In this week’s Social Media Face Off, we’re putting popular car brands Toyota and Honda head-to-head to find out which one is accelerating past the competition in social. These two direct competitors have been racing for consumer preference on the road for years, but we’re eager to see which brand’s strategy is translating to social success.

We’ve created search streams for each brand in the uberVU via HootSuite platform and compared the results from the past two weeks in order to crown our winner.

Let’s see which car brand is winning the race in social.

Round One: Mentions

Honda drifts into an early lead with 524,620 mentions, easily topping Toyota’s 365,076 mentions.

As you can see from the line graph, Toyota experienced a remarkable 163.47% increase in mentions from April 8 to 9. What’s the reason behind this huge spike? On April 9, it was announced that Toyota would recall 6.4 million vehicles because of safety issues with airbags and seat defects, sending social into a frenzy.

Winner: Honda

Round Two: Sentiment

Our next round looks deeper into the mentions by analyzing sentiment, an insightful metric that gauges how social feels about the car brands. Toyota only finds 19% of its mentions to be positive, which Honda tops with a 24% positivity score. Additionally, Toyota took a wrong turn with 16% of its overall mentions registering as negative, almost doubling Honda’s 9%. After diving into the mentions, we can attribute the higher negativity score to social’s intense reaction to Toyota’s recall announcement. In our social races, the winner is always determined by higher positive sentiment, so we’re giving this round to Honda.

Winner: Honda

Round Three: Conversation Mapping

In our final round, we take a look at each brand’s conversation map to inspect what topics are being associated with the competitors online. The year “2014” takes up most of the conversation for both brands, suggesting that people like to discuss the newest models in the automobile industry. This is further depicted with popular models like “Toyota Corolla,” “Toyota Camry,” and “Honda Civic” appearing, as well as the term “model” itself showing up on both maps.

Now that we’ve discovered how the maps are similar, let’s really weed out the winner by highlighting any differences. As discussed in the mentions round, Toyota’s April 9th announcement appears on its map with the term “recall” taking up 7% of overall mentions. Additionally, Toyota’s map also features competitive brands like “Ford,” and (gasp!) “Honda.”

Honda, on the other hand, does not see any reference to competitors on its map. It does, however, rank for references to its non-car products, like motorbikes, and celebrity endorsers through the terms “bike,” “Yamaha,” “Marc Marquez,” and “Marquez.” (Marc Marquez is a champion Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle road racer who is a part of Repsol Honda). Because Honda’s map is focused on its brand and products instead of the competition like Toyota’s, we’re rewarding the brand with reputable street cred, as well as the win in this round.

Winner: Honda

Overall Winner: Honda

Honda wins this Social Media Face Off with an overall score of 3-0. Toyota put up a solid fight, but its recent recall announcement severely impacted its performance in social, leaving room for Honda to pass on by and cruise through to the finish line.

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