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The Impact of Social Media Reviews Among North American Car Buyers

Social Media Reviews Gaining Popularity as Trusted Source

A recent MaritzCX study* uncovers auto buyer’s perception and opinion of social media reviews in determining their purchase. According to the survey, social media reviews have gained popularity among consumers as a trusted source of reference when making purchase decisions.  In Canada and the USA, roughly half of all consumers feel social media reviews in general, are somewhat or very trustworthy.  This proportion is even higher among the under 35-year old age segment, where trust for social media reviews is as high as 63%.

The study was conducted online in September (Canada) and November (USA) 2017 among consumers who purchased a new 2015 to 2017 model year vehicle. Respondent participation included more than 13,300 in the U.S. and over 10,260 in Canada.

auto

The comprehensive auto study examined social media reviews in relation to:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Influencing power
  • What reviews gets read
  • Role of reviews in decision making
  • Preferred review sites
  • Who’s writing reviews
  • Interest in providing reviews

Survey Summary Whitepaper

Presentation

Automotive News Webcast

Press Release

The Impact of Social Media Reviews Among Car Buyers in the USA Infographic

MaritzCX Recommendations for Managing Social Media

Focus on positive: Social media reviews are often referenced for vehicle purchase and service decisions, and the good news is that positive reviews are more likely to be part of what consumers are looking at.  Askew towards negative reviews and happy customers being under-represented is one reason consumers may steer away from trusting social media reviews. Providing positive, real experiences to be shared can help properly inform customers.

Boost dealer reviews: Vehicle choice is more likely the reason for which consumers turn to social media reviews, with dealer related reviews less frequently referenced; providing an opportunity to build dealer awareness and reputation by enhancing the number and quality of reviews provided on social media for dealership experiences to be shared.

Leveraging customer interest and time: Based on consumer feedback, it is not a lack of experiences worth talking about that is preventing them from leaving a review, but rather a general lack of interest, lack of time, or not being asked to leave a review.  With customer experience surveys generally seeing response rates as high as 50%, there are opportunities to leverage customers’ attention (their willingness to take the survey) by prompting them to leave a review on social media at the end of a survey; once in the survey, almost 40% have potential to leave a review.

Engage dealers to respond: A short personalized response to a review (instead of a generic one) can go a long way to creating positive influences among consumers reading social media reviews.  Providing dealers with an accessible and easy tool to accomplish this is important in building their reputation online.

*The online-survey sample was derived from the MaritzCX New Vehicle Customer Study (NVCS) with results generated from over 13,000 respondents in the U.S. and more than 10,000 in Canada. Qualified respondents purchased a 2015 to 2017 model year vehicle.