Buying a car is far from just purchasing a vehicle. Sure, we choose our next 4-wheels based upon its reviews and design, but also for what “it says about us”. I know, you just buy the safest or the greenest one. But there are drivers who prefer some brand over the other for its classy vibe or just because they feel it’s more feminine or masculine.

This issue is one the greatest challenges of the automakers: how to brand a car in a way that reflects the target audience wishful persona – classy, safe, courageous?

The automotive industry spends big budgets annually on advertising to raise awareness for their brands and position themselves as the definite car for each persona.

We decided to see who’s in the automotive industry take this ongoing mission seriously and performs best on social.

There are many great car brands so we refined our search to the 10 most valuable brands in the industry (see full list below).

We ran a preliminary research about the automotive community to see who is interested in automotive content in their feeds. The data shows that 58% are males, and most of the community lives in the States (45%), Netherlands (12%) and Canada (7%). 

We’ve set monitors for the brands’ activities on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the last week and analyzed their performance. Here are the results:

Most active: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz tweets and posts with a nitro boost in their hands. The luxurious brand shares 45 posts and tweets a day and it pays off: 485k RTs and Likes a day! Way more than the average 50k of the rest top automakers.

It is worth mentioning that though it is a luxurious brand, it also holds the largest audience. Their 25 million followers – 20m on Facebook – are not just customers but also brand enthusiasts.

What’s their secret sauce? They spice their social mix with images, gifs, smart copy and some subtle promotion. Their content is in the highest standard a brand can imagine and it is no surprise to see how the audience reacts to it. 

[Tweet “What makes Mercedes-Benz the most engaging automotive brand on social?”]

Most Responsive: Volkswagen and Toyota

Both social teams of Volkswagen and Toyota take it seriously to be there for the audience and respond to any need they raise. Both companies spoke with more than 6,000 people each. When analyzing their conversations it clearly shows how they keep it helpful while witty and cheery. It makes it fun to reach out for them, mention them and engage. 

Try it for yourself:

[Tweet “@toyota I’ve just read that you’re the friendliest automotive brand on Twitter, is that true?”]

Most Mentioned: Honda

On regular days, the trophy would have gone to Mercedes-Benz, but last week was different. Honda just blew social away with a holiday campaign. The company launched a new commercial starring One Direction and a behind the scene short movies. The audience went bananas – 22k RTs and 36k likes for a single tweet. In case you wonder, there’s life after Zayn.

The campaign made Honda the most popular brand lately with more than 45k mentions in just a single week (compared to the 5k weekly mentions for the rest of the industry).

Entertaining till Converting

The automotive industry is a great example of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, jab, jab, right hook” attitude. They hand the audience with best-quality content which is pure entertainment. Their long-term goal might be to one day convert the followers to customers, but till the day comes, they share amazing footage, videos, and information.

There’s a famous story about the development of 2004 Toyota’s Sienna minivan. The company’s chief engineer drove 53,000 miles all across North America to talk with prospect customers and understand what’s important for them when buying a minivan. He came to realize that the kids are ruling the car and it’s important to put great effort in their space in the car. His observations made Toyota Sienna’s sales rise in 60%.

Today, you don’t have to drive 53k miles to get closer to your target audience. The automotive brands operate large-scale media productions on social to keep the audience close to them. They share great content and receive huge feedback for their new developments and their existing products. It’s not about making an immediate conversion but to keep themselves in the back of the audience mind.


Brand Brand Value ($B) Audience (m) Activity
(RTs and Likes / Day)
(Twitter Conversations)
Toyota 29 3.2 36.5 3,891 6,320
BMW 26 25 23.3 315,348 2,091
Mercedes-Benz 22 25 45.4 485,410 4,188
Honda 13 5 1.4 9,456 5,122
Ford 13 4.1 6.9 21,544 220
Nissan 11 14.8 3.8 336 199
Audi 10 13.5 8 83,766 4,082
Volkswagen 9 18.2 7.5 41 6,414
Land Rover 5 12.4 4.1 10,662 433
Lexus 4 8.8 8.8 7,540 2,847

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