ShareThis Auto Study

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Over the course of 4 months, ShareThis observed the online social patterns of over 13 million users logging 49 million auto-related sharing events.
We cross-matched these against a database of 26 million unique users who owned or displayed interest in several dozen major automotive brands.
To understand the impact of advertising on sharers, we monitored over 11 million ad impressions from a selection of campaigns run by major automotive brands over the course of one month.

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ShareThis Auto Study

  1. 1. SHARETHIS AUTOMOTIVE STUDY How Sharing Drives Automotive Purchases
  2. 2. 2 METHODOLGY Over the course of 4 months, ShareThis observed the online social patterns of over 13 million users logging 49 million auto-related sharing events. We cross-matched these against a database of 26 million unique users who owned or displayed interest in several dozen major automotive brands. To understand the impact of advertising on sharers, we monitored over 11 million ad impressions from a selection of campaigns run by major automotive brands over the course of one month.
  3. 3. 3 HERE’S WHAT WE LEARNED Sharing activity generally correlates with purchase activity: Consumers aged 36 to 55 are by far the most active, both online and in the marketplace. Regions with strong dealership presence tend to have an abundance of related social activity. Car shoppers are more social: Users who are in-market for a new vehicle are 10x more likely to share about autos, and twice as likely to share about the brands they’re interested in. Owners make the best advocates: Users are 2.5x more likely to share about a particular brand if they own one of its models, and their shares are 43% more influential. Sharing drives brand consideration and purchase: Users who share about a particular brand are twice as likely to add the brand to their consideration set, and twice as likely to make a purchase. Social users are more receptive to advertising: Delivering ads to users who share autos related content is 3.0x more likely to generate brand inquiries, and 3.6x more likely to lead to an actual sale.
  4. 4. 4 AUTO SHARING, BY THE NUMBERS TIME FRAME: 4 MONTHS AUDIENCE: 13 MILLION UNIQUES SOCIAL ACTIVITY: 49 MILLION SHARES WHERE DO PEOPLE SHARE ABOUT CARS? Sharing takes place across a wide array of social channels: 65% 10% 7% 3% 3% 2% 10% Facebook Twitter Email Reddit Pinterest Blogger Other WHAT DO PEOPLE SHARE THE MOST ABOUT? The most purchased brands and segments are also generally the most shared: SEGMENTS BRANDS MODELS
  5. 5. 5 SHARING DEMOGRAPHICS ARE BROADLY IN LINE WITH THE MARKET Consumers aged 36 to 55 are by far the most active, both online and in the marketplace. AUTO BUYERS AND SHARERS, BY AGE 4% 19% 22% 26% 19% 10% 18 -25 26 - 35 36 - 45 46 - 55 56 - 65 65+ 1% 10% 22% 26% 23% 18% BUYERS (US) 1 SHARERS The only exceptions occur at both extremes of the age spectrum: Millennials are more prolific sharers, while Boomers are more active in the marketplace. 1National Automobile Dealers Association Annual Report, 2012
  6. 6. 6 THE SHARES FOLLOWS THE INVENTORY Regions with strong dealership presence tend to have a abundance of related social activity 1National Automobile Dealers Association Annual Report, 2012 STATES MOST SOCIAL ABOUT CARS STATES WITH MOST NEW AND USED CAR DEALERSHIPS PER CAPITA1
  7. 7. 7 CAR SHOPPERS ARE MORE SOCIAL % OF USERS WHO SHARE CONTENT RELATED TO CARS Users who are in-market* for a new vehicle are nearly 10x more likely to share autos-related content… …and nearly twice as likely to share about the brands they’re interested in. *In-market” users are those who have made a formal inquiry about one or more brands online: filling out a questionnaire, requesting a quote, etc IN-MARKET 10X GENERAL 0.5% 5.1% IN-MARKET 13.9% GENERAL 8.1% 1.7X % OF SHARING EVENTS RELATED TO BRAND OF INTEREST
  8. 8. 8 OWNERS MAKE THE BEST ADVOCATES % OF SHARING EVENTS MENTIONING SPECIFIC BRAND(S) Users are 2.5x more likely to share about a particular brand if they own one of its models. When they do, their shares are 43% more influential. CLICK-BACKS PER SHARE OWNERS 4.3% GENERAL 1.7% 2.5X IN-MARKET 15.9 GENERAL 13.9 OWNERS 19.8
  9. 9. MASS-MARKET 20.3ECONOMY 11.2 LUXURY 30.3PREMIUM 23.7 9 THE MORE PREMIUM THE BRAND, THE MORE INFLUENTIAL THE SHARE Shares mentioning luxury or premium vehicles draw roughly 70% more click-backs, on average, than those related to the mass-market or economy segments. CLICK-BACKS PER SHARE 1National Automobile Dealers Association Annual Report, 2012
  10. 10. 10 SHARING DRIVES BRAND CONSIDERATION Delivering ads to users who share online about cars is 3.0x more likely to generate brand inquiries. % OF USERS WHO ADDED BRAND TO CONSIDERATION SET * AUTO SHARERS WHO HAVE VIEWED AT LEAST ONE AUTO AD 2.9% AUTO SHARERS 1.6% 0.8% GENERAL 1.8X 2.0X *Defined as having made a formal inquiry about one or more brands online: filling out a questionnaire, requesting a quote, etc Users who share about a particular brand are twice as likely to add the brand to their consideration set. Delivering ads to users who share online about cars is 1.8x more likely to lead to a brand inquiry
  11. 11. 11 SHARING DRIVES PURCHASE BEHAVIOR Delivering ads to users who share online about cars is 3.6x more likely to lead to an actual sale. % OF USERS WHO MADE A BRAND PURCHASE By comparison, the baseline conversion rate for digital advertising within the autos segment is about 0.3%, signifying that sharing is a highly indicative declaration of intent. AUTO SHARERS WHO HAVE VIEWED AT LEAST ONE AUTO AD 0.9% AUTO SHARERS 0.4% 0.2% GENERAL 2.3X 2.1X
  12. 12. 12 …SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR AUTOMOTIVE BRANDS? Car shoppers are 10x more social Target users sharing content to reach them at the crucial stage in the purchase funnel Sharing drives purchase consideration, and users will share most about the brands they’re interested in Use this information to identify user preferences and reach them with relevant messaging Sharers are much more receptive to advertising Seeking out social users online yields 3.6x the purchase lift of traditionally-targeted ads Once they’ve made a purchase, these users drive brand advocacy Use these advocates to amplify messages to potential buyers

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