Mercedes-Benz South Africa has become the first automotive brand in the country to reach the milestone of one-million Facebook fans. It believes social networking not only helps it keep in-touch with its customers, but also helps engage with potential buyers.
The company says social media has long been a vital part of the brand’s marketing and communications, speaking not only to its existing customers, but to a highly aspirational fan base who love the three-pointed star and enjoy being part of its digital community.
“We started our Facebook page in late 2011, and soon realised that it was a crucial component in getting our message across to both existing and prospective customers,” says Selvin Govender, Marketing Director: Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“It was therefore imperative that we continuously assessed and changed our approach to ensure that we provided the most engaging and interesting content that our followers would appreciate and with which they would want to engage.
“The continuous introduction of new and exciting models, and the creation of niche segments, has contributed positively to the popularity of the brand, clearly indicating that our rejuvenation strategy is bearing fruit.
“Instead of using the traditional marketing tactics and approach of pushing generic marketing tools, we undertook extensive market research on new trends and product updates to find the most original topics and formats that would appeal to our audiences,” adds Govender.
Over the years, MBSA has also increased its use of digital platforms to spread brand awareness to a wider audience – including using social media as the basis for several of its most successful campaigns, such as the 2014 GLA Adventure and the 2015 AMG Extreme Adventure.
Engagement is also a watchword for the company, as it strives to provide content that will not simply be viewed, but with which its fans will interact.
“We did not see our role as only to create content, but rather to create conversations across all our social media platforms, including Facebook, when topics were trending and our users had an emotional connection with our brand,” adds Govender.
“Current interactive lifestyle campaigns such as the ever-popular #EveryTerrain SUV series, the #ALevelUp A-Class introduction competition and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week highlights, contributed hugely to this phenomenal success.”