When you think of successful consumer brands in the social media space, names like Dell, Zappos and Pepsi come to mind. Another is Ford. Last year the Ford Fiesta movement generated a tremendous amount of awareness (and pre-orders) for a vehicle that wasn’t available to the public yet. (Great summary on Jeff Bullas’s blog) At the same time, it inspired a community to engage, create content and continue discussions about the Fiesta with over 7 million video views.
While in Dearborn, I visited The Henry Ford Museum, The Rouge Truck Factory and had an invitation to visit Ford’s Head of Social Media, Scott Monty at Ford’s World Headquarters where we did a short interview. We’ve talked to Scott and live blogged about Ford social media efforts in the past, but in this interview he talked about the place for social media with Ford’s new product lines, local social media work with Chapter 2 of the Fiesta movement and advice for companies on empowering communities.
Being able to learn about the history of this 100+ year old company through experiences at The Henry Ford and Rouge Factory tours was very informative. Being able to sit down with Bob Kreipke, Ford’s full time historian and hear stories about Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, company history and the evolution of Ford was priceless.
Fast forward over 100 years and Ford is a very different company, as is the automotive industry. It’s not enough to be innovative but to be able to innovate quickly and connect with customers in more meaningful ways. Based on my discussions with Scott, Ford is very committed to making those connections. Watch the interview below to get more insight on how Ford is approaching social media:
By leveraging technology and the social web, Ford is moving from being known as “A truck and Mustang company” to a “Car, utility and truck company”. I think the decision to focus on local social media marketing is great evidence of understanding audience in a social strategy. So much of what companies are doing in the social space is a shotgun approach based on popular applications vs focusing on where and how actual customers spend their time.
Check out the The Ford Story, a great example of a corporate social media aggregator not only of Ford social web participation, but of what others are saying about their brands. I can’t imaging any active brand online not launching a site like this.
What are some great examples of consumer brands you think we should focus on in future posts? What kind of insights would you like to learn more of from those kinds of companies when it comes to the social web?