From Out Of The Ashes
Not long ago the Big Three U.S. automakers were being clumped together as three of the biggest losers in the industry. The problem with that rumor was the fact Ford was flush with cash, even as their industry was suffering the worst sales seen in decades. Ford didn’t take any TARP money and nothing to answer for when Congress called leaders of all three companies to account for their industry woes.
Ford had a good product and a way to make it even better, and, which is more, Ford had a plan to stay abreast of technology.
The Rest Is History
Suddenly Ford went from being the world’s oldest car company to being on the cutting edge of what was new and hip. They began installing technology in all their vehicles and making use of the latest tech to drive huge improvements in the driving experience for people who bought Ford vehicles. They retooled their assembly plants and built smaller, more efficient cars. Perhaps most importantly, they launched an effective social media marketing campaign that captured the youth market and put them leagues ahead of their competitors.
Over the past few years Ford has continued to build on its lead, using an effective and efficient social media marketing campaign to promote its brand and its company.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. And Ford is using social media to make great pudding…
Ford is active in all of the major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Google+.
The company has more than 780,000 fans on Facebook, 53,000 followers on LinkedIn, and 76,000 followers on Twitter. Meanwhile, the company is in the test phase of its Google+ account.
General Motors, long considered Ford’s chief rival, hasn’t had quite as much success in social media — at least by the numbers. GM has 280,268 fans on Facebook, 31,996 followers on Twitter, and 58,472 on LinkedIn.
Ford attributed part of its success in the social media realm to its strategy of differentiating at each platform.
Monty, and the rest of Ford’s leadership, realizes that users don’t want the same information on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Instead, each consumer goes to those Web sites for a specific reason, and in turn, Ford tries to accommodate them.
On Twitter, that could mean getting out information very quickly, giving information that consumers can’t get anywhere else, or to solving a debate.
Ford recently received some criticism for its passive social media approach to the F-150 truck recall. Instead of actively disseminating information on the recall of one million trucks, the company used it only for responses and correcting misinformation. Monty didn’t want to get back into the debate, but admitted that Twitter can be quite useful in dealing with a delicate situation.
“We know that social media is the first outlet that you’ll hear about many crisis happening,” he said. “Our ability to respond to them in real time and not waiting hours, or days, or even weeks for the news cycle is important.
“It’s so important that we are actively involved every day when something negative does happen.”
Not only do consumers want to get news as quickly as possible, but also they want to give feedback. Consumers want to know, or at least feel, that their voices are being heard and that the company cares about their opinions.
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