Facebook marketing case study: Toyota gets satisfied hybrid car owners to do the selling for them

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In Norway, Toyota Hybrid drivers are the most satisfied car owners. Toyota decided to capitalise on this and let hybrid owners’ help with marketing and recruit new buyers.


Case study summary:

• Toyota Hybrid owners in Norway became brand ambassadors as they are the most satisfied car owners in the country

• Toyota Norway connected Hybrid car owners with those who wanted to test drive a hybrid using Facebook

• 60% of the traffic to the Try My Hybrid site came from mobile devices

Challenge

Recruiting new car buyers has always been a challenge for car manufacturers. As the Toyota Hybrid is so popular with drivers in Norway, Toyota Norway decided to let Hybrid owners persuade new buyers to buy the car rather than car salesmen.

Solution

Toyota Norway set up a campaign on Facebook called “Try My Hybrid” for real Toyota Hybrid owners, who for no money, let strangers / neighbours / friends test drive their hybrids. Toyota Norway’s Facebook page was a core component of the campaign as it was used to recruit brand ambassadors who became the face of the campaign in print, TV, radio and online.

Prospective buyers could visit www.provminhybrid.no to create a profile and find a Toyota Hybrid owner close to them. By connecting with Facebook, interested drivers could find friends and friends of friends who’s hybrid they could test drive. As Norway is a small country with 2.8million active Facebook users, it meant that every Norwegian on Facebook indirectly knew a hybrid owner they could test drive with. This social connection proved to be a huge part of the projects success.

Facebook post ads were used to spread content by:
1. Boosting the best content and most popular posts to fans and non-fans of the page
2. Featuring the number of hybrid owners near you whose cars you could drive
3. Page posts to drive traffic to the website
4. Sponsored video posts of Toyota Hybrid test drive sessions
5. Like ads to boost the page fan base

Results

The campaign was a huge success for Toyota. Traffic to the “Prov Min Hybrid” site was generated predominantly through digital media from shared content on social media, sponsored Facebook posts, banners and pre-rolls. 60% of the traffic came from mobile devices.

Hundreds of Toyota Hybrid owners sighted up for the Try My Hybrid campaign – without any payment or reward. The website received 1,650,000 unique visitors. 1/3 of Norwegians remember the campaign and either knew or indirectly knew a Toyota Hybrid owner on Facebook they could go for a test drive with. The campaign also created great PR for the car manufacturer.

The campaign picked up international recognition:

• Site of the month and site of the day: CSSDA, December 2013
• Site of the day: Awwwards 11th January 2014
• Mobile site of the day: Favourite Website Awards 21st January 2014

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