Americans may not have the same taste for cars they once did -- China is now the number one auto maker -- but you'd never know that was the case based on how much people tweet about their rides.

Salorix, a social media marketing firm, put together a report on Twitter trends about the US auto market. It's one good example of the kind of insight that can be gained in any industry just by looking at trends on one social channel.

Social Media Engagement at Scale

This is where things get a bit trickier. Yes, it's good to know who are the most influential people out there tweeting about your products -- it's just that monitoring so many people over such a wide area on so many topics turns out to be really hard to do in these, the early days of social media. 

Salorix thinks it has a solution with its brand engagement and social marketing platform, and a couple of recent reports on the state of social media have them listed alongside names like IBM and Adobe. In the Salorix report on the automotive industry, the company looked at over one million relevant tweets between September and October 2012.

To do this, Salorix used its automotive vertical keywords list, and found over 650,000 different people sending out various messages about what kind of car they own, want or were simply buzzing about. From there, Salorix singled out those messages sent in the US, and generated the report using data from about 160,000 tweets from nearly 90,000 people.


Salorix infographic based on the 22 page report.

Who Tweets When + What it Means

General profiles of the kinds of people who tweet about their cars include information like how many followers they tend to have (less than 1000) and where they live (Texas, California and Florida). Additionally, the report found the most tweets were on Mondays, with Tuesdays being the best time to engage with them. There, a tweet is broken out by manufacturer. This would be a great place to start for a company seeking an in-depth look into their customers' mindset.

What companies like Salorix can do is take this same formula and apply it to places like Facebook and YouTube as well. The more channels a social marketing company can access, the deeper the level of analysis that can be achieved. However, only about 5 percent of customers are engaging with companies on those three channels, according to Salorix. 

That means there is still huge potential out there for engaging with customers and potential customers. This report is a good template for just about any company to try and emulate. Find out where the customers are, start engaging them there, build up trust and try to remember, these are social channels -- go ahead and have some fun!