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​Tata Motors: Surprising Insights from its Facebook Page!

Published On Dec 06, 2016By Mukul Yudhveer Singh

Tata Motors—the name carries a ton of legacies with itself, legacy of being the number one commercial vehicle maker in the country, legacy of providing the best after sales services to its customers, legacy of developing world class products and still being able to price them in the economical corridor. The auto manufacturer from India has undisputedly topped the CV sales every year in the country. But the group, famous for being ahead of times, might just have slipped on the social media front.

Just one look at the Tata Motors Facebook handle makes one wonder why there are no separate accounts for cars, buses or trucks. The CV gaint promotes all of its products with just one account, and the lack of individual, segment wise presence can easily confuse CV enthusiasts. There is also a possibility that Tata Motors is so busy basking in the glory of its commercial vehicle sales that it does not give any weightage to individual social media handles.

Many CV makers who have started their India operations recently have made sure of their social media presence every single time and have got results in form of more of their CVs being driven on the roads. It is imperative to note here that Tata Motors has been in India for more than 50 years now. The CV maker has a separate FB handle for the racing league it organizes in the country (Tata Prima Racing). One can also easily find Tata Motors’ social media handles dabbling in some cars launched recently by the auto giant, but that is all the mammoth brand is limited to.

(The graph below represents social media posts from Tata Motors' FB handle between September 2015 to September 2016 for commercial vehicles only)

Yes, if we go by numbers, Tata Motors does emerge to be the official heavyweight champion reigning the Indian commercial vehicle segment. But, if the pattern of changes in the number of sales are scrutinized on a minute scale, the story appears to have started taking some wild turns already. Tata’s standing has definitely been shaken in some, if not all segments. Mahindra & Mahindra has already taken a lead in the SCV segment in the country. It sold 79,395 SCVs during April-September 2016 period. Tata on the other hand sold only 75,289 SCVs in the same time period. Not only that, but it is imperative to note that Mahindra has 72 percent share of the total SCVs sold in the 2-3.5 tonne category in the country.

Tata Motors which has been operating in the country for more than 50 years has 62,750 likes on its FB official page, whereas many other CV brands, which are comparatively younger than Tata Motors have managed to get much more response on their Facebook pages. Here are the top five posts.

Date - Februry 8, 2016

Post - Auto Expo, Tata Ultra 1518 Launch

Reactions - More than 21k

This post accumulated the maximum number of reactions for a Tata Motors commercial vehicle on Facebook. It was posted during the time of Auto Expo 2016 held in India. Tata Motors introduced Ultra 1518 truck in the Indian market with the FB post talking about the same. It took the consumers to Tata Motors' Auto Expo YouTube handle which was already embedded with a video of Ultra 1518. The post faired average given the fact it was through the handle of India's leading CV maker and seller.

Date April 9, 2016

Post - Tata Prima, World Status and recognition

Reactions - More than 17k

Though this particular update on FB got less reactions in comparison to Tata's best FB post, we think it was still a much better one. It talks and boasts about the way Tata Prima trucks are making an impression all over the world. A list naming all the countries with Prima trucks available is also mentioned within the infographic. Now, if you know that an Indian made truck is making waves all over the world, you are bound to at least consider the same as your next purchase. Good one Tata!

Date April 18, 2016

Post - Introduction of Tata Ultra Trucks in Kenya

Reactions - More than 1.9k

You have got to look into things when reactions on your Facebook page tumble to mere 2k from 17k, that too in the same month. The post lets the world know that Tata Motors has introduced Tata Ultra trucks in Kenya, an African country. It managed to garner 1.9k reactions but the number is drastically lower than the top two performing FB posts. Probably India was done with listening to songs glorifying Tata Motors enriching its global portfolio. Perhaps, a post pertaining to the interests of the Indian trucking community might have been better, especially on Facebook.

Date - August 22, 2014

Post - Tata Motors presence in the Asia Pacific Region

Reactions - 726

The gap between these five top performing posts can easily be counted as a measure of the importance Tata Motors gives to its Facebook handles. This post highlights Tata's presence in the Asia Pacific Region with help of posted photos. But the time gap of nearly two years between the top performing posts has a tale of its own. Tata Motors might not be taking social media that seriously, but sooner or later, the world might see a more aggressive approach from the CV brand on all its social media handles. It indeed, is a plain necessity.

Date September 22, 2016

Post - Launch of Tata ULTRA 1012 light truck and Xenon XT D-Cab 4x4 pick-up at 24th Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show

Reactions - 732

It goes without doubt that Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show is an important auto show for many CV players in the world. Tata Motors launched Tata ULTRA 1012 light truck and Xenon XT D-Cab 4x4 pick-up at the show. The post managed to get 732 reactions on the post but the fact remains that Mahindra Bolero single handily beats Tata pickups every time. Tata Motors could have easily tried to do something for increasing the road presence of its already available Tata Xenon pickup in India.

Conclusion

Tata Motors needs to improve a lot on social media strategy regarding their fleet of commercial vehicles in India. If it can go on an all aggressive mode for its cars like Tiago and Hexa, it certainly can put in half the efforts for its trucks and pick-ups as well. Living inside a bubble and thinking of ruling the CV industry in the country just by old school ways of marketing and PR might do more harm than good. In a nutshell, its time Tata Motors started considering its Facebook handle carefully.

Disclaimer – We have searched for Tata’s social media handle using keywords related to commercial vehicles only.

(We thank Robinder Gauba, Business Head, TrucksDekho.com, former Data Scientist, Georgetown University, USA for conceptualizing, statistically analyzing & interpreting the social media data.)

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