Automakers are increasingly turning to social media influencers to attract a new generation of buyers.
Friday was Social Media Day at the Chicago Auto Show, a chance for bloggers, tweeters and Instagrammers alike to have unobstructed access to the vehicles at the show.
Increasingly, automakers are turning to social media influencers like to reach new buyers, especially the so-called millennials who are difficult to reach through traditional media.
"We have a better chance of reaching millennials and reaching all of our targets and reaching a much wider base because we are finding the influencers who talk to them and the people that really matter to them," said Ford's social media director Karen Untereker.
Photographer Jen Reddeker spent much of the day taking pictures at the show, and much of what she shoots will wind up on her Facebook page.
"I think it's awesome. I get a lot closer shots of the cars and don't have to worry about going on the other side of the ropes. It's really nice so you can get those clean pictures and don't have to edit out the other stuff," Reddeker said.
To engage the social media types, Ford sponsored a Mustang building contest and a pinball tournament.
"It seems the industry is really on an uptick right now and really excited about the show. We're going to have a couple of debuts on the social media preview, which is kind of unique, because many of the manufacturers are hosting them on the social media instead of the first day to get that viral buzz," auto show social media director Jennifer Morand said.