Automotive brands performances on Facebook: Brazil vs. Italy
This post is the first of a series in collaboration with Socialbakers, the most popular provider of social media analytic tools, statistics and metrics for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn.
The automotive market is one of the largest economies that make this world move. Today we are talking about the main social network where automotive brands communicate today: Facebook. And we’ll do it by focusing on two of the biggest Facebook countries: Brazil and Italy.
Due to the peculiarity of the industry, most of automotive brands don’t have a global page, yet local ones. We have analysed twelve different automotive brand pages on Facebook over a month (February 2014). The brands are: Fiat, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Renault, Citroën, Ford, Toyota, Jeep, Ford and Land Rover.
What are the main differences between Facebook brand pages in Brazil and Italy in the automotive industry? You will find the results of our research in an infographic at the end of the post. Before that, we’ll have a deeper look at five automotive brands with a strong presence in both markets.
The most popular Italian car-maker has three main properties on Facebook:
- A global page, customised for the European countries.
- One separated page dedicated to Brazil (Fiat Atomóvies Brasil).
- A page dedicated to the USA market.
The first thing that gets noticed is: the Brazilian one counts with more than 5 millions fans, while the global page has 1 million fans.
The Brazilian page was supported by an ongoing ADV campaign from mid August 2013 to late December 2013, and it gained more than 2.5 million fans, while the global page is growing in an organic way.
In the Brazilian page the average posting by admins is 70 posts per month, while the Italian section of the global page posts around 50 times per month. The level of posting is related to the high number of fans in the Brazilian page, where interactions (comments+like+shares) are extremely high: more than 187,000 in a month.
The type of content shared in the pages is different: in the Italian page, admins share music videos, commercials, well-curated pictures of both product and evocative content. The Brazilian page has a more product-centric strategy, that also includes pictures about the earlier years of the company. Like this one:
The main difference between the pages Renault Italia and Renault do Brasil is in the fan base, and the number of posts. The Brazilian page counts more than 3 million fans while the Italian one 76,000. It’s very interesting to notice that Renault do Brasil publishes only 8 posts per month, a really low number if compared to Renault Italia, that produces around 40 posts a month.
Also the communication strategy is really different between the pages. In Brazil there are a lot of commercial posts – the last 4 are only commercial-related – and also pictures of cars are posted. The Italian page has a more varied content strategy: commercials, partnerships, products, Instagram pictures from “real life” situations and events. Showing a large variety of content is useful, in order to keep fans interested in the brand communication, which may easily result in being boring if not well thought of.
The main differences between the two Citroën pages reside in the interaction level: the Italian fan page generated in February over 70 thousand interactions (comments+likes+shares) while the Brazilian fan page got around 50 thousand. It is important to say that Citroën Italia counts over 750k fans, while Citroën do Brasil has more than 2 million fans. Note: the quantity of published posts is the same for both, about 50 posts per month.
The communication style is not very different between the two Citroën pages analysed; Citroën do Brasil community managers use a lot of Instagram and commercial/products posts. The same types of post are used in Italy but with a little difference: Citroën Italia doesn’t use Instagram, yet it frequently posts about the local volleyball team. Also, photo albums are created very often: photo albums are the most engaging post category for the Italian market.
With almost 3 million fans, Volkswagen do Brasil is one of the better performing pages we have analysed. Data about page and content are quite good: interactions are really high, and the variety of posts shared in page is wide. There’s a base of product-related content – as most of the competitors do – but also tips, inspirational posts and content dedicated to the female target (quite unusual for this industry, although 53.5% of Brazilian Facebook users are women).
The Italian fan page is not so far from the same good performance. Volkswagen Italia counts 750k fans and interactions are quite good (average PTAT: 25,000). The editorial plan includes the same categories as Volkswagen do Brasil, and also lots of videos and links are posted in the page. Usually links are among the worst-performing post types on Facebook, yet they are the best post type in terms of interactions for Volkswagen Italy.
The German brand counts a bigger fan base in Brazil than Italy, but the difference is relatively small: Audi Brasil has over 1 million fans while Audi Italia counts almost 850k fans. As it happens for Citroën, interaction levels between the two countries are very different: Audi Brasil has very few interactions if compared to its fan base (only 20k over February 2013), while the Italian fan page registered more than 120k interactions over the same period (note: the quantity of published posts is the same for both, around 40 posts per month).
Let’s see what kinds of post are published by Audi in Brazil and Italy. Both pages have a product-centric communication style: beautiful pictures, amazing cars and commercials are shared with fans, along with content related to a high-level lifestyle (Audi Italia often posts about top ski areas in the Alps).
It’s the typical approach of high-end brands that have more aspirational fan bases. Aspirational and evocative contents generate huge interactions, since people are willing to share images that are related to positive feelings.
Key takeaways (and Infographic)
Automotive companies generally tend to have different communication approaches at the local level, both online and offline, since the overall marketing objectives are different in different areas of the world (as we’ve recently seen with the analysis of Audi vs. BMW on Russian social media). Yet if we have a deeper look at what automotive brands share on Facebook in Italy and Brazil, the differences between the pages are not that significant.
We’re speaking of two digital markets with different sizes: Brazil counts 88 million people on Facebook, while in Italy there are 26 million. But as seen in the analysis, these numbers are not always crucial if we talk about interactions: the quality and the appropriateness of contents are the best metrics to keep in consideration during the editorial plan creation.
Here are the main takeaways of the analysis of 12 pages of automotive brands during February 2014:
1) Global pages are not interesting for automotive brands, at least at the moment. Today the main interest now is not to boast a huge number on the Like counter, yet to focus on the actual interaction at the local level. This is very different if compared with Food&Beverage and Fashion brands, even when they have strong differences in the products sold on different countries/areas.
2) Big fan bases are not synonyms of large interactions; the focus should be on quality (Citroën Italy has a bigger PTAT compared to Citroën Brasil, although the fan base is over three times bigger, and the number of posts equal).
3) “The more you post” is not the answer (and not directly related) to the increase of people talking about this; once again, quality is king. In Italy videos and links work good (quite surprisingly, the best performing content on VW Italy are links) while in a market like the Brazilian one, where brands are more used to share lots of pictures, the emphasis is on strong colors (Citroën and Renault in Brazil share pics from Instagram too).
4) Communication strategies seem all different at the first glance, but at the end they all talk about the same topics: advertising material, TV commercials and product. There are a few exceptions (Volkswagen in particular, and Fiat in Brazil) but the overall strategy is similar; also, the materials used by brands in different countries are often the same, with graphic adjustments.
And here’s the infographic.