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The 7 Secrets to Ford’s Social Media Marketing Success

Last year I noticed articles and videos appearing online and on Social Media such as YouTube about the Ford Fiesta. So I decided to dig a little deeper to find out about what Ford were doing in Social Media to market their products.

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Scott Monty is the Head of Social Media at Ford and has only been there since 2008 and put in place a Social Media strategy including multiple Social Media channels.

Scott said that his “Jewel in the Crown” is the Ford Fiesta Movement that involved selecting 100 socially vibrant individuals who were provided with the European version of the Ford Fiesta 18 months prior to it being manufactured and released in the USA. These socially media aware fanatics were encouraged to share their experience with the Ford Fiesta over the 6 months on their Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube channels.

What were the strategies that Ford implemented to create viral awareness without one dollar of traditional marketing spend?

The 7 secrets to Fords Social Media Marketing Success

  1. People trust corporations less so with the rise of social media you need to allow other people through word of mouth create trust for you through Social Media (it amplifies your message)
  2. Reached out to those who are listening and let them do the talking for you and to connect with people like themselves
  3. Let them know that you are real people just like them and are passionate about what they do and the Ford Brand
  4. Run a competition involving Social Media eg.. To be selected to drive a Ford Fiesta for six months – select 100 of those who are “socially vibrant” such as Michelle McCormack ..view her application on YouTube.
  5. Aggregated the content on Fords Fiesta movement website (crowd sourcing content) without editing it!
  6. Implemented multiple Social Media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to create digital buzz
  7. “Get On Board” the executive team and the board of directors

The Results

  • 11 million Social Networking impressions
  • 5 million engagements on social networks (people sharing and receiving)
  • 11,000 videos posted
  • 15,000 tweets.. not including retweets
  • 13,000 photos
  • 50,000 hand raisers who have seen the product in person or on a video who said that they want to know more about it when it comes out and 97% of those don’t currently drive a Ford vehicle
  • 38% awareness by Gen Y about the product, without spending a dollar on traditional advertising ( Fords model “Fusion” doesn’t have that awareness after 2 years of being out in production and yet it has received hundreds of millions of dollars in traditional marketing spend).

Following the Ford Fiesta movement the launch of the Fiesta Ford did run a traditional marketing campaign including  TV, Print and and Outdoor advertising.

According to J.D. Power, about 9% of spending this year by automakers will be digital (Ford’s share spend is 25%.. and they were the only company not bailed out by the Federal Government), but that will rise to about 12% by 2012 as more companies embrace social networking, online gaming and rich media ads in place of traditional TV and print.

Scott Monty’s advice on whether Social Media Marketing is right for your company,

“If your customers are there you need to be there too” he also went on to say “You need to listen.. see how they behave and act similiarly”

So how can you apply these strategies to your company’s marketing mix?

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