Following the pandemic, over 75% of car buyers have begun using car search websites to help inform their next car purchase. As a result of car dealerships closing for the majority of the year, 76% of car buyers said they had begun using vehicle search sites for new purchases, and a similar amount spent more time browsing on them than pre-COVID.
Most buyers used multiple sites to help inform their decision, with different sites being used to identify best price offers and general information about car models. An accommodating feature of car comparison sites that entices viewers is being able to see and compare all cars within the viewer’s vicinity.
Consumers have been spending more time online since the pandemic began, so it’s understandable they are heavily using the internet and social media to research cars. The evolving consumer approach means car retailers have begun putting more emphasis on their online presence in hopes of capturing the attention of potential buyers.
But how are they doing this? Keep reading to find out what Carwow, Kazoo, Cinch and AutoTrader are doing on social media.
How Carwow is developing its online presence
Carwow has an active social media presence across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. It’s main content focus is spread across Instagram and YouTube.
Carwow updates its global Instagram at least twice a day, providing a consistent amount of new content to its followers. It makes use of most features Instagram has available with posts, Reels, IGTVs, Stories and Highlights. It uses engagement-encouragement techniques such as quizzes and polls on its stories and posts question games on its posts such as “The best SUV is…? “ and “Guess the Car”.
Carwow has localised Instagram accounts for various regions across Europe, but it primarily opts to focus on its global account that has 774K followers. Carwow supports its Instagram activity with influencer marketing. It regularly works with car expert and enthusiast Mat Watson, who is Carwow’s official car reviewer. Carwow collates and reposts content Mat has created in collaboration with it.
Carwow uploads a new video to its global YouTube channel everyday. Hosted by Mat Watson who acts as the face of Carwow on socials, the videos vary from car model reviews to drag races to general automotive industry updates. The content is entertaining, engaging and performs well. The Carwow YouTube channel has 5.6 million subscribers and 1.8 billion views. In addition to this, Carwow has localised YouTube channels for European countries as well as Latin America and China. Many of these localised accounts also perform well with over 100K subscribers. The accounts repost content created by Mat for the global channel but dubbed in the native language.
The reason its YouTube channel performs so well could be because it is not only informative, but uses Mat Watson as the face of the brand. Connecting with a real person is more appealing and easier for consumers. By using an influencer, Carwow is able to give itself a personality which makes it more likeable to consumers.
Carwow uses Facebook and Twitter to amplify its Instagram posts, YouTube videos and blogs, with updates being posted 2-3 times a day. Reusing content means Carwow doesn’t have to spend as much time creating platform-specific content and increases the reach of its Instagram, YouTube and blogs.
How Cazoo is developing its online presence
Cazoo is active across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It’s main social media focus is Twitter.
Cazoo uses Twitter for various purposes: to update its audience on competitions and giveaways, respond to customer queries and complaints, share blog posts, provide general brand updates and promote its brand partnerships with Everton FC and Aston Villa. Cazoo responds to customer queries multiple times a day—more often than it posts additional content.
Cazoo has a review-focused Instagram feed in addition to its various sports partnerships. It will occasionally post informative content around cars such as “Best used electric cars” and provides a link in its biography to the Cazoo website and blog. It doesn’t regularly use other Instagram features than posts—though it does have Story Highlights and one IGTV.
Its Facebook is used in a similar way to the Cazoo Instagram, but with fewer customer review posts. Its Facebook posts provide direct links to blog posts such as “How to maintain your car” and “Cazoo to become headline sponsor of The Derby Festival”.
The Cazoo YouTube channel primarily features full adverts and ad clips. It also posts videos explaining how the business works, as well as Everton Match Day Challenges and Match Day Competitions with Aston Villa.
Cazoo is relatively inconsistent across all its socials, which is likely why they don’t perform as well as other car comparison social media accounts. There is no obvious use of influencer marketing, but it makes up for this with Everton and Aston Villa content, which makes the brand appeal to a different and wider audience.
How Cinch is developing its online presence
Cinch has regularly active Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. It does have a YouTube account, but this is only updated sporadically. It’s YouTube has videos announcing new partnerships, adverts and “How-Tos” on using the service.
Cinch’s Facebook is updated 2-3 times a week with links to guide blogs, informative videos, competitions/giveaways and customer reviews. Cinch is still in the community and audience building stage, so it’s posts do not receive much attention or engagement.
Cinch uses its Instagram in a very similar way to Facebook, but with more engagement encouraging content. It regularly uses Stories (and Highlights) to host “Would You Rathers” between cars using polls, quizzes, answer FAQs, inform its followers of upcoming Cinch-endorsed events and information on electric cars.
Cinch uses Twitter to engage with its community and customers more directly. Cinch responds to organic customer content and queries in a positive, friendly way. This tone helps personalise the brand, making it more approachable. It’s Twitter features similar updates and news to the content posted on Facebook and Instagram.
The most standout feature about Cinch’s social media usage is that it is available on Whatsapp. Advertised on its website, customers can directly start a conversation with Cinch representatives through the messaging app.
In addition to this, despite not using any influencer marketing, Cinch’s celebrity ambassador Rylan Clark-Neal is vocal and active on Cinch’s social media and his own. He often comments on Facebook posts, which encourages customers to interact with Cinch’s posts.
How Auto Trader is developing its online presence
Auto Trader is very active on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It had an even content focus across all platforms.
Auto Trader typically uploads 2 new posts and one Story to Instagram everyday. It uses most available Instagram features including Reels, IGTV and Highlights. It posts a variety of content from “Guess the price/car”, car reviews and walkarounds, and engagement-purposed posts where followers are invited to fill in the blank. Featured regularly on its Instagram is Rory Reid, who is Auto Trader’s official YouTube Director. Rory regularly posts about Auto Trader on his own account which has 42K followers.
Auto Trader’s YouTube channel is updated twice a week. Hosted and directed by Rory Reid, content is predominantly vehicle reviews, with the occasional industry update. The content produces performs well and is of an incredibly high quality. Using Rory as the face of the channel makes Auto Trader seem a trustworthy and expert brand, especially considering the sheer volume of reviews.
The Auto Trader Facebook page is updated regularly with the same content as on Instagram. Posting the same content means Auto Trader doesn’t have to create more platform-specific content. In addition to this, the community-building questions generally receive a good response rate on Facebook.
Auto Trader users Twitter to engage and respond to its community. Amongst blog and brand updates, car review videos and responding to customer queries, Auto Trader regularly responds to organic user-generated tweets with funny memes and responses. These responses encourage other users and customers to post their own tweets in hopes of receiving a funny response.