As the third largest car retailer in the United States as of October 2013, Toyota has no shortage of brand content to share. While the company frequently updates its social media channels with news, images from ad campaigns, and promotional videos, local dealerships have struggled to sort through the content and target social media sharing to their specific customers. When SimpleFeed, an RSS publishing service provider for major corporations, began testing its new Social Syndication Hub with predictive publishing functionality, Toyota Motor Sales USA was among the first to test-drive it.
Before the company built the Toyota Digital Dealer Solution on SimpleFeed's Social Syndication Hub, employees tasked with maintaining their dealership's social media presence primarily sourced material directly from Toyota's general RSS feed. This resulted in dozens of posts per day, many irrelevant to the specific dealership and customer base.
"The folks we work with at dealerships are salesmen, and they don't have the time or the expertise to run a targeted campaign," says Mark Carlson, CEO of SimpleFeed. "Our Social Syndication Hub is designed to do the heavy lifting."
SimpleFeed's Social Syndication Hub determines the RSS content companies should publish, which social networks will generate the highest engagement, and what dates and times yield the most traffic. "Not every dealership has the same customer base, so not every dealership is going to have the same needs," Carlson says. "If a certain...model is no longer available at one particular location, for example, posting something pertaining to that model would be completely irrelevant," he adds.
The Social Syndication Hub serves as a dynamic filter between a brand's RSS feed and its social media posts by ranking unpublished RSS material based on content type, related Web results, the time it was published, and data from textual analysis. Once it's ranked, the tool can predict how it will perform on different social media outlets. It also generates a preview of how the content would appear when posted and offers predictive analytics, such as the projected amount of likes, shares, or retweets.
The Social Syndication Hub is set to send out two posts a day to the channels it determines to be most favorable, but users can override the setting and decide how to proceed with their ranked content. "We wanted to automate the process as much as possible, but we still wanted to leave that element of flexibility," Carlson says.
After implementing the Toyota Digital Dealer Solution in April 2013, the 250 participating dealerships saw an impressive lift. "Over a period of six months, they've seen a fifty-three percent increase in clicks, likes, tweets, and other types of interactions," Carlson says. "Their collective followers now engage over 100,000 times per month." Since the solution became publicly available in November 2013, an additional 25 dealerships have put the program in place, Carlson said.
Since implementing SimpleFeed's solution, participating Toyota dealerships have collectively seen:
- a 53 percent increase in the engagement rate;
- followers viewing content over 100,000 times per month; and
- a decrease in the number of daily posts from dozens to two targeted updates per day.