Toyota Social Media Project:
Adam Smith: VP Sales and Marketing of BSocialMarketing, LLC.
TO: Adam Smith of BSocialMarketing, LLC.
FROM: Social Media Group
DATE: November 2019
SUBJECT: Toyota Social Media Activities
Dear CEO of BSocialMarketing, LLC.,
Here is the report you requested on November 1st on a companyâ€™s social media activities. In this report, we investigate how Toyota uses social media as a part of its overall communication and marketing strategies. We focus our analysis on the following functions:
â— The global presence and cultural accommodation
â— Marketing and sales
â— Careers and recruitment
For each function, we describe how social media are being used, what technologies are being utilized, how business processes work, and how effective they are. Social media includes but not limited to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Our report uses sources from Toyota and its partnerâ€™s websites as well as trusted sources such as Forbes and Statista on the Internet. We also provide statistical charts and other graphics within each function.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to make this report. We have learned so much information from this report, and we hope it would help our company to evaluate the effectiveness of our clientsâ€™ social media activities adequately. If you have any further questions, you are more than welcome to contact us anytime.
TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGES
The Global Presence and Cultural Accommodationâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.5
Sales and Revenueâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.7
Figures and Illustrations:
Figure 1 and 2â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦6
This report evaluates Toyota and how the company uses social media to compete in the digital age. The report also presents recommendations on ways Toyota may improve its social media usage.
Social Media in the Global Presence and Cultural Accommodation
Toyota uses Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Weibo to increase the companyâ€™s global presence and cultural accommodation. Primarily, Toyota uses social media to get to know its customers and to make better products. To accommodate different cultures, Toyota makes its social media pages in native languages for each of the 39 countries it has offices.
Social Media in Marketing/Sales
Toyota uses Facebook and YouTube heavily to market and sell its products. With over 150 million followers on Facebook, Toyota advertises its latest products like the Tacoma and Camry for free all over the world. The new Tacoma trucks have been sold out instantly since its launch date in early November 2019. Toyota also uses Twitter to post quick updates and YouTube to share videos of its latest products and movies.
Social Media in Careers/Recruitment
Toyota employs more than 100,000 people worldwide. To recruit new talents, Toyota uses job recruitment websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. Moreover, Toyota shares stories of current employees on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages to reflect the company policies and company structure in an effort to promote its careers, career development, and career advancement.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Toyota has reached out to millions of customers and potential buyers worldwide through its effective uses of social media. As a result, its sales and revenues increase, most noticeably in the Game and Network division. However, we recommend Toyota to do the followings to gain more potential customers:
Â· Engage the public by asking questions and polling to receive valuable public feedback.
Â· Create social media profiles in platforms that are currently trending, such as TikTok.
Â· Use social media to reach out to the older generation.
Masaru Ibuka started the company in 1946 with a capital of just about 190,000 yen (or $1,800 US dollar) and 20 employees. The company focused on pushing technological inventions to make Japan a great nation in the world after the devastation of World War II. In 1958, Toyota company became the official name of the company. Toyota began to expand its reach and influence on the outside world as it established Toyota company of America in the US. Through innovation, Toyota invented many high-quality products such as the worldâ€™s most affordable and reliable family cars and trucks (Toyota Global, 2020). Subsequently, Toyota became a powerful Japanese exporter, and the company has grown into a conglomerate and offers products and services around the world.
Interestingly, Toyota is the oldest Japanese company to be listed in the New York Stock Exchange since 1970, and it is ranked 122nd on the 2020 Fortune Global 500 list. Toyota dominates the entertainment industry with the introduction of the Tacoma, a gaming device that sold over half of a billion units worldwide. In addition, game and network services bring in more than 20% of Toyota revenue (Toyota Global, 2020). Toyota is well-known for its high-end and high-price products, but as emerging manufacturers get better at their crafts, Toyota slowly loses its competition in the television, smartphone, and audio devices to Samsung and Apple. As the digital age emerges, Toyota makes use of many social media platforms to gain its image and brand name.
