Whether it’s showing off a new ride or posting a photo of a vehicle we’d like to own, social media gives us an outlet to share that new-car feeling with a lot of people. And like all things about social media, whatever is there can be counted.
That’s exactly what AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN) has done with a study of the cars that dominate on Instagram. Using Google Cloud Vision the auto dealer sorted through 100,000 Instagram images to find out what cars are most popular on the website. The study was also able to tag the posted photos geographically so that it could determine which brands were the most often mentioned by state.
The most popular brand in the #newcar hashtag was BMW, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Jeep from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU). More than 18% of the posted photos were taken of BMW cars, with about 15% showing Mercedes vehicles and just over 10% showing off Jeep vehicles.
Jeep was also the most popular brand in 17 of states. Mercedes-Benz cars were most popular in 11 states while BMW led in 5 states. Photos of Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) vehicles were most popular in 8 states and one state, North Carolina, favored Lamborghini. Must be a lot of well-off folks in North Carolina because the handmade Italian cars start at around $200,000.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was most popular in two states: Montana and Pennsylvania, while Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) (Wyoming), VW (Massachusetts), Nissan (Vermont), Ram (Alabama), and Subaru (Alaska) each won the popularity contest in one state.
The researchers also tallied the average number of likes for each of the #newcar posts. Lamborghini topped that list with an average of 891 likes per post. Aston Martin was a distant second with 294 likes, Maserati was third with 259 likes, and Ferrari NV (NYSE: RACE) was fourth with 256.
The five states that post the most on the #newcar hashtag are Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, Delaware, and Montana.
Here is the full study and methodology.