Using Facebook topic data to understand which three car models are the most popular

The final part of social media researcher Sameer Shah’s trilogy focuses on the three brands in question: BMW, Ford and Honda. There’s also a cameo appearance from the embattled Volkswagen…

With the first two blogs having been very demographic-centric to showcase Pulsar’s new Audience feature, it would be remiss of me not to look at the three car brands themselves and utilise our new Clusters.

As an anonymous and aggregated data source, one of the key use cases for Facebook Topics is to ask questions of the dataset. Pulsar can do this adeptly with Clusters, and we’ve compared the top-five car models (from any brand) featuring in their conversation:

Facebook topic data automotive use case part 3

For BMW, the ability to segment as such and ascertain that the M3, I8 and M4 models gain far more traction on Facebook can be important in helping shape decisions around content strategy on the platform.

Facebook topic data automotive use case part 4

The presence of rival brand Chevrolet’s Corvette raises a flag and provides threat identification to see which competitors are most-mentioned in conjunction with their own models.

Facebook topic data automotive use case activity chart png

Using our new cleverer Cluster visualisation allows us to dig deeper and find out when exactly discussion around the Corvette occurred. Indeed, the early October peak for both the Corvette and Mustang is likely due to popular programme Top Gear running a comparison between the two.

Facebook topic data automotive use case pie chart 5 png

For Honda, it is the presence of the discontinued S2000 is most noteworthy. Why would an old model gain such traction?

Facebook topic data automotive use case activity chart 2Once again, Pulsar’s expanded Clusters feature points us in the right direction as it detects a considerable peak in S2000 discussion on October 12th. Further investigation shows that the car was the subject of UK TV show Wheeler Dealers, in which mechanics restore classic cars to their former glories. This peak in interest around the S2000 can be a useful heads-up for Honda’s content strategy to embrace the throwback trend.

Unquestionably, the topic du jour in the automotive industry over the past month has been the VW emissions scandal. And given Pulsar’s access to the behemoth that is Facebook Topic Data, we can truly ascertain how this has impacted conversations in the wider car industry.

Focusing on discussion around environment for our three brands, we see how the scandal has even permeated into their conversation as people become increasingly aware of the subject:

Facebook topic data automotive use case activity chart 3Prior to VW admitting its guilt on September 20th, emissions discussion for our three brands doesn’t exceed 3k daily mentions. Thereafter, however, daily discussion rises steeply and rarely falls below the 3k level over the following weeks.

Indeed, VW is directly mentioned in 4% of all conversation around environment for BMW, Ford and Honda. Whilst this isn’t a huge proportion at first glance, additional context is provided when you consider that no other car brands features whatsoever.

If you want to explore what the power Facebook topic data will bring to your social media listening, contact our Commercial Director James on or 020 7874 6577.


Sameer Shah