Photo above courtesy of – WSYX ABC 6
Unless you’ve been living under a car, you have noticed this phenomenom known as “Car Sharing” popping up in most major US cities. So what exactly is “Car Sharing” and more importantly, is it truly at a tipping point? In short, Car Sharing is a creative, economical, sustainable alternative to owning a car. Who needs a car nowadays anyways?
Sure, this may sound like big trouble for mainstream auto manufacturers but did you know most of them are actually at the forefront of this urban innovation? So, is this phenomenom here to stay? You might NOT think so from the picture posted above. In the world of media, especially Social Media, no publicity is bad publicity. Hopefully the social media team at Car2Go is turning this social media prank into social media gold.
So, how exactly are these Car Sharing companies turning these car tippings right side up. Like most companies that have emerged in the last 10 years, they have leveraged social media to their advantage. They’ve invested in creating social media teams and have utilized many of the most popular social media platforms available. Here is just a quick summary of what 2 of this biggest car sharing companies actively utilize to promote their products!
- Notable Tagline – “The Reinvention of Mobility”
- Description – “The story of car2go is like the whole concept: sensational. Four years after it started in the German city of Ulm, in 2008, car2go is alive and well in 16 European and North American cities. About 120,000 customers enjoy unlimited mobility with car2go around every corner. It’s a unique story of movement and freedom that makes mobile life in the city more beautiful and environmentally friendly.”
- Website – https://www.car2go.com
- Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car2go
- Facebook (16,471 Likes) – https://www.facebook.com/car2go.hq
- Google+ (741 Followers) – https://plus.google.com/111127051048687821797/posts
- Youtube (488 Subscribers) – https://www.youtube.com/user/car2go
- Twitter (7,266 Followers) – https://twitter.com/car2go
- Instagram (? Followers)- http://instagram.com/car2go#
- Tumblr (? Followers) – Tumblr users utilize #car2go to post about the company
- LinkedIn (1,171 Followers) – https://www.linkedin.com/company/car2go-n.a.-llc?trk=company_name
- Notable Tagline – “Wheels When You Want Them”
- Description – “Drive cars by the hour or day. Gas & insurance included. In neighborhoods, cities and airports across the globe. Save hundreds over car ownership. Choose from sedans, hybrids, vans and more. Membership starts as low as $6/month.”
- Website – http://www.zipcar.com/
- Blog – http://www.zipcar.com/ziptopia
- Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipcar
- Facebook (164,688 Likes) – https://www.facebook.com/zipcar
- Google+ (837 Followers) – https://plus.google.com/+zipcar/posts
- Youtube (917 Subscribers)- https://www.youtube.com/user/zipcar
- Twitter (26,300 Followers) – https://twitter.com/zipcar
- Instagram (1,271 Followers) – http://instagram.com/zipcar#
- Tumblr – no official page but interesting Tumblr account based out of Seattle http://zipcargreenconfessions.tumblr.com/
- Linkedin (9,339 Followers)- https://www.linkedin.com/company/zipcar
There is no doubt that both of these companies could be considered “social media darlings.” Both have been able to spread awareness and grow their companies primarily through social media campaigns and promotions. Leveraging these channels makes sense for these companies as one of their primary target markets are the millennials. According to a study by ZipCar, “72% Of Young Americans Don’t Care Much About Owning A Car!” I, being a millennial, 100000% agree! So, now the question is, who does social media better? Car2Go of ZipCar?
- Both also utilize Facebook and Twitter for customer service and keep customers actively engaged on a daily basis.
- Both leverage all the major social media channels that most millennials spend countless hours each day updating status and posting cat memes
- Both leverage social media to promote sustainability – one of their core competencies as a company
- Both make it extremely easy to find their main websites and turn browsers into actual customers
In my opinion, I’d have to say ZipCar does social media better. Based on the numbers alone, ZipCar has 10x more likes on Facebook than Car2Go. Also, their website utilizes an actual blog that helps them cater their messages. Overall, ZipCar has a much better look and feel…and most importantly, they actively invite visitors of their website to “join the conversation.” Car2Go does have some advantages going for it. They have integrated 3 of their major social media profiles directly into their website. I will also give them props for integrating their Instagram pictures into their actual Facebook profile.
But, the biggest thing I believe ZipCar is doing better is with their customer engagement. Skimming through their users posts, you can see ZipCar actively posting and replying to what their customers care about. In fact they personalize all the usernames of the folks who actually interact with customers. Car2Go for the most part, just posts standard replies to customer’s issues. Mostly just utilizing their Facebook account as a filtering account which is perceived as just giving their customers the run-around.
Another issue Car2Go has is keeping up with recent facebook posts. In fact, Car2Go last facebook post was dated February 17, 2014. In the world of social media, 2 months without an update makes you a very stale company…but one things for sure, if a company does not leverage social media to define who they are for the crowd, the crowd will certainly define who they believe your company is…Car2Go is definitely getting a lot of publicity for tipping over.