Case Studies: Volkswagen

Through the strategic use of LinkedIn, Volkswagen India was able to garner nearly 3,000 car recommendations in under a month.

Case Studies volkswagen t2socialWe often think of LinkedIn as a B2B social network. Often times, that is true. After all, LinkedIn is the professional social network, and rarely do we hear of instances where companies use the platform for direct B2C campaigns. However, through the strategic use of LinkedIn, Volkswagen India managed to receive 2,700 recommendations in just 4 weeks.

In this week’s Case Studies, we look at how Volkswagen used a carefully laid out LinkedIn strategy that paid off.

The Challenge

Volkswagen India was looking to increase their exposure in a relatively new market among professionals. But rather than simply running a conventional ad campaign, they wanted a viral component that emphasized the loyalty current customers had and influenced decision-making.

The Campaign

While Volkswagen began their marketing strategy outside of social media, they knew that social would be a large component of any successful campaign. The decision to go with LinkedIn was one that was carefully calculated. According to the Head of MArketing for Volkswagen India, Lutz Kothe, “We knew that for many people, their car affects their professional life and their professional identity affects their car choice. This made LinkedIn a natural choice to connect with current and potential car buyers among the growing professional population.”

optimize your linkedin profileVolkswagen India launched a Company Page on LinkedIn and opened it up to the public to begin posting reviews and comments about the product. As engagement increased, they created a series of Recommendation Ads, which showcased some of the brand’s recommendations from their page to other LinkedIn users that fit their targeted demographic. The idea here was to increase engagement and drive traffic to the Company Page and, eventually, the dealership.

Overall, their modest goal was to receive 500 recommendations from current and prospective buyers. Ultimately, in less than a month, they received 2,700 recommendations, over 2,300 new fans asking for more information about the models available and nearly one million viral updates about Volkswagen models.

The Lessons

There is a lot that marketers can take away from this tremendously successful campaign.

Build a Community Around Your Product

If you have a great product, don’t wait for people to figure that out. There is no shortage of competition out there, and the only way you are going to stand out is if you actively seek out a community of fans and continue to engage with them and build that community until, eventually, they are selling your product for you!

Establish Your Goals

This was a very precise, calculated effort on the part of Volkswagen India, and that paid off. If they had gone in without any goals, they would not have known where to begin, and, as the next lesson points out, would not have been able to formulate a strategy.

social media strategy t2socialStart with a Strategy

A strategy is going to be one of your greatest assets when running a social media campaign. One of the most important takeaways in this Case Studies is the need for a detailed strategy. Before the program began, the marketing team at Volkswagen India had a challenge, a step-by-step approach, a target demographic, a landscape of where that demographic is located and a plan of execution.

It may sound like a lot to do, but without that kind of planning, it will not only be impossible to measure successes and failures, but it will be impossible to launch a proper campaign!

Take Advantage of Social Media’s Marketing Features

Each network features different elements that are designed to help marketers. In this case, there was a Company Page and Recommendation Ads. On other networks, there are other such features. Use them! They are not there purely for aesthetics, they are there to provide resources to help you effectively grow your business on social media.

You can argue that this was as successful as it was because of the major brand behind the campaign. But as we noted in the introduction of this Case Studies, Volkswagen was brand new in the Indian market when this was launched. The successes here can be achieved by any brand, all they need to do is execute efficiently, just like Volkswagen did.

Have you tried to market your product on LinkedIn? Why or why not? Does this Case Studies make you see the network any differently? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!

t2social social medis marketing strategies