Ford and social media – how business should be doing it

This report from Fox News dates back to Febuary of 2009 but I thought it was interesting to see how Ford entered Social Media then and what has developed from their efforts.  One of the few corporations to actively participate and one of an even smaller number to have “got it” right they have tried and tested social media and leveraged it effectively over the last 7 months.

Have a look at the video from Febuary:

Starting with Scott Monty who is the “face” of Fords team on line they have developed their profile in social media to cover a multitude of niches and not advertise their wares, rather they have decided to do the right thing and LISTEN to the input from their customers rather than forcing them to be subjected to more “special offers” and “new products”.

The even covered customer service on twitter, for complaints and feedback handling.

By integrating themselves carefully and making sure they understood the medium appropriately this approach cumulated in the launch of a new car where they successfully increased brand awareness about the product rather than selling it directly.  Heres some points about the campaign from the Ford Website:

Original Article: http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=31117

  • The Fiesta Movement and test drive program has resulted in more than 50,000 hand-raisers; 97 percent of whom currently do not drive a Ford
  • Ford’s Fiesta Movement has driven brand awareness for the small car to levels equivalent to models that have been in the market for two to three years
  • Social media sites also are buzzing with Fiesta Movement-generated content, with more than 4.3 million YouTube views, 540,000 Flickr views and 3 million Twitter impressions

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 1, 2009 – More than nine months before the 2011 Ford Fiesta goes on sale in North America, the new small car can claim more than 50,000 potential customers, and 97 percent of them would be new to Ford, thanks to Ford’s groundbreaking Fiesta Movement.

Ford took a nontraditional approach with the Fiesta Movement initiative, using a fraction of a typical marketing and advertising budget and relying on social media to drive the buzz. This means huge dividends for the brand – Fiesta awareness is running at the same level of a nameplate that has been on the market for two to three years.

“We didn’t break the bank. We didn’t use traditional media. We tried something different, and it is working” said Connie Fontaine, Ford Brand and Content Alliances manager. “We’re delighted with how Fiesta is gaining traction with consumers. It’s a whole new way of introducing a car to market.”

The Fiesta Movement promotes Ford’s new small car through 100 socially vibrant “agents” who have been driving Euro-spec Fiestas and taking part in monthly themed “missions” such as volunteerism, adventure, and style and design. After each mission wraps, the agents relate their experiences through the realm of social media.

Social networking sites allow Ford to meet consumers it might not connect with through traditional advertising, making it easier to open dialogue with a whole new set of consumers. The Fiesta Movement also realizes that people trust people like themselves and that everyone has a car story, and has successfully leveraged this as a platform from which to promote a new car.

Fiesta Movement drives the discussion
Agents are taking advantage of their time in Ford Fiestas, accumulating more than 1 million miles total. And their Fiesta Movement-related content is gaining huge traction on the Internet, with:

  • More than 4.3 million YouTube views
  • More than 540,000 Flickr views
  • More than 3 million Twitter impressions

Through the accompanying nationwide test drive program, more than 162,000 customers have interacted with the Fiesta through walk-arounds and social interactions and 35,000 have taken a test drive.

Fiesta Movement agents are also providing key product insights with Ford. Exterior styling, driving dynamics and unique color offerings top the list of their favorite attributes.

Follow the Fiesta Movement:
YouTube: www.youtube.com/fiestamovement
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/fiestamovement
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fiestamovement
Twitter: www.twitter.com/fordfiesta

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 201,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.

Amazing what can happen when you know what your doing, what tools you can use, and most importantly, how you can do it RIGHT.

Now take a second and look at your own business, your marketing, your networking opportunities and your out reach plans, what are you doing to get it right?