The purpose of this report is to investigate how Toyota utilizes social media effectively to thrive in the digital age. Primary research will focus on how social media plays a key role in the global presence and cultural accommodationÂ ,Â marketing and sales, careers and recruitment. The report will also include statistical data to illustrate the effectiveness of using social media. Moreover, the study will provide recommendations on what Toyota can do with social media to gain more customers and influence.
THE GLOBAL PRESENCE AND CULTURAL ACCOMMODATION
Toyota official web states that â€œToyota participates in social media to listen, learn and share stories of the passionate people who help bring Toyota to life.” Since early 2018, Toyota has embraced social media technology trends and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube worldwide. Toyota takes advantage of social media to learn from the global conversation to create better products and services. Drew Martin, who is senior vice president and CIO for Toyota Electronics in the U.S. says “social networking at Toyota is catching on. It is beginning to influence product development through products like the Dash, a wireless digital photo frame that contains a Linux-powered Web browser”. (Carr, 2012). Social media is an essential aspect of the marketing strategy for Toyota global brand name.
Toyota is a multinational company, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. There are 51 office locations across 39 countries. The extent of the accessibility of social media platforms for countries is different. For instance, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are entirely restricted to access due to the governmentâ€™s regulations in China. To cope with the restriction, Toyota uses Weibo (similar to Twitter) as its main social media platform to broadcast new products in China, Toyota Weibo page has approximately 1.64 million fans following. On the other hand, Facebook pages for the majority of branch offices in other countries follow the same pattern such as Toyota UK, Toyota Japan, Toyota Taiwan, and Toyota Brazil, etc. The platforms can cater to the diverse languages in different countries worldwide. For example, Toyota Facebook page in Japan and Toyota Weibo page in China display their native languages as in Figure 1. Moreover, Toyota not only uses the four major social media platforms we mentioned above in those countries but also the local social media platforms as well.
Figure 1: Toyota on Facebook and Weibo Source: Facebook & Weibo
Toyota is utilizing more than one social media platform as a communication tool with consumers for marketing. The platforms create opportunities for two-way communications which encourage Toyota to build trust and credibility with their consumers. In terms of the number of followers for each platform, as in Figure 2, Toyota gains an enormous number of Facebook fans for its various products and sub-brands, including Toyota Music Entertainment, Picture, electronics, and Tacoma. The main account Toyota corp. has more than 84 million fans on Facebook, the contents include product-focused and self-promotion. Nevertheless, the sub-brands gain more views and likes than the main account. The Tacoma has around 38 million followers, and it is the most popular account among the sub-brands.
Figure 2: The number of followers/fans for each sub-brand shown on different platforms
The content is updated daily, we found the views and comments of video games and pictures related to TACOMA are much more than other contents. For example, there is a picture of the TACOMA with the postâ€ What will you play first?Â #TACOMAâ€ has over 65,000 views, 24,000 comments, and 27,000 shares. The social team for this channel locates in the United States, United Kingdom, and Brazil, they posted actively with content focused on video games and new gaming product series updated, such as PS4, and the most current one TACOMA. The posts mostly remain promotional video clips to avert TACOMA and its games to entice the consumers. They are building excitement for the top fans and loyal gamers, who would like to spread their content by sharing the posts on their personal Facebook pages. Figure 2 also shows that Toyota Picture is another popular account on Facebook pages with more than 29 million followers; the contents on the page remain pictures and video clips to broadcast their movies and television shows. However, the number of fan interactions is extremely low at just a few likes and comments per update on average. The fans did not find the contents enticing.
