Sales & Marketing

Driving engagement

Aston Martin has been growing its social media presence exponentially since 2009. Digital Marketing Manager Pete Norwood reveals the strength in its strategy.

Built on values linked to its British heritage, luxury car brand Aston Martin might not be the first which comes to mind when thinking of leaders in social marketing. Yet, with well over 1.7 million users, the company’s Facebook page continues to grow by over 5,000 ‘likes’ per week.

Pete Norwood, Digital Marketing Manager, explains: “Two of the great things about Aston Martin are that we have a respected brand, steeped in rich history, but we are also a company which is forward thinking in a competitive luxury marketplace. We have to work hard and be nimble to support the prestige of the marque.”

Aston Martin’s social media strategy has certainly helped to do this. “We’re often asked if, in the luxury sector, social media really sells cars. Perhaps it wouldn’t have two or three years ago, but that’s not the case now. Our social media is absolutely global in its outlook, married closely to what we do on our website, and it is an ideal way to speak directly to aspirants and enthusiasts of our cars. A high number of our customers are interested in what we are doing, and continue to be interested.”

The thinking behind the company’s approach to social media has been organic. “We started because we felt we had to have a presence, but it has grown into a place to share great content about what’s happening with the brand. In terms of general advertising, we don’t have a loud voice, so social media has given us a ready-made dynamic platform to do just that.”

Facebook is particularly key for Aston Martin, and is where the majority of its social media strategy is focused. “Ultimately, Facebook supports what we do formally as a business, it allows people to see all of the good things the company is involved with, essentially opening the door to the world of Aston Martin”, says Norwood.

Growing global presence is another area where social marketing has come into its own. “India is now where we have our biggest contingent of Facebook fans, at over 250,000,” adds Norwood. “This has grown massively over the last year, giving us the opportunity to weave in stories about heritage and history which UK customers might already know, but that make perfect sense to highlight in these new markets. “We also have a huge opportunity in China. With Facebook blocked there, we opened up our first Weibo microblogging page in quarter one of this year, and it is growing very well for us.”

The launch earlier this year of Aston Martin’s striking Vanquish model was partnered by a global social media campaign which saw 100% growth in website traffic in Germany, the US and the UK. “Social media was absolutely key in terms of getting exposure, letting people see the car, enabling them to consume the content,” Norwood elaborates. “We saw great numbers both from social engagement and access to our website – indicating the value offered by weaving together content across both mediums.”

Norwood believes that fear can hold companies back from using social marketing, but having a well thought-out strategy in place before you start can help to pre-empt and manage the eventual demands. “You need to have a good idea of what you want to get out of it, the audience you want to reach and how frequently you want to reach them. But you also have to respect its uniqueness as a medium – social media is different for a reason – people are on there to engage with you, so be sure to give them good quality, regular content to engage with.”

To find out more about Aston Martin visit: www.astonmartin.com

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John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK