Luxury automakers on Instagram are beginning to step up their consumer interaction game. While many brands are still using the site to repost showroom photos and auto show videos, a solid handful are engaging with their audience on a unique and significant level. Companies like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have figured out the perfect storm of sharing behind-the-scenes details about new models, promoting posts from popular users, and using witty timing in order to capture the Instagram market.
As the most popular auto company on Instagram, BMW uses the site to debut new models and features in an exclusive behind-the-scenes format. However, where the luxury brand really succeeds is in its use of the massive following that it’s acquired. A majority of the posts from the brand are actually reposts of user photos with their #BMW.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that while BMW is sharing the love for its followers, it is also open to poking a little fun at their competition. Early this year, after Audi revealed its laserlight concept at the Consumer Electronics Show Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, BMW posted this photo jokingly apologizing for not having announced their identical laserlight concept that BMW had unveiled 3 years prior.
Audi, unfazed by the harmless teasing by BMW, has also risen to the top of the Instagram popularity chart. The secret to their success — an off-brand look inside the company. Instead of “re-graming” pristine showroom photos and pictures already used on other social media sites, Audi is sharing user photos, getting creative with real-time marketing and making things personal.
While the brand’s page is without boring showroom shots, it’s certainly not lacking in gorgeous, real-life photography. The use of outdoor, on-the-go photos show the performance abilities of the vehicles while also encouraging owners to share what they’re doing with their Audi.
Among the brands that like their classy, professionally shot Instagrams, Mercedes-Benz is doing well on Instagram thanks to their recently launched campaign, #GLApacked. Introduced this month, the campaign promotes the new sports utility vehicle to hit lots in the fall. Mercedes-Benz loaned GLAs to “Instagram influencers” for a cross-country trip for which they were asked to document their travels, starting with a photo of the most important things they packed.
This campaign is one of the major ways in which Mercedes-Benz is using Instagram to connect to millenials, a relatively untapped market for the brand. With the help of already young and popular Instagrammers onboard for the campaign and a clever, personalized concept like #GLApacked, Mercedes-Benz is easily able to relate to this younger market.
[Sources: Digiday, Exacttarget, Evins, BMW Blog]