Social-media marketing is an ever-changing landscape of innovation and creativity, so it’s important to take notes when a marketing giant, such as Ford’s Scott Monty, shares the “how” and “why” of some of his more successful social-media campaigns.
Monty is Ford Motor Co.’s official head of social media for the entire globe, so he knows a thing or two about leveraging social audiences to achieve long-term goals. Over an interview with Entrepreneur, he shared three of his social-media principles – each one backed up by a real-world example that produced significant results.
+ Marketing is often about sharing stories, but it’s your fans and followers that should be the main story tellers on social media, not your company. Back in 2009, Ford launched a campaign called the Fiesta Movement, which allowed 100 drivers to borrow a Fiesta for six months – gas, insurance and all costs paid by Ford. The enthusiastic drivers shared their experiences via social media, generating over 6.2 million views on YouTube, about 750,000 views on Flickr and 40 million impressions on Twitter.
+ Don’t treat social media like another broadcasting system. It is not like a TV; it’s more like a room full of people in front of a TV. In other words, engage your fans and followers in conversation. Don’t just talk at them. For example, Ford created a “spokespuppet” that appeared in several YouTube webisodes that promoted the Ford Focus. It subtly increased awareness about the Focus in YouTube’s younger demographic as the video was passed around for its comedic value.
+ Don’t treat your fans like a commodity, and reward your fans in ways that encourage them to further engage your brand. Just prior to premiering the 2011 Explorer to the public, Ford launched a Facebook page for the new car. The page featured sneak peaks at new features and interviews with the design team and chief engineer. Ford boosted interest in the page offering exclusive access to some industry events, and the page also served as a survey for customer interests and new features in future models.
The three tips make up some of the best social-media advice we’ve come across this year, but I believe that Monty is leaving out one critical aspect of his social-media strategy. In addition to everything he mentions above, Monty also engages the marketing industry by regularly offering useful advice in various forms. These documents get passed around social networks and blogs in a way that adds an above-average professionalism to his brand, which tends to increase the respect that these professionals have for Ford since he is engaging them on their terms.