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Does Audi’s Social Media Plan Result in More Car Sales?


There’s a lot of talk out in the social media world about ROI (Return On Investment). The question being asked is, is there an ROI when it comes to a company’s social media plan? Can they tell that interacting with fans on Facebook and Twitter followers results in more sales?

The short answer is “No”, according to Audi. “Today the equation to measure that doesn’t exist,” says Doug Clark, Audi of America’s general manager for social media and customer engagement.

Audi has done quite a bit when it comes to spending dollars on their Social Media campaign. They promoted a Twitter hashtag for a TV commercial, as well as purchased a Promoted Trend ad. They’ve also hired Klout to help find the most influential people on Facebook and Twitter. And then there was the Twitter contest where the winner won a trip to California to test drive some Audis and chose a charity for Audi to donate $25,000 to.

Whether or not these efforts turn into sales doesn’t really bother them that much.

Clark said that Facebook and Twitter “are places where we know tech-minded consumers are active, where they’re seeking to engage with the brand.” He went on to say, “But can I say that a fan is more likely to buy an Audi? No.

Have you seen an ROI with your social media efforts? If so, how do you measure it?

Source: Fox Business


  • Ryan Critchett

    Hey Julie. 

    Interesting article. Thanks for posting this. 😉 I think that ultimately, if I spent time engaging with Audi on social channels, it could certainly influence my feelings about them and more specifically, whether or not I’d buy a car from them. 

    The one thing a lot of us can’t get away from is the fact that we’re more comfortable doing business with people with whom we have a positive association.. something friendly. 
    Know what I mean? (I’m sure YOU do!) I’ve checked out a little bit of Audi’s interaction with people on Twitter and the question they really have to ask themselves is:

    How much are we really engaging with people about things other than Audi? Because interestingly enough (and very counterintuitive and backwards in a traditional media world), engaging with random people about whatever they’re interested in, is how you build real solid trust points. 
    Trust points lead to advocates, a ton of WOM and yes, purchases. 

    The next luxury car I’m going to buy, is going to be an Infinity. BUT that can change. If I have a series of really cool conversations with the audi Twitter entity, that could very realistically influence my decision. People do things they have positive associations attached to. 

    It’s easy for us people heavily immersed in the space to understand that social media is not for selling, it’s for communication, it’s still a foreign concept to others. 

    Communications tools first, lead gen second. Syntax is king, and if you do it in the right order, the right way, natural organic lead gen happens. 

    Great post! This really got me thinking, Julie! I even went over and checked out Audi’s Twitter interaction!

  • JasonBreed

    Interesting, but I’ll tell you first hand that I was made aware of the transfomative change happening at Ford Motor via social media and purchased a car based on the surprising increase in quality of the vehicle in the 2011 models.  Would have never considered before, now I am happy to own a Ford (and they’re happy as it’s one of their largest margin vehicles)!  How can Ford Motor measure that? Because I made it very well know through my networks the day I purchased and they even thanked me for it.  Ultimately, the article shows that Audi is still treating social as a marketing channel not a relationship one.  Don’t care about relationships, then don’t bother with social.  Want sexy brand image regardless of the product, buy more TV ads.

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