Mazda’s social media zoom

Most automotive websites are essentially big advertising sites focused on one way communication with customers. Mazda, however, have revamped their approach to bring the essence of the zoom zoom brand alive online, both on the website and within social media channels – and many seem to like their new direction.

As noted elsewhere, ‘prior to the development of the site Mazda lacked a social network and community strategy, with no official Mazda Australia presence on Facebook, Flickr or YouTube and a tactical attempt at Twitter’.

Recently launched (with the help of igloo and Sitecore) the Mazda Australia website is now an integrated social media and community portal aimed at user engagement and interaction. In agreement with Alastair Doak, National Marketing Manager at Mazda Australia’s comments, the new site ‘enables new and existing Mazda customers to engage with the brand and connect with other Mazda enthusiasts on a more personal level’.

The Mazda Community’ features heavily at the forefront of the site, and users are encouraged to contribute to photos and galleries online; access news, competitions, event information and ambassador profiles; and ‘ask an expert’ a Mazda question. Live tweets appear – on the community homepage – and there are links to community forums, blogs and reviews. Interestingly, many of the links go outside of Mazda to owners’ club sites, commercial reviews and independent blogs.

And for those of you with a keen eye, you’ll notice that as you navigate around the site, the page background images change to feature photos contributed by Mazda Community members.

With social media integration, an improved technical infrastructure and information architecture overhaul, the site undoubtedly provides a more engaging and informative user experience and fast-tracked calls-to-action, making it easier for users to book a test drive, locate a dealer and request a brochure. Customer service issues and vehicle questions are now being raised and responded to online and through social media channels.

Within two months of launching the new site the spike in user interaction was already noticeable, with a 52% increase in site views, and brochure requests rising by 36% over the same period. Today, Mazda Australia has an official Facebook page with 2351 fans, a Twitter following of 2392 and a dedicated YouTube channel where viewers can access commericals and videos about Mazda vehicles, concepts and designs, events and motorsport, in addition to videos posted by community members.

Mazda have undoubtedly committed significant resources to this emarketing and social media strategy, and will need to continue to do so in an effort to monitor and manage their social media presence while keeping the community interested and engaged in their activity. If they haven’t done so already, they should also consider implementing policies regarding employees posting on blogs and websites on behalf of the company.

With the help of igloo, Mazda Australia appears to have established the foundation and direction of a successful social media strategy. I commend their decision to enlist the assistance of an agency in planning their jump into the social media, and hope to see them continue to move forward in this space.

References:
CIO 2011, ‘Mazda Australia zooms ahead online‘, viewed 16 April 2011.
Australian Creative 2010, ‘Mazda’s new digital offering by igloo‘, viewed 16 April 2011.
David Scott 2010, ‘Mazda Australia social media Zoom Zoom‘, viewed 16 April 2011.
Mazda Australia 2011, viewed 16 April 2011.

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  1. #1 by Rowdy on April 17, 2011 - 11:05 PM

    Thanks for a great article discussing this new and improved site!

    Mazda has come a long way with the revamp of their website and I for one like the new direction they have taken. I believe the jump into social media is directly in line with their targeted customers. Mazda want to be seen at the forefront of technology, while also being super trendy and into all that the ‘cool kids’ are in too! I think their website and social media activity supports this position.

    Having a community section of the site that utilises blogs, ambassadors, reviews, competitions, events, forums and even more, and then having customer photos as the background on the site as you discuss in your post, has really gone a long way to engaging with the customer at ‘their’ level.

    Though this is a content heavy site, it is easy to navigate around and find information you are after and supports the overall engagement strategy that Mazda has implemented.

    I also agree with your comments that Mazda will have to continue to invest heavily in resources to monitor the online activity they have initiated and to manage their online brand reputation.

  2. #2 by Jenelle Guest on April 25, 2011 - 3:52 PM

    I found this post really interesting.
    I’m a Mazda driver myself.
    I love my little Mazda 3SP23… I have even named her “Lil Lighting” and we have been together just over 5 years (one of the longest relationships I have had)
    I used to receive the most amazing direct mail that was targeted and relevant to me. I also used to receive a reminder letter whenever my car was due for a service. In the last 12 months I have noticed that this has dropped off – I’m not receiving anything!!
    While I really like what Mazda have done with this campaign – I’m quite disappointed considering I’m part of the “Mazda Community” reading your post was the first I have heard of the campaign.
    I searched the web and what I found was really interactive and relevant – But as I have not been made aware of it from Mazda – It has made me think twice about whether or not I want to continue to be a part of the “Mazda Community” when it comes time to upgrade my current car.

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