Building Better Cars and Better Customer Relations.
Hyundai has been getting a lot of attention these days as a company that cares about its customers and part of this success can be credited to social media marketing. By integrating a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy with social media along with their traditional marketing, Hyundai has branded itself as an altruistic company that really does care about its’ customers. In fact – Hyundai has jumped ahead of every other car manufacturer in the critical customer satisfaction index (CSI) category. Here are a few examples how Hyundai is applying their social media marketing strategy in key parts of their business and how it is paying off.
Hyundai’s Assurance Program began in early 2009 when the economy was at its worst and unemployment was rising rapidly. The Hyundai Assurance Program promised that if you got laid off from your job, you could return your car and not even have to worry about honoring the rest of the note payable. The promotion was innovative but coming from a major car corporation was it believable? The attention the campaign received from the press and from many blogs and websites was skeptical.
Hyundai began promoting the idea on Facebook and Twitter. They asked everyone to buzz and tweet about it and people responded with enthusiasm. The idea of social networking for business exposure is not new but the strategy was extraordinary because it laid the groundwork for the campaign and gave it credibility. It was a brilliant way to market a promotion that really did work. Sharing this information on Facebook and Twitter turned out to be a big plus for the car company’s marketing campaign.
Hyundai sales are up 6.2 percent through November 2009. This marks the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year gains in retail market share by Hyundai. The Hyundai Assurance Program is without doubt one of the reasons their sales have increased this year while other car manufacturers have floundered.
Zafar Brooks, Director of Government Relations and Diversity Outreach at Hyundai, has a refreshing perspective on the value of social media when combined with corporate outreach programs. The Hyundai “Hope on Wheels” program fights pediatric cancer by funding cancer research programs across the country. Brooks understands the importance of authenticity and relevance in social media outreach, particularly on behalf of corporate charitable programs.
He said: “Consumers are more sophisticated now — corporate social responsibility programs are no longer something that is ‘nice’ to do, but it’s expected of the company,” noted Brooks. “Simultaneously, consumers will smell-out what is not authentic — Hope on Wheels isn’t advertised, but is part of the news we share with our brand loyalists,” he said. “It is a part of our story because it is a part of who we are and what we are about. Social media should be authentic and organic.”
Mr. Brooks added, “Brand leaders must align themselves with a cause that is consistent with corporate values so they can illustrate their relevancy. Leadership has to establish the priorities around which we stand and make it part of our messaging point.”
Brooks concluded: “All social media should link together with a common objective to develop a program based on who we want to talk to about what we want to accomplish. Social media outreach must be part of a cohesive approach. Consumers will smell-out what is not authentic!”
Hyundai Aftermarket recently announced the launch of a new social media campaign. The goal was to give Hyundai owners a new way of finding content on the internet about modifying their vehicles. The interactive social media campaign involves additional features being built into the Hyundai forum that owners can use effectively to get the word out about what they are doing to make their cars stand out from the rest. Twitter accounts and Facebook “Fan Pages” have been built so that owners can follow live updated news feeds about Hyundai Aftermarket as well.
“Finding important and relevant information is not easy when you are unfamiliar with how to perform certain modifications,” said a Hyundai spokesperson. “Having a forum and website where answers to important questions are laid out for you, would help with modifying your Hyundai to its highest potential.”
While the site has been branded as the “web’s most premier Hyundai forum” and currently is the oldest Hyundai forum on the internet, it has been designed for both the amateur and professional car enthusiast in mind. The site is built on the principle of being very easy going and helpful to anyone who may or may not know a lot about Hyundai’s. Users register for free and can partake in discussions about Hyundai Accents, Tiburons, Elantra’s, Sonata’s, Santa Fe’s and the all new Hyundai Genesis.
In addition to providing great technical content, hyundaiaftermarket provides great off topic discussions ranging in everything from technology to music & movies to even food and health/nutrition.