How Peugeot and Vauxhall are failing to connect with automotive consumers

Peugeot and Vauxhall are both as active on social media as their competitors. However, by ignoring the passions of consumers within their social strategy, they’ve failed to connect with the automotive audience that matters.

In the early days of social media, noise equated to followers. People were interested in more-or-less anything that was being said and by throwing out a lot of tweets, often with very little substance, brands could accumulate a large following.

Nowadays, people are far more discerning about the profiles they follow and the content they want to see. Posts on social media have to be compelling to earn attention and a profile has to regularly deliver ‘value’ in order to build both an engaged and substantial following.

Recently, we’ve been looking at the automotive industry, identifying automotive consumers and assessing how successful certain brands have been in connecting with this audience. Interestingly, in comparison to their competitors, some car brands - like Peugeot and Vauxhall - have put out a lot of content and received little in return.

Take Vauxhall, who have posted 600 more tweets than Volkswagen, but have a third of their followers. Meanwhile, Peugeot have tweeted twice as much as Renault and have 6,000 fewer followers to show for it.

All four of these brands feature regularly in lists of the top five most popular cars in the UK; so, if it’s not their underlying popularity that’s a factor in dictating their follower numbers, it must be their content.

Our numbers back this up.

Within the automotive audience, Volkswagen has a penetration of 7.6%, while Vauxhall (with a similar number of tweets) has a tiny 2.6%. The same is true of Peugeot vs. Renault, with Renault having achieved twice the penetration of Peugeot from half as many tweets.

It’s clear then, that while both brands post a good deal of content, Vauxhall and Peugeot are failing to deliver content of genuine interest to their audience.

So, how do they rectify this situation?

The first thing both brands need to do is understand the automotive audience better. Our analysis shows that this audience is made up of eight consumer segments, each comprised of consumers who have varying likes, motivations, and passions.

Of these segments, Motorsport, Top Gear Celebrities, and Mainstream Cars make up over 60% of the total audience and - not surprisingly - it’s within these segments that the competitors of Vauxhall and Peugeot generate the majority of their following.

Both of these brands need to look at these segments and compare consumers’ passions to the content they’re producing and the messages they’re delivering.

Across Motorsport, Top Gear Celebrities, and Mainstream Cars the overriding passions revolve around motorsports - and, while Ford and Volkswagen having recently posted content about Le Mans, wins in the World Rally Championships, and other motorsport relating endeavours, Vauxhall and Peugeot’s recent content has focused on content on football, rugby, and travel.

Again, it’s really no surprise, when we look at the data, that Ford and Volkswagen have achieved a larger following and a greater share of the automotive audience. Their content resonates with consumers as it features those things they’re genuinely passionate about. If Vauxhall and Peugeot want to emulate their competitors’ success, they’ll need to shift the focus of their social media strategy away from those things they think appeal to their consumers, towards the things that actually do.

This is a lesson for every brand, regardless of industry. To connect with consumers on social media requires content that delivers a message closely tied to the passions of these consumers. Only when this has been achieved will a brand cut through the mass of noise on social media and begin to attract the interests of their target consumers.

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