When Chase Auto set out to create its first Instagram campaign in February, the idea was to relate the emotional connection consumers have with their cars to the personal relationships they celebrate on Valentine’s Day. The resulting campaign, which pitched a do-it-yourself date night idea called the “Cuddle Car Kit,” netted 4 million impressions, said Ashlei Bobo, a communications associate at JPMorgan Chase & Co., in a session at the American Financial Services Association’s Vehicle Finance Conference last month.
Bobo outlined four strategies for developing a successful social media campaign.
Know your channels. Lenders may use various handles on multiple channels, but it’s important to understand each channel’s role and features to figure out what content to promote. With Twitter, for instance, “it’s all about hashtags,” Bobo said. On Facebook, video content is most common, while Instagram users share their stories “in a very visual way,” she added. LinkedIn, meanwhile, is most commonly used for thought leadership, a more professional platform for advice and networking. “Understanding what experiences consumers are expecting in [each] channel is extremely important,” she said. “You don’t want to put something in that they’re not expecting, because they’re going to reject it because it’s not a part of their regular, native experience.”
Be timely. With millions of conversations happening in social media channels every day, the key to drawing consumers’ attention to your particular brand or business rests on the ability to deliver a timely message. “Be aware of what random social media holiday it is,” Bobo said. “This is the place to be creative and try to connect things.” Lenders should do the legwork to stay abreast of the latest hashtag holidays. For instance, April 25 is #NationalTelephoneDay, an ideal opportunity to reach out to your auto loan customers. Chase took a similar approach on Valentine’s Day, providing consumers with instructions for creating an economical Cuddle Car Kit, which included a blanket, binoculars, and some hot chocolate for a stargazing date. “The car becomes the destination of your date night,” Bobo said. While the campaign might have been lighthearted, “it gave us a reason to talk on Valentine’s Day,” she said.
Insert your brand authentically. Another appeal of the Cuddle Car Kit was its affordability, an effort by Chase Auto to remind customers to make sound financial decisions. “It’s economical,” Bobo said. “Instead of spending thousands of dollars for a date night on Valentine’s Day, you can actually use this.” Chase Auto even suggested on Twitter and Facebook that parents could have their date night at home, using the Cuddle Car Kit idea in their driveways.
Create engaging content. To further the Valentine’s Day dialogue, Chase Auto created related content available when people swiped up on the Instagram story. “They came to this article, which was about four signs it’s time to break up with your car,” Bobo said. “That continued our personification of people and cars and that relationship.” For instance, the article suggests that if your car can’t get you safely from Point A to Point B, it’s probably time to part ways. “It’s very basic information, but because of the way we pivoted it, because of the way we positioned it to be about breaking up with your car, it really fit in well for Valentine’s Day,” she said. Chase Auto shared pieces of the article on Facebook and Twitter, so people could “get to it in a bunch of different ways,” she added.
Before lenders kick off their social media campaigns, they must set performance targets. “If you don’t outline what success will look like to you, it’s very difficult to know if it’s effective,” Bobo said. Specifically, lenders should talk about the goals for the campaign, and set benchmarks and key performance indicators. “Set those things so you can always check in on them – throughout the campaign, not just at the end – to truly know if your social media is effective,” she added.
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