Last year, Twitter partnered with the data firm Datalogix to study Twitter’s influence on sales transactions in the car industry. Twitter provided Datalogix with all the data they had about brand, dealership and consumer Twitter accounts. Datalogix then paired actual vehicle purchases by cross-referencing the Twitter data with data from Polk. Here is what they discovered:

 

  1. Households with Twitter users were 2 times as likely to purchase a new car as the average U.S. household.
  2. Households with Twitter users who engaged with Promoted Tweets from auto advertisers were 32% more likely to purchase a new vehicle than the average Twitter user.
  3. Auto brand Twitter followers were nearly 3 times as likely to purchase a new car.

 

If Twitter users are more likely to buy cars than non-Twitter users, how exactly is Twitter influencing these consumer decisions?

 

According to a separate survey of 12,000 users by Twitter, a whopping 80 percent mentioned a brand in their tweets. And, 54% reported that they took action after seeing a brand mentioned in a tweet. What kind of action? According to the survey, the top 5 were visiting the brand’s website (23%), visiting the brand’s Twitter page (20%), searching for the brand online (20%), considered trying the brand (19%) and retweeted tweets mentioning the brand (18%).

 

This study further found that:

  1. Of the 32% that saw tweets from brand sources, 45% reported taking action.
  2. Of the 33% that saw tweets from non-brand sources, 65% reported taking action.
  3. Of the 35% that saw tweets from both sources, 79% of those reported taking action.

 

So, what are the takeaways from these two studies as regards the auto industry?

 

While Twitter could seem to be a less desirable platform for dealers than Facebook, simply due to message limitations, don’t discount the impact your efforts there can have on sales. The first study very clearly shows that Twitter users are more likely to buy cars than non-Twitter users. And, a dealership’s Twitter followers, in particular, are 3 times more likely to.

 

It would therefore seem wise for dealers to have an active Twitter account, to engage with followers and provide content for followers to share with their network. In addition, the survey results clearly show that the best case scenario is for consumers to be exposed to not just content from the dealership, but, also to content about the dealership that is posted by others. The trick to accomplishing that is simple. Create content that others want to share. By doing that, you stand to increase the possibility that consumers drive further along the car-buying path in your direction.

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