Big brands have climbed aboard the social media bandwagon for years now. They are not afraid of the social tsunami that is washing over the globe. Instead they accept and welcome the change. One company in particular is Ford. Of course Ford is one of the most well known brands in the entire world. Some might say how did social media help that juggernaut of a brand become bigger? It is not about if the brand becomes bigger but more about solidifying the fact that the brand still exists in a big way.
In The Guardian article “5 Social media lessons to learn from Ford” it gives the reader 5 different social media lessons:
- If you have a good product, let go of fear and let others tell your story: Ford did a great campaign for their Ford Fiesta that allowed 100 people drive it for 6 months. Each person committed to making a themed video each month about the car. Essentially, Ford turned over the marketing to consumers. They decided they had a great product and the product would speak for itself. Social media is great for user generated content as long as you give the user the appropriate platform.
- Social media is not a campaign, it’s a commitment. We always need to be on: Ford created their social hub where they gave a voice to their consumers. The suggestions from consumers help Ford improve their product and customer service. A lot of companies believe that social media automatically equates to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. But the true definition of social media is not linked to a website, it is linked to the idea of people interacting with others to create, share and exchange information and ideas in a virtual community and networks. Embrace the true definition of social media.
- The complete integration of paid, owned and earned media can have significant impact: The key word in this lesson is “integration”. Social media is just a slice of the marketing pie. The social media concept is focused on one specific marketing ideology. In this case ford not only used social media but also videos, photos, grass root interaction, local and regional events, digital adds… When they combined all of these different mediums to achieve massive awareness for the launch of their new Explorer. Marketing is made up of a variety of elements to be successful.
- People engage with personalities, not product features: This lesson focuses on human nature. People connect with other people not a feature list, color or website. Ford decided to change the perception of the Focus by trying to connect with males in their late 20’s. This becomes their chosen demographic and they created videos that targeted it. A personal message can be the most powerful message for a company. Don’t let software, your logo or a website speak for your company. Take the opportunity to give them an opportunity to get to know you.
- Embrace the platforms your audience uses: This is focusing on producing content for social media platforms like YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter etc. Ford did a alright job on this idea. I watched the a couple of the videos for the “Escape My Life” on YouTube and they failed to impress me. If you look at any of the view #’s you will see they failed to impress many people. If Ford decides to revisit this marketing campaign style I believe they will achieve greater results next time around. The concept and idea is great but the execution was poor.
The original article for this blog is great. You should check it out. SocialGuru has the ability to develop and implement similar social media initiatives as Ford. If you have any questions or are interested in a quote please give us a call.