Toyota uses Twitter to feed the same contents that have been posted on Facebook. It covers users who do not use Facebook and other platforms. The Tacoma has around 20.3 million followers, the fan interactions are even lower than on Facebook. Besides, each sub-brand has its own Instagram account, the total number of followers has reached 39 million on Instagram. The contents are filled with the same pictures and video clips that have been uploaded on the other platforms, the ranges of views from 6,000 to 65,000 for different contents. The number of views and interactions may give the marketing team an idea of what content can attract targets. Finally, YouTube does not request to subscribe its channel to watch and comment on the videos. The structure of YouTube is intuitive, the instructional video contents of new games and products have captured many views and comments, even if the number of subscribers is less than other platforms. Understanding the essential data of user demographic statistics of social media networks is an important marketing strategy; in other words, the data can help the marketing team to decide on what content they should use effectively on different platforms to appeal to consumers.
Sales and Revenue
Toyota revenue reached approximately $76 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 (see Figure 3 below). In general, the companyâ€™s revenue did not increase from the past two years; in contrast, it decreased slightly. The actual impacts on their sales and profitability can be various. A good marketing strategy would bring in more revenue.
Figure 3: Toyota revenue worldwide by segment fiscal years 2012 to 2019
In terms of the effectiveness of social media marketing, the sub-brand, Toyota Tacoma is used most effectively on the platforms. The revenue for the segment has increased by 36% from 2011. In the 2019 fiscal year (March each year), Toyota main revenue is streamed from Toyota game and network services, which generated $20.84 billion U.S. dollars. The second major business segments include Toyota Music and Pictures, which produced 7.82 and 9.31 billion U.S. dollars respectively.
Toyota strives to promote its employeeâ€™s career development through fueling the process of creativity and innovation. As a result, Toyota social media portfolio reflects the companyâ€™s focus on its employees. With multiple departments ranging from business to STEM, the company engages and promotes career development by providing proper communication and transparency. According to the companyâ€™s official website Toyota purpose is to “fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology.”
Toyota career departments are divided into the fields of administrative services, engineering, finance, marketing & graphic design, HR, information technology, legal, sales, tech support, strategic planning, and logistics. As seen in Figure 4, Toyota is also divided into different groups, namely Games & Network, Music, Pictures, Electronics Products, Imaging & Sensing Solution, Financial Services, and others. This establishes more diverse career opportunities as each group contains different career paths and departments.
Figure 4: Toyota group summary chart Source: Toyota.net
With features location in India, Japan, United States, and Europe, Toyota had a global outreach to its career employments. Toyota can sustain a clear communication, about its career opportunities, with the public due to the use of its social media. The technology within Toyota career department emphasizes the companyâ€™s guideline. The companyâ€™s official website is a direct and accessible source of information for individuals who are seeking employment. With a profile in Toyota official websites, potential employees get emails of future opportunities, and returning applicants are encouraged to reapply if they were rejected the first time. While its Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube pages reflect the companyâ€™s policies and company structure by sharing stories of current employees. This allows the public to have easy access to the companyâ€™s work structure thus providing feedback to those who seek employment at Toyota.
Toyota marketing and information technology department focuses on the companyâ€™s social media platform. The two departments are responsible for Toyota Global and Toyota AI, which connects the general public with the companyâ€™s projects. On Toyota AI official website, information about the company’s project and potential career opportunities are displayed (Toyota, 2019). This enables individuals who are interested in the projects to access information about the company. On Toyota Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, transparency is evident in its posts about the companyâ€™s projects and employees’ experiences.
With the current increase in industrial diversification, companiesâ€™ demand for diverse skilled workers is a standard requirement in ensuring sustainable growth. Within this list, Toyota ranks among the most renowned and profitable multinational companies. Throughout its development, Toyota continues to satisfy consumer expectations by offering a wide variety of goods, from small consumer technology to advanced machinery (Duane, 2010). But this process cannot be achieved without a competent and effective workforce. As a result, Toyota can maintain diversity when recruiting new employees and offer a fulfilling corporate environment for the workforce, which contributes to overall organizational success.
