There’s a massive amount of auto-related conversation on Twitter — here we examine who car fans in the MENA region are and what they, and the big car brands in Saudia Arabia and UAE, are talking about.
It’s unlikely someone would purchase a car without taking it for a test drive. However, their journey to get to that point will involve research and conversation.
And a large proportion of this will happen on Twitter.
Car specifications and price are important to car buyers, but it’s also an emotional decision. This is where car conversation plays an influential role. But who are these car fans, what are they talking about, and what car brands are driving their conversation?
Twitter car fans in MENA: Who are they?
Twitter users are more likely to be looking for a new car. To illustrate this, in a Twitter survey into male Twitter users in Saudi Arabia, car ownership among men is at 72%*. Of these, 65% already have a budget in mind for their next car.
The most appealing car brands among Twitter users are Toyota (37%), Mercedes-Benz (19%), and Lexus (19%), showing there is a clear preference for luxury marques.
This is backed up by looking at the top automotive hashtags over the last year. The top two are #luxurycars and #luxury.
Most popular car brands in Saudi Arabia
This is borne out in terms of budgets. According to the Twitter research**, 65% of Twitter’s male users in Saudi Arabia had a budget for their next car. 20% of these are prepared to spend over SR 120,000, and 29% are prepared to spend between SR 80,000-120,000.
What are people Tweeting about?
Examining Twitter’s internal engagement data for Q1, there’s a constant and varied conversation about cars taking place on Twitter.
Focusing on the 10 most popular car brands as keywords in Saudi Arabia, BMW was the most Tweeted car brand out of the 10. It was followed by Hyundai, which was also the most Tweeted about of the brand keywords in UAE.
Most Tweeted car brands as keywords in Saudi Arabia during Q2
In terms of hashtags, #Hyundai was the most Tweeted in Saudi Arabia with #BMW and #Mercedes in second and third place respectively. In terms of authors, there is a greater ratio of Tweets per author for BMW than Hyundai.
In the absence of sentiment analysis, it’s impossible to draw any conclusions on whether people are speaking positively about these brands. However, the important thing is this illustrates the wide-ranging auto conversation that is happening on Twitter.
Most Tweeted car brands as keywords in UAE during Q2
Driving the auto conversation
Car brands have been quick to capitalise on the automotive conversation on Twitter and they are using it in an increasingly sophisticated way. Here Lexus used a Promoted Trend and First View, the two most premium placements on Twitter, for the launch of the Lexus UX.
Video Website Cards remain popular. However, there are many ways to use Twitter advertising. Below, Toyota dealer @ToyotaALJ used a Promoted Thread with a Heart to Remind program for its story-writing campaign.
The aim was to connect with users around literature and arts, a topic that is very much relevant to the audience in Saudi Arabia. Once users like the initial Tweet to Subscribe, they receive a custom reminder for each story with a Website Card taking users to read the full story on the site.
To extend its Oscars sponsorship on Twitter, @CadillacArabia partnered with two premium content publishers, @ArrajolM and Sayidatynet, to sponsor exclusive content related to the Oscars.
The car brand ran six-second pre-roll video ahead of Oscars content across the two publishers and targeted the content to its audience.
Sometimes the car is able to sell itself. @ChevroletArabia may have had this in mind when it ran a Mobile Card Carousel for its Bolt EV.
And of course, there are always plenty of sponsorship opportunities across different content categories. Here, @RamTrucks aligned itself with @beINSPORTS_MENA for its coverage of the Asian Football Cup.
The campaign aimed to connect with @RamTrucks’ target audience, which is interested in sports and football, and alert it to the launch of the RAM 1500.
Buying a car can be a significant step for a purchaser where decisions are influenced by a range of considerations like practicality, finances, emotion, and enjoyment. In some ways, the search for a new car begins on Twitter just as much as it does on the forecourt.
*Twitter Insight Survey with Twitter male users in Saudi Arabia who are 18+ years old | Q2 2018 | n=4,566
**Twitter Internal, Q1 2019