Last week saw the New York Auto Show take place, with a number of brands showcasing their new models. We looked at what drove the most engagement on the web and Facebook.
The New York Auto show is one of the biggest events on the calendar for car aficionados, as brands gather in the city that never sleeps to showcase what they are currently working on releasing to the public in the near future.
This year saw a good deal of engagement, especially on Facebook, so we looked at the data to find out what resonated with the audience this year.

Engagement to New York Auto Show Web Content

 
Engagement to content around the New York Auto Show began around the start of April, but really spiked the week of April 15th, with engagements peaking on April 17th, which was a couple of days before the show began.

The content that was most highly engaged tended not to come from the big, traditional publishers, but rather publishers that are extremely focused on the industry, such as Road and Track and Jalopnik.

Road and Track drove the most engagements with 16,000, while Auto Blog and Motor Authority generated around 10,000 each to their web content.
In terms of more generalist publishers, the only two that appeared in the top ten were NBC and Business Insider, both of whom drove around 5,000 engagements.
The content that was written and engaged with tended to be focused on previewing the event and discussing what cars were going to be making their debut at the event as opposed to actual coverage of the event itself.

Road and Track had the top article with its coverage of the new Mercedes-AMG A45, while DuPont Registry and Hypebeast previewed Audi and Nissan cars respectively. A number of other articles in the top ten also featured Nissan, while Hyundai, Ford, Kia and Porsche were also the focus of at least one of the most engaged articles each.
Generally, though, web content was far less engaged than native content on Facebook was for the auto show, especially for the brands themselves.

Engagement to New York Auto Show Facebook Content

 
For Facebook, engagement had a slightly longer tail than we saw web content have, but the bulk of the engagement came on the 17th and 18th still.

In contrast to the web engagement, the engagement to Facebook native content did mostly come from the Pages of auto manufacturers themselves, with Volkswagen particularly dominant in the space, accruing some 117,000 engagements to its content.

Though Volkswagen was by far the most engaged car manufacturer, there were other auto brands that drove significant engagement too, with Mercedes Benz, Maserati, and Toyota all garnering tens of thousands of engagements, and Subaru and Dodge rounded out the top ten in terms of car makers. The New York Auto Show Facebook Page itself also did well, garnering 12,000 engagements to its content.
The content, as for web content was mostly showing off the cars themselves.

 
Volkswagen, perhaps unsurprisingly, had the top three posts, and half of the top ten. All three of the top posts were a link to Volkswagen content, while the other seven in the top ten were photo posts.
Nine of the top ten posts, which all generated thousands of engagements, came from auto brands, with Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, and Toyota the other brands that featured beyond Volkswagen.
There was an interesting trend in terms of the format of content that was successful on Facebook. Traditionally, we tend to see video as the most highly engaged content on Facebook, but this was not the case for content around the auto show, either in terms of the number of posts or the average engagement.

More than half of the top posts were link posts, with only around 12 percent being video. It was photo, however that drove the most engagement on average, with 726 engagements on average compared with 309 for native videos and 135 for links.
This shows the power of visual content for auto brands, but also that the content does not necessarily have to be a flashy, expensive video. A well-framed photo will often perform just as well, if not better.
So, what were the key takeaways for the New York Auto Show this year? Here are five that we think are the most pertinent:

  • Niche publishers focused on the auto space did much better than big, traditional publishers in the space
  • Content previewing the event drove as much, if not more, engagement than content about the event itself
  • Auto brands performed particularly well with their own content on Facebook
  • Volkswagen stood out even among other auto brands on the platform
  • Photo was the highest engaged content on average, while links were the most posted

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Benedict Nicholson

Benedict Nicholson is the Managing Editor at NewsWhip. An Englishman in New York, he is interested in the intersection of PR, brands, and journalism, and the trends and innovation around that.

Email Benedict via benedict.nicholson@newswhip.com.

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