After General Motors pulled its Facebook advertising, other car makers have said they recognize the value of social marketing. The latest? Nissan, which Advertising Age reports is heavily including Facebook in its marketing plans for the upcoming year.
The Japanese motor company plans to launch five new vehicles in the next 15 months, and Facebook is a major part of the advertising plan. Nissan’s director of interactive and social media marketing, Erich Marx, told Advertising Age about the company’s commitment to social media, even if it doesn’t directly translate into a sale:
From a pure ROI (return on investment) standpoint, are we selling hundreds of cars through social? No. But social media has to be a responsible part of any media package now. You have to be there. It’s not about ROI, it’s about COI– cost of ignoring. It’s too big to ignore. It’s not about tying a Facebook sale to a car sale. Facebook may go away, Twitter may go away, but social media isn’t going away. The expectation of owners and fans of being able to interact with the brand is set in stone.
The magazine notes that since Marx took over Nissan’s social media campaign last year, roughly 700,000 more people have liked the page. Right now, Nissan stands at about 935,000 likes.
But even if 935,000 didn’t go out and buy a Nissan, there’s still merit to engaging with drivers and potential customers, which is what the company loves to do. On Saturday, Nissan commented on and shared a photo that a fan posted of his Nissan Quest:
Later this summer, Nissan will start a Facebook feature called “Innovation Garage,” where users who have liked the Altima page can submit ideas for the next launch. The company has also used Facebook for a contest, where Facebook users submitted an essay explaining why they should be the first to test drive the new Altima.
Nissan has planned contests for the next editions of Sentra and Pathfinder, featuring college football and comedians, respectively.
Readers: Have you taken part in one of Nissan’s Facebook contests?
Images courtesy of Nissan’s Facebook page.