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Kia Motors doubles impact of social media marketing at less than half the cost

Kia Motors is more precisely targeting paid posts to social media users who are most likely to engage with the content after early tests had double the impact at less than half the cost.

The move stems from the car marker’s view that social media marketing should be treated as a media planning and buying exercise prioritising impressions. It has led to it building a deeper analytics approach beyond what social networks traditionally offer like ‘likes’ or ‘followers’, which in turn underpins its latest approach to brand building at scale.

In partnership with Accenture, Kia batched together its social media followers based on a breakdown of its data on user engagement in social channels to different car models and different post types. The analysis gave it a clearer view on how to precisely target paid posts to social media users who are most likely to engage with the content.

The company did not reveal the performance statistics to back up the approach but assured that the new strategy had “significantly increased the effectiveness of its social media marketing”, with results showing more than twice the level of positive interactions with followers at less than half (47 per cent) the cost.

While the approach heavily leans on appealing to existing fans, Kia is calling on other parts of the mix such as search and video to help build the brand in the eyes of those who don’t know it well.

Soon-Nam Lee, vice president of overseas marketing group of Kia Motors, said: “We‘ve been very successful in growing our base of fans and followers on social channels to approximately 21 million, which has made a huge contribution to our rapidly expanding brand value for the past several years.

“With the help of Accenture, Kia is now taking social media marketing in the automotive industry to the next level with increased customer engagement that ensures we are best placed to meet consumers’ changing requirements. We will continue our efforts to provide more personalised and relevant messages for our customers.”

The move aims to get the Kia brand further up a purchase funnel that is fast becoming fragmented as drivers rely on multiple channels to perform everything from research to booking test drives when car hunting. It is why the company’s UK arm is currently pumping more spend into video, particularly on Facebook, with prospects consuming video increasingly during the latter stages of the car buying process.