Online forums and social media sites great for collecting data
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/01/2013 -- In Detroit, the use of the auto industry's newest tool to detect vehicular defects has become as simple as logging into a Twitter or Facebook account, as social media websites can assist in the endeavor.
Federal regulators have already begun using the system, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigators use an array of forms from social media to do their job efficiently, states an agency spokesperson.
In addition to the social media use, a direct consumer complaint and information, NHTSA investigators are routinely searching auto websites, fan-sites, bulletin boards, and trade publications, as well as popular magazines in order to fight what will help lead an investigation.
The investigators utilize social media sites for specific issues as well, if they believe the data for assessing the problem is inadequate.
The online forums provide new sources to note defect information and surveillance, says researchers at Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business via a study released in 2012.
Assistant Professor Alan Abrahams and Professor Weiguo Fan had conducted a large-scale study of online discussion forums. The study did not involve Facebook or Twitter. Within that report the researchers noted thousands of discussion forums for Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co.'s in June of 2010.
"Social media analytics provides low-cost, real-time insight into defect existence and severity, by vehicle component category," Mr. Abrahams said.
He noted that the voice of the customer is a well-known quality source of information when it comes to design intelligence, and social media can give makers aggregate access to the customer voices.
A digital marketing manager for Grappone Automotive Group, James Edge, stated that the fourth-generation New Hampshire-based dealership group loves the use of Facebook due to it opening the lines of communication with customers.
"There were times we could have potentially lost a customer, but we collaborated with them on Facebook," Mr. Edge said.
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