Suppliers can benefit from greater use of social media (Photo: LinkedIn)

The world's biggest automotive suppliers only rarely have a clear social-media strategy, according to a study conducted by German PR agency vibrio. They need one, says the agency, because supplier content is becoming ever more important for automakers.

As the auto industry changes, new competitors enter the market and the car culture changes to a mobility culture, suppliers need to evolve into consumer brands, vibrio argues.

They need social media for their employer branding and they need them to broaden their marketing focus from business customers to consumers.

Vibrio looked at the social-media presence in Germany of 10 major suppliers: Continental, Robert Bosch, Denso, Magna, Bridgestone/Firestone, Hyundai Mobis, Johnson Controls, Michelin, Aisin and Faurecia.

Among its conclusions:

  • Suppliers have little online visibility when it comes to issues and technologies
  • The lack of visibility reflects a certain supplier timidity as well as failing search engine optimization skills
  • Supplier Web sites don't offer enough connectivity; few have a share button, for example
  • All suppliers are on Facebook, but not all have a German Facebook presence
  • Despite a YouTube presence, most suppliers haven't managed to build a community
  • And few use LinkedIn, despite the networking service's dominant presence in almost all German corporations.