By performing a social media trend analysis on the automotive industry, automakers are able to monitor their product lifecycle to achieve a data-driven perspective. For auto-dealers, it’s critical to consider having a presence and awareness on social media auto trends both on a local and national scale as part of their marketing strategy. Automotive industry social media trend analysis leaves automakers as the number one choice in the buyer’s mind throughout the entire customer journey.’

The automotive industry is facing some of its most significant changes recently. Here are the top trends shaping the reinvention of the automotive industry:

Self-Driving Cars

Every day, new technologies in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) enter the world. One of the latest controversial technologies is autonomous or self-driving cars. Tech companies such as Google and Tesla are competing with each other to create and attract more people to purchase their autonomous vehicles. These companies are spending thousands of dollars to promote this technology.

According to our social media intelligence tool, self-driving cars are leading the discussion about the auto industry across social media. They are one of the most significant trends in the auto industry. However, the top posts on social media around this topic show negative sentiment toward the trend. People are expressing that greater attention needs to be paid on things that matter more in their communities. There is a massive debate across social media on ethics and the need for autonomous vehicles.

Eco-Friendly Cars

Rising concerns over increasing air pollution and climate change have resulted in the initiative to switch over to eco-friendly cars. Not only are these cars environmentally friendly, but they are also cost-effective. Eco-friendly vehicles are generally much cheaper than gas-powered engines and drivers are also able to save money on gas. Additionally, some state and local governments offer financial incentives for switching to electric vehicles. For example, in 2016 the federal government provided a $7,500 tax break for each electric car purchased.

Taking a look at social media trends in the automotive industry, we can see that eco-friendly vehicles have generated the least amount of discussion. Although drivers are making a steady shift to eco-friendly cars, gas-powered cars remain at the forefront of the market. Eco-friendly vehicles will have to move at a faster pace in the market, especially as greater concerns about the environment emerge, such as climate change.

Digital Buying

Digital buying is transforming the car sales experience. Buyers are not solely dependent on dealerships anymore. Instead, the auto industry has mostly transitioned to digital buying, and everything is available for customers to view online. The digital marketplace for the auto industry has allowed for a transformation in the car buying process. Apps and auto industry advertising are dominating the market and are now primarily used to target customers.

Ride Sharing

Within this digital landscape comes the increased use of ride sharing. Apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Via have become a large part of the auto industry and are impacting it dramatically. Ride sharing effects vehicle manufacturers because owning a car no longer becomes a necessity. You can quickly open an app such as Uber or Lyft on your smartphone and have your ride ready at your doorstep within a few minutes. Digital buying and ride sharing are increasingly prevalent trends that emerged as technology advanced.

The digital takeover of the auto industry has impacted consumer reactions across social media. About 20% of the conversations across social media entail discourse around digital buying and ride sharing. Evidently, digital buying and ride sharing are trending topics in the auto industry. Vehicle manufacturers should actively be taking advantage of the digital landscape and adjust their campaigns accordingly.

Sentiment Analysis of Auto Industry Trends

Using social media intelligence, we can see that self-driving cars have received the most positive sentiment across social media. However, this trend has received almost an even number of positive and negative sentiment. Self-driving cars typically generate an extensive and controversial debate which explains this data around sentiment analysis. Digital buying and ride sharing have received a higher percentage of negative sentiment. Most of the negative sentiment entails disfavor of certain Uber and Lyft services. Although ride sharing has become an enormous trend, social media trend analysis reveals that ride sharing is still not up to par with the needs of some consumers. Eco-friendly cars have also received almost an even percentage of positive and negative sentiment analysis. This further shows that this is a trend followed by a robust discussion across social media.

Social Media Trend Analysis, by Share of Voice, by Country


According to the share of voice by country, we can see that these trends are most prevalent in the United States. Social media users across the United States are a driving force behind these trends and are generating the most discussion. The auto industry can learn from this and perform a social media trend analysis on U.S. consumers to better cater to their needs and concerns around these trends.

By understanding and recognizing all the trending conversations, along with those who are leading them, you’ll be better equipped to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Dealers need to ensure that they are continually checking and monitoring their social media platforms to follow any trends that might be occurring.

Check out our Trend Analysis Guide to learn more about tracking real-time conversations and trends around the world.