Now if only someone could turn social-media mentions into cold, hard cash. That's what the folks at Toyota may be saying after a report revealed that the Prius gets the most media dollar value – by far – out of any hybrid or plug-in vehicle from social media networks, according to Automotive News, which cites a study from social analytics company GenSent Insights.

The Prius received $15.5 million in "total media value" through the first four months of the year, trampling the second-place Honda Fit EV's $4.5 million. Those models were followed by the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S and Honda Insight, each of which generated about $3 million worth of social-media value through April.

The report tracked model mentions via sources such as Facebook, YouTube and Google, and found that the Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid, had more Twitter mentions than the next nine most-mentioned green-car models combined. Factoring positive or not-so-positive social-media "sentiment," the Nissan Leaf came out on top, followed by the Fit and then the Prius

Of course, chatter doesn't always translate into moving cars out the door. Through April, US Prius sales across all variants were down 12 percent from a year earlier, down to almost 76,000 units.


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