Turtle Wax Winning the Social Media Race With New Campaign

Beating competitors' stats

Turtle Wax has seriously lagged behind some of its more hare-like automotive competitors when it comes to Twitter and Facebook. In short, it's been in social-media standstill.

But now, the 67-year-old company is picking up the pace. A month into a campaign that entailed buying multiple hashtags in the men's interest and cars categories, it's seen a Promoted Tweets engagement rate of an impressive 7 percent.

San Francisco-based Twitter says brands typically garner an engagement rate of 3 percent to 5 percent for Promoted Tweets. Engagement activities include retweets, replies and favorites.

Here are some examples of how Turtle Wax's engagement rate breaks down, per the marketer:

Men's interest hashtag ad buys are getting a 6 percent engagement rate.

Cars and automotive hashtags are producing a 7 percent engagement rate.

Turtle Wax bought the "car wash" search term, and while it received by far the fewest impressions among the ad placements, its engagement rate is an eye-popping 11 percent.

More generally, Turtle Wax is encouraging consumers to celebrate the fact that warm weather is finally here after a spring of fickle weather. In an initiative called #WaxOnShirtOff, shirtless dudes, bikinied ladies and other skin-baring individuals are sending in photos either of them washing their car or next to their newly cleaned ride. The campaign runs through the end of summer.

Turtle Wax will give away 250 "vintage," branded T-shirts to participants with the best photos. Three grand prize winners will receive two years worth of Turtle Wax products.

The effort goes beyond Twitter, encompassing a microsite and entailing Facebook promoted posts. In addition, a :50 "ambush video" starring ESPN's Mike Golic (watch below) has been a part of the mix.

All in all, Turtle Wax has lifted its Twitter following by 36 percent to 2,100, while increasing its Facebook audience fivefold to 82,000. Christine Whitemarsh, social media lead for the Chicago-based company, said her brand is just now getting its social-media footing.

"We still don't have as many Twitter followers and Facebook fans as some of our competitors," she told Adweek. "But our engagement rate on Twitter is great, and we are smoking our competitors on Facebook when it comes to People Talking About This [PTAT]."

Car-cleaning rival Armor All, for example, towers over her brand when it comes to audience, with 149,000 Facebook fans. However, Turtle Wax's PTAT score—Facebook's marketing metric of all-things-engagement—stood at 4,889 on Monday versus Armor All's 387.

"We've built up huge momentum," Whitemarsh said. "Our ratio of Facebook likes to unlikes right now is off-the-charts good. It signals that we are approaching social the right way."

For this weeks-long campaign led by marketing agency Zeno Group, the brand is donating $1 to the Hartford Camp Courant for every photo submitted via Twitter and Facebook.