The influence of social media on the supercar wars.

Ferrari S.p.A. and Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. are two Italian powerhouses that need no introduction. Teenage boys (may be, girls as well) and adults alike have had posters of one their machines up on their walls growing up and probably still lust after the latest, greatest engineering and design miracles that roll out of their doors.

Growing up, I had posters of the Enzo Ferrari; the 12-cylinder beast that was so magnificent, they named it after their founder! My boyhood dream came true a few years ago when I drove an F430 convertible, whose V8 engine was based on the same Ferrari-Maserati engine that debuted on the Enzo Ferrari, on a race track.

The power that supercars from these 2 iconic companies wield on the hearts and minds of men hasn’t diminished one bit even to this day. As we wait and watch for more news on the latest offerings by these companies, their social media channels have become an unfailing, authentic and engaging font of information for those who covet these cars. So, let’s review the social media channels that are utilized by Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Ferrari:

Ferrari engages with their customers very actively via 5 channels: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr and LinkedIn.

Overall, their tone is to tout the exclusivity, dominance of Ferrari in the luxury supercar category and the F1 race circuit, not only at present but also in the past to convey a sense of pedigree, heritage and continuing excellence.

Almost all of their posts are cross-posted (with the exception of those on FB), in some cases in Italian and English. They also provide plenty of “meat” to their fans on these sites by setting up Hangout sessions with race car drivers, Ferrari fan surveys and by sharing their “official point of view” directly with their fans. All of these aspects attract heavy participation from the fan base.

Noticeably, Ferrari appears to be missing on social media channels that are popular in the Asian market, such as Weibo and i.youku.com (even though they experienced double digit growth in Japan in 2013).

Lamborghini:

Lamborghini, on the other hand, have a presence on Weibo and i.youku.com as well, in addition to the channels that Ferrari engages in. This makes sense as China is their second largest market behind the US. For a company that sold 2100+ cars in 2013, Lamborghini does have a robust social strategy. However, it isn’t as well coordinated as Ferrari’s.

Overall, their tone is to focus on the extreme, uncompromising design and the sensual, provocative nature of their cars. They have also tried highlight their technical superiority and the luxury of their cars, albeit ineffectively.

A majority of their posts are cross-posted and I believe they have an opportunity to further customize their content. Their Twitter page is outstanding for its effective use of hashtags; however, ironically, the same is lacking on their Google+ page!

Lambo fans don’t appear to be as actively engaged as the Ferrari hordes are. But, then again, Ferrari has been around 4 decades more, is still the most recognized name on the F1 circuit, actively got on social media channels starting 2006 and sells at least 3.5X more cars than Lambo does!

I did find it interesting that neither car company has a blog where they can share their opinions in a detailed and transparent fashion. On the other hand, the customer base in the supercar segment is so small and well understood that any means of opinion sharing/advocacy is probably unnecessary via a blog. Fans are just as happy and engaged by being able to share and participate in celebrating the exclusivity of these exquisite machines!

Here’s a summary of their participation on each channel:

 

Channel

Ferrari S.p.A.

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

Facebook

  • 13M Likes, 115K talking about this page.
  • Officially maintained page focusing on personalizable content, store merchandize, car videos etc.
  • Very little cross-posting.
  • Some content posted in English and Italian.
  •  7M Likes, 93K talking about this page.
  • This is also an officially maintained page focusing on tour updates, race results etc.
  • Most content is cross-posted.
  • Posts in English only.

 

Twitter

 

  • Multiple Twitter pages: F1 page, Magazine page, Store page, Race page, Museum page.
  • Scuderia Ferrari (F1 page) leads with ~0.8M followers. (@InsideFerrari).
  • Cross-posting of content indicating a unified strategy across properties.
  • All pages promote a sense of heritage, pedigree, extol the current machines, broadcast race and tour results, present new Ferrari store merchandize etc.

 

  • One twitter page (@lamborghini); however, actively following many influencers including auto enthusiasts, actors, musicians, car magazines etc.
  • 0.4M followers.
  • Tweets feature race results, merchandize, specials at stores, website features, car shows etc.
  • Effective use of hashtags to categorize posts.
  • Overall, this page promotes a sense of exclusivity and coolness.  

YouTube

 

Ferrari World:

  • Started this channel on November 21st, 2006.
  • 175K subscriptions, 40M views.
  • Content is posted on at least a daily basis, if not more.
  • Very active follower participation. Anywhere from 2K-1.3M views of each of the 1.5K videos.
  • Clearly stated intent to focus on exclusive content (curated and raw) and “share Ferrari’s official point of view”.
  • Videos on the current line-up of cars, F1 tests, driver interviews, races, auto tours, unveilings across the world and special features on all things Ferrari.

 

Lamborghini:

  • Started this channel 2 years ago.
  • 116K subscriptions, 8M views.
  • Content is updated infrequently (6 days to 2 weeks apart).
  • Relatively active follower participation. 2K-0.4M views of each of the 127 videos.
  • The intent of the YouTube page isn’t clearly stated, but it focuses on new videos of the current car line-up.
  • Videos feature unveilings across the world, tours, races, official teasers and promotional videos.
  • Unique element: A web series focusing on an adventure of 3 Lambo enthusiasts prior to the launch of the Huracán.

Google+

  • 89M views!
  • Effective use of cross-posts and hash tags.
  • Content focuses on unveilings, tour progress, race results, promotional videos and fan surveys.
  • Google Hangouts with F1 race drivers have generated a lot of interaction from fans!
  •  26M views.
  • Several posts have been cross-posted; however, hashtags have not been used effectively to highlight key callouts.
  • Content focuses on tour progress, recent news, store specials, promotional videos etc.
  • A couple of Hangout events have been hosted, with moderate attendance.

Flickr

  •  Incredible close-up photos of Ferraris on tour.
  • Effective use of sets.
  •  Not supported.

Pinterest

  •  Not supported.
  •  Incredible close-up photos of Lamborghinis on tour.
  • Effective use of boards.

LinkedIn

  • Updates on Ferrari’s latest job postings, new land development, new design awards, women at work, deals with other companies etc. Good focus on prospective hires.
  • Informative and engaging.
  • Some posts have been cross-posted here as well, indicating a well-managed social media approach.
  •  Updates on design awards, “Top Employer” award, “Ethical company” award, design excellence etc. Good focus on prospective hires.
  • Informative and engaging.
  • Almost no cross-posting. Appears to be managed in a silo.
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