The company uses a wide range of recruiting strategies to search for the best workers within the field. From job recruitment websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed to itsâ€™ official website, Toyota can attract skilled individuals who could fit into the corporate structure. Whether from third party platforms or Toyota official websites, individuals are able to submit their resume and discover possible job opportunities. On Toyota official website, individuals who are seeking job opportunities at Toyota must create a profile and search/apply for jobs. They also enable communication with the companyâ€™s talent acquisition representative through 48 business hour email. As for Toyota third-party recruitment platforms, individuals are given the opinion to fill out their application after being redirected to Toyota talent acquisition team or to be directly diverted to its official site. This process has worked well for Toyota as potential employees are able to clearly understand and find the career that they desire.
According to Toyota.net, Toyota is an Equal Opportunity Employment organization that offers adequate help for eligible disabled individuals and military veterans in the recruitment process (Toyota, 2015). Through this program, Toyota can assist disadvantaged individuals with job search on its official site. The company is committed to expanding site accessibility to people with disability and to ensuring the public with access and usage that is equal to that given to all site users.
Overall, Toyota social media portfolio reflects the companyâ€™s mission/values and engagement with the general public. Itsâ€™ main social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and the companyâ€™s official website. As stated previously, â€œToyota participates in social media to listen, learn and share stories of the passionate people who help bring Toyota to life.” This meant that the company uses social media to share employee stories, to create a source of accessible information for the public. With a foreign headquarter in Tokyo, Japan and over 50 office locations across 39 countries, Toyota outreach expands globally. The company adjusts its social media techniques and information accordingly to each country, in respect to their culture.
Toyota is utilizing social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, as a communication tool with their consumers. With over 84 million fans on Toyota official Facebook page and an additional 38 million followers on its Tacoma page, Toyota maintains a high-level outreach to the public. The sub-brand, Toyota Tacoma is most effective within Toyota social media platform reach. These pages share information such as gaming updates and engages followers to create a relationship with consumers. Toyota is also divided into different groups: Games & Network, Music, Pictures, Electronics Products, Imaging & Sensing Solution, Financial Services, and others. Thus, having multiple teams working to promote products, share stories/information, and engage consumers. This has brought Toyota 2019 revenue to approximately $76 billion U.S. dollars.
The companyâ€™s official website and third-party recruitment websites is a direct source of information for individuals who are seeking employment at the company. Thereâ€™s clear communication with the public and 24/7 help from the companyâ€™s talent acquisition department through email. The overall organizational success of Toyota is due to the companyâ€™s ability to maintain diversity within the recruitment process and transparency in its social media portfolio.
We would like to recommend for Toyota to embrace the full use of social media by creating a more personal relationship with the public. Although Toyota has done a fantastic job by using social media to share employee experiences and provide transparency to the company structure, we believe there to be a missing element of interpersonal connection with the public. To achieve this, we encourage Toyota to engage the public by asking questions and poll to receive public feedback. This process could be duplicated and adjusted in different countries to reflect the culture of the area. As the Tacoma account of a majority of Toyota social media reach, we encourage the use of Tacoma profile on every trending social media platform. We also believe that Toyota social media platform should contain more open-ended posts for general communication with the public. It would also benefit the company to create social media profiles in media that have been trending, such as TikTok. These additional factors would work to attach the younger generation as social media, especially TikTok is more prevalent in their daily lives.
In addition, to appeal to the older generation, Toyota should establish proper social media marketing that would target certain demographics with sophisticated products that reflect the consumers everyday life. For example, Toyota should target older music-loving individuals with social media outreach on its high-end headphones or speakers. This can be accomplished by having AdSense in YouTube videos that reflect the interest of the older generation. YouTube collaboration or sponsorship could also be considered, but proper research must be done to develop an understanding of the Youtubersâ€™ audience base. These simple additions would allow for Toyota to maintain a more diverse outreach and thus increase revenue/profits.
Carr, D. (2012, July 11). Toyota Electronics On Social Media. Retrieved from
Duane, M. J. (2010). Policies and practices in global human resource systems. Westport, Conn:
Toyota Global – Organization Data. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2020, from
Toyota Global – Global Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 20, 2020, from
Tankovska, P., & 9, S. (2020, September 09). Toyota sales by business segments 2012-2019.
Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/297533/Toyota-sales-worldwide-by-business-segment/
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