If you are a positive person, you might say the U.S. auto industry is reinventing itself right now. With GM and Chrysler both looking to start anew, Ford has been able to stay clear of shrapnel, although it too has suffered substantially as a result of the overall economic situation in the United States, not to mention the rest of the world.
But Ford is truly using the downturn in the economy and the drama with its Detroit cousins to get up and deliver. While quality may have been their long-term mantra, Social Media may now be at the top of their marketing agenda.
Scott Monty is the head of Social Media for Ford. He clearly gets it. On a daily basis, Monty is working to let people know that Ford is not a building, not a car, but a company that is made up of people. Not only does Scott understand Social Media as a marketing tool, he understands the audience. GM and Chrysler both use the typical Social Media mechanisms, including FaceBook and Twitter, but just like their current overall situation, the effectiveness of their use of these tools leaves something to be desired.
According to Trendrr, a Social Media trending firm, in May of 2009, Chrysler had approximately 850 Twitter followers, while GM blew past them with more than 5,000 followers. On the other hand, Monty’s Twitter audience jumped to 20,000 people. That’s not even in the same solar system.
Ford created an effective and useful promotion using YouTube to market the introduction of the new Ford Fiesta. By creating a series of contests, Ford drew thousands of submissions, created a steady stream of Twitter “tweets,” and got substantial blog and news coverage. The bottom line: Ford reached a broad audience, interacted with them, and saved literally millions of dollars in advertising.
We like to collaborate with our clients to ensure they understand both the commitment that is required when diving into the Social Media pool, and the rewards for a job well done. It isn’t a mysterious endeavor, but it does require care, focus, and a strong understanding of whom the customer is, what they expect to see, hear, and read – and how to share things that will generate a response.
If you’re interested in how Social Media can work for you, please give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you.