It’s Not Just For Playing Games
Social media is great for keeping in touch with long lost relatives, but believe it or not, it’s also great for selling cars. At least that’s the word from Ford who reported this week social media has helped boost their reputation and move more product.
No Surprise For Some
This might surprise YOU but it doesn’t surprise ME, because I make my living from social media. Why do I make my living in social media marketing? Because it works, plain and simple.
If social media did not work as a marketing tool companies such as Ford (Coca-Cola, General Motors, Dawn Dish Washing Liquid, Sony, et. al.) wouldn’t be spending big bucks to leverage social media on their behalf.
Social Media Is Money
When it comes to modern marketing techniques social media is all about getting the job done as effectively as possible. Social media professionals make it their job to utilize the latest tools to promote their clients, and because social media is the most effective communication tool yet invented, these tools work. The result? Companies like Ford report they get good results from their social media efforts.
Ford Motor Co.’s use of social media is creating greater awareness of new vehicles and proving to be money well spent, a marketing executive for the automaker said today.
Ford has tried to position itself in the forefront of social media with experiments such as the Fiesta Movement designed to create a buzz for the subcompact car before it went on sale in the United States and the use of Facebook to introduce new models such as the redesigned Ford Explorer.
The automaker has also used the adventures of a puppet named Doug to try to connect with consumers.
It can be hard to measure the return on investment of social media, Matt Van Dyke, Ford’s director of Marketing Communications, said today in a live webchat.
But there is empirical evidence, said Van Dyke, who oversees all U.S. advertising for the Ford and Lincoln brands.
Ford was able to credit the Fiesta Movement, which picked people to test drive Fiestas around the world in 2009 and post their experiences and videos, for the growing awareness of the new car because the automaker had not yet begun mass media advertising.
“In that case, we were able to generate proven awareness, favorable opinion and consideration that we are able to assign dollar values to,” he said.
The Fiesta Movement represented an investment of millions of dollars to bring over 100 vehicles from Europe as well as the production costs of the six-month project, but Van Dyke figures Ford generated five times as much exposure as a traditional advertising campaign. And by the time the car went on sale, many U.S. consumers were familiar with it. The car continues to post strong sales, selling more than 42,000 in the first half of the year.
The decision to unveil the new Explorer as part of a Facebook campaign rather than at an auto show also is considered a success. On the day of the Explorer reveal, Ford went from 7,000 visits on its Explorer home page to more than half a million.
Ford does not have a social media department; the automaker wants its use to be pervasive across the company.
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