US automakers want to use social networks to the state billions
In desperation, the three major US car manufacturers Ford, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler resort to new lobbying methods and continue their struggle for survival on the Internet. In order to get billions in financial aid from the state, the corporations have launched various campaigns on websites and in social networks such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and various blogs.
“Social communities offer companies ideal conditions for marketing their products. However, they can derive the greatest benefit from the feedback that users give in social communities,” explains Axel Schönau, Managing Director of the specialist for digital marketing TradeDoubler, when asked by Pressetext. Using the high-reach portals, the car companies try to communicate their concerns to the US Senate as quickly and widely as possible – and in a cost-effective way, as they themselves emphasize.
According to the marketing expert, the Web 2.0 offerings offer companies the opportunity to contact the target group directly and reduce wastage to a minimum. With such initiatives, social networks will probably finally make their way into the business segment. “Web 2.0 offerings that attract a large audience have clearly arrived in the business sector. Video portals such as YouTube are used as a channel for PR, corporate micro-blogging is carried out via Twitter, companies organize themselves in groups and organize events on Facebook,” says Schönau to the press release.
Media and advertising agencies, which are already feeling the effects of the crisis in the automotive industry due to the lack of advertising, should be happy about the campaigns of the groups. A large part of this is done in a way that is easy on the budget, for example in blogs or within free networks. In addition, however, the companies also place advertisements with various US media and use Google AdWords keyword searches. For example, Ford launched its own website, TheFordStory.com, at the same time as the congress presentation of the restructuring plans on Tuesday, published videos on YouTube and booked various Google AdWords keywords.
While the car companies had applied for government aid of around $34 billion, economic experts such as Mark Zandi, chief economist at the rating agency Moody’s, assume that the industry will need aid of up to $125 billion in view of the declining sales figures. The online activities of the ailing companies are intended not only to promote understanding of the government support, but also to help achieve broader goals for the auto industry. pte