In recent years, social media has become an incredibly important tool with which people communicate. Young and old people alike use Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs to relay messages and connect with one another. However, these platforms are no longer used by individuals solely. More and more companies have begun to use social media to reach out to current and future customers and to advertise themselves. It is not uncommon for company Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to have a large number of subscribers or followers nowadays. One company that uses social media quite effectively is Jeep.
The company uses outlets like Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube to reach out to their customers and try to capture new ones. Jeep uses social media to target a different type of audience than most companies. Whereas many firms would be trying to capture new customers, Jeep is more devoted to engaging existing customers and connecting Jeep owners. In doing this, Jeep’s target audience consists mainly men and women who are of driving age. There are a few other qualifications though. One of the attractions of a Jeep is the ruggedness and outdoorsy image that it embodies.
Therefore, the target audience that Jeep tries to reach through it’s social media usage would most likely include those that are interested in a number of outdoor activities. In addition, though the Jeeps are sold to customers of any age, it seems that most users of social media are in the younger generations. While this is currently beginning to change, it is reasonable to believe that Jeep’s social media is targeted more towards younger Jeep owners – most likely those customers whose age lies in the range of the early teens to the late thirties.
As already mentioned, Jeep’s focus is not really to attract new customers but to provide existing owners with a number of different ways to connect with eachother and with the company itself. Establishing these connections is where the interactivity of Jeep’s social media platforms comes into play. The main parts of Jeep’s social media are the Jeep Facebook page, the Jeep MySpace page, the Jeep Twitter feed, the official Flickr group, the Jeep YouTube account, and an online community titled “Come Together”.
All of these places are used as exchanges where Jeep owners and enthusiasts can interact with one another. These interactions consist of uploading and viewing photos and videos to the Flickr and YouTube accounts, commenting on interesting segments on the “Come Together” community site, or talking to each other on the Facebook and MySpace pages. While there are not many contests or downloads that Jeep tries to push on visitors to their sites, visitors are strongly encouraged to post photos and comments relating to their personal experiences with the company.
I have personally worked in a company that makes and sells aftermarket Jeep accessories and have seen firsthand how proud and involved Jeep owners can be over their Jeeps. Therefore, it is not surprising that these sites and social media platforms are often very successful in getting viewers to post photos, videos, and comments about their Jeeps and any others they see on the sites. There is no real advertising for products taking place on these social media sites. Instead, the sites act merely as an exchange of ideas and opinions between customers and the company.
However, this is an example of a very good product marketing strategy. When site visitors view pictures of other Jeep owners’ vehicles, they may often see products on the other vehicles that they like and become interested in purchasing. This will often lead to sales of Jeep accessories without any real advertising expenses incurred by the company. Reviews, photos, and videos from actual customers serve to enhance the products in other people’s minds and indirectly lead to visitors purchasing goods. Traditional advertising is also integrated in all of these social media sites.
All of Jeep’s current regular television commercials are posted on both the YouTube and MySpace pages. Print ads can also be found on the MySpace page. However, while traditional advertising can be found in many places on Jeep’s social media sites, it is not the focus. Jeep uses these sites more to promote connectivity between the customers. It seems as though they want visitors to forget that all these sites are part of a corporate marketing strategy; instead they want to promote the idea that the sites are merely a way for owners to exchange photos and stories about their experiences with the Jeeps they have bought.
The company is not trying to push new products down the customers’ throats but rather is interested in hearing about the likes and dislikes that the customers have. I believe that this dedication to engaging the customer is part of what makes Jeep owners so devoted to the company. Therefore, Jeep’s social media platform is very effective at doing what the company sets out to do.
Courtney from Study Moose
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