of all GM dealerships participating in SMRM programs – more than any other manufacturer. The below data points reflect the benefits of this early adoption and ongoing support.
- 48/5.0 is the current average star rating for GM dealerships across top third-party public review sites
- When compared to other OEMs, GM dealerships have a:
- Higher average star rating on third-party review sites
- Lower percentage of negative reviews
- Greater percentage of positive reviews
“What our Study reveals is the cost of ignoring social networks and review sites. Consumers care about online reviews and they are telling us reviews are the most important factor in their dealer selection process,” said Alexi Venneri co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike. “The combination of social and reputation management as the anchor of consumer engagement moves the dialogue from awareness and consideration (at the manufacturer and brand level) to purchase and service (at the dealership level), dramatically, and in a short period of time.”
The 2015 Automotive Social Media Trends Study – produced by Digital Air Strike – includes findings from 2,248 car buyers and 2,115 service customers who either purchased or serviced a vehicle within the previous six months. The study — with data collected in the past 45 days — covers all major U.S. geographic regions and represents domestic and foreign automotive brands, with even distribution across age and gender groups.
Key trends identified in the Study include:
- 50 percent of car buyers and service customers ranked review sites as the most influential dealership selection tool. Only 16% ranked a dealership’s website as most influential
- 66 percent of car buyers and 65 percent of service customers look at star ratings in search results even if they don’t click through to read the reviews
- 66 percent of car buyers used a mobile device to search for and read reviews about dealerships (up from 56% in prior study). That number jumps to 83% for 17-34 year olds. 50% of service customers used a mobile device to search for and read reviews about dealerships
- 44 percent of car buyers and 40 percent of service customers went to a dealership without prior contact
- 74 percent of car buyers and 75 percent of service customers use Facebook
- 15 percent of car buyers and 24 percent of service customers know what a “Connected Car” is
- 4 percent of all car buyers and service customers say they plan on getting a “Connected Car”, 20 percent live in California, followed by Michigan, Texas and New York. The majority own Chevrolet or Toyota
For more information about Digital Air Strike or the 2015 Automotive Social Media Trends Study, please visit DigitalAirStrike.com.