Lenders Foster Consumer Engagement Through Twitter

allytweetIn 2012, the country’s 10 largest auto lenders utilized Twitter mostly to address customer needs.

Fast forward four years, and Auto Finance News is back perusing Twitter accounts, this time of the Top 5 largest auto lenders, as ranked by the 2015 Big Wheels Auto Finance report. Admittedly, we weren’t disappointed with what we found.

The outcome: lenders seem to utilize Twitter to entertain, engage, and create a community for their followers, rather than just talk finance.

ALLY FINANCIAL: @ALLY

Followers: 10.4K (Up from 2,173 in 2012) Tweets: 3,215 to date

While @Ally still republishes its press releases, shares content from other #Ally accounts, and promotes dealer relations, much like it did in 2012, the page now also actively engages a large number of followers — both to address concerns and to advertise Ally products (finance products, sure, but also the brand new set of eight car perfumes by Ally; yes, that’s a thing). The page is very responsive to customer inquiries, directing them to several sources for more help #waytogo. @Ally also promotes financial education among its followers, both through its own website and from outside sources.

TOYOTA FINANCIAL: @TOYOTAFINANCIAL

Followers: 9.3K (Up from 4,010) Tweets: 2,298 to date

Naturally, we saw MANY Toyotas on @ToyotaFinancial. The captive engages with its followers, shares content from other Toyota pages, and promotes various charity or social media campaigns from Toyota group. The recent #Selflessie campaign, for example, asked followers to post a “selfless” selfie. For every #Selflessie, Toyota donated $50 to a charity, raising $750,000 in total. Like before, not much mention of any TFS-specific finance products, however.

AMERICAN HONDA FINANCE: @HONDA

Followers: 732K (Up from 6,349) Tweets: 195K to date

Although we still couldn’t find a separate account for the captive, it seems like the @Honda account has exploded in the past four years (732K is about the population of Alaska). The brand’s American operation has discontinued the previous @AmericanHonda page (stale since 2013), and also launched a separate customer service account with a more modest 18K following. Besides the many Honda photos, @Honda advertises its finance products, also through a comedic advertising account, @GradDad.

WELLS FARGO DEALER SERVICES: @WELLSFARGO

Followers: 222K (Up from 32K) Tweets: 9,470 to date

@WellsFargo is not a Dealer Services-specific account. The page mainly serves as a news and finance education outlet for its followers — for example, an average tweet will have tips on retirement savings or filing taxes. The page keeps follower engagement on point though (even sends birthday cards, with cupcakes!), and addresses concerns through its @Ask_WellsFargo account. Not much promotion of its auto finance products in here, either.

CHASE AUTO FINANCE: @CHASE

Followers: 312K (before: N/A) Tweets: 7,714 to date

The fifth largest auto lender in the country also does not have a separate auto finance Twitter account. But let’s admit, going from no Twitter account, to one with 309,000 followers is impressive. The account shares some finance-related announcements, but mostly keeps its followers entertained, recently with photos from Chase-sponsored events.

The story originally appeared in February issue of Auto Finance News magazine.

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