Toyota Turns To Twitter To Repair Its Image — Learn Social Media By Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: Toyota Image Repair Campaign

: Products and services

: http://toyotaconversations.com/

: Twitter

: Worldwide Toyota owners and potential customers

: Emotional

: March, 2010

: Ongoing

Numerous brands have been turning to Twitter to participate in conversations with consumers and to influence the way they are positioned and viewed. Remember Kevin Smith and Southwest Airlines?

Toyota’s reputation has been heading downwards towards the pits and a lot is being at stake! Therefore, for a fast, effective and even cheap response, Toyota turned to Twitter to redeem itself and yet again, repair its image worldwide!

Idea & Objectives:

A crisis-management strategy!

The main ideas behind Toyota utilizing Twitter are: 1) To help stem the tide of negativity and 2) To deal with the backlashes that have been heaped upon it during the car recalls period. It seems that someone at Toyota is into social media, especially Twitter, and he/she have done their homework on the effectiveness and efficiency of utilizing Twitter in situations like these!

Toyota Conversations Example 1

Toyota Conversations Example 1

The Japanese auto giant has launched a branded channel on TweetMeme, in partnership with Federated Media, which aggregates and organize Twitter conversations regarding Toyota“.

To be clear in their message, Toyota named the site Toyota Conversations. What this site does mainly revolves around assimilating the top stories being Tweeted about Toyota, such as news articles and press releases, while showing visitors the most popular videos and images being shared about Toyota on Twitter.

If you follow the top stories that are being aggregated on the site, you would see that most of the news is positive. That doesn’t seem to match the general tone of the media writing about Toyota, which has been quick to criticize the car company for its manufacturing mistakes.

Toyota Twitter Stream

Toyota Twitter Stream

Furthermore, the channel includes a “Featured Tweets from Toyota’s Twitter account and press room as well as AdTweets, which are Tweetmeme’s retweetable ads for Toyota”.

Buzz Generated:

As you can easily deduce from the change in reactions towards Toyota, the buzz generated by Twitter for this particular crisis management approach has been effective, if not through volume then definitely through depth!

Nevertheless, tweets such as this one – @joegreenz: Maybe Toyota will be shutting up shop in the US sometime soon. The recall story just wont stop. http://bit.ly/cV44BD – don’t seem to be very reassuring!

Lessons Learned:

I like this simple campaign, really I do! However, I am alarmed by the fact that although Toyota is trying to repair its image on one side, talks of worries and concerns are still circulating the news. At the end of the day, Twitter, with all of its users, cannot stand in the face of real fact-based news targeting all!

Therefore, here are the lessons we can learn from Toyota:

  1. Great efforts need to be placed in order to repair a degrading image.
  2. Comprehensiveness is key in situations where promoting counter positive publicity is the main objective.
  3. Even giant companies are beginning to rely heavily on social media – so keep an eye open for how you could effectively utilize social media for your needs!

How do you feel about this campaign? Did it, in anyway, change your negative feelings about Toyota? What else do you think could have been done here to repair the damage?

Looking forward to your feedback down below :)

Success 3/5, Virality 4/5, Innovation 3/5, Feels like an ad No, Brand visibility 5/5
: 3/5
: 4/5
: 3/5
: No
: 5/5

Comments and Reactions

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/ Roba

    I mean, okay, social media rocks and can fix brand image, but not to this extent i think.

  • http://blog.thoughtpick.com/2010/03/is-google-falling-into-the-privacy-invasion-pit.html Is Google Falling into the Privacy Invasion Pit? | Thoughtpick Blog

    [...] after a while, Google will need serious image repair – a plastic surgery – and that will cost it way more time, effort and money, and it [...]

  • http://centralcontracts.hostablog.net www.centralcontracts.com

    Hmmm, they should really make the most from social media.

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