Ford's social media team knows that in order to keep your fans engaged you have to continually provide valuable content.
Social media marketing may seem like it's still all shiny and new, but concepts, ideas, and what's cool move through the proverbial Internet universe at warp speed. What was the darling of today or last week can be forgotten in a very small amount of time.
That's not to say we, as marketers, shouldn't be learning from our social media marketing campaigns. Social media has a tendency to be fleeting because of its unique ability to serve up information that an audience wants quicker than a search engine spider can get out and crawl the information and apply an algorithm to it. With that in mind, it's even more important that you research, plan, measure, and adjust to become more successful with each social media marketing tactic you deploy as part of your overall strategy.
There are few companies that stand out in my mind as marketing behemoth's who understand that social media is a continual learning process like Ford does. Ford is constantly taking what they've done in past campaigns, applying the successes, tweaking its efforts, and tossing out what doesn't work. The company isn't married to one medium or relying on just one channel. If it did, its efforts wouldn't reach the masses as the Ford Explorer campaign has.
For a few years now, Scott Monty has headed up the social media marketing efforts at Ford with resounding success. Monty and his team do more than just "pimp" Ford's products in social media communities; they continually provide valuable content about Ford to engage enthusiastic fans of the brand.
Any company, big or small, can learn from Ford, especially with its latest reveal of the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook. Here are just five reasons why Monty and his team continue to shine in the social media arena:
Learning from their Fiesta campaign, the team has taken the new Ford Explorer campaign to a whole new level. From Facebook and Twitter to Flickr and YouTube, Monty's team is engaging the fans of the old Explorer where they are most active.
By setting goals and metrics, Monty's team consistently knows where to invest more time and resources to engage potential car buyers. They also know when to tweak and possibly end efforts in certain channels. If they didn't, they couldn't point to Ford's Q2 net income of $2.6 billion as proof that the company is on the right track.
The content that Ford's marketing team is presenting to the audience isn't just a commercial on YouTube, it's storytelling that captures and touches the viewer. They integrate their website in with their videos and photos, they encourage engagement, not just on Twitter but on Facebook and blogs. Monty's team truly understands that social media doesn't happen in a vacuum.
Sure, the press junket is going to miss out on the snazzy lights-and-cameras show at the yearly auto show, but Ford is looking to its future and realizing that it's a person's experiences with its brand and its cars that continue to sell the vehicles.
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Liana "Li" Evans is the author of the award winning social media marketing book, "Social Media Marketing: Engaging Strategies for Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media" and she is the president and CEO of Da Li Social, as well as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University's Mini MBA Program. Liana has also been featured in the books "Online Marketing Heroes" and "Video Marketing An Hour a Day." As an established online marketing industry veteran with over 15 years of experience she's focused her unique skillset to specialize in integrated marketing and how companies can successfully strategize integrating all online marketing channels as well as offline traditional media. Her deep technical combined with a public relations background enables her to partner with clients for establishing successful online marketing campaigns that combine cross-channel tactics cohesively.
Li was the search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing architect for such companies as QVC and Comcast (Fancast) and has consulted with several other different sized companies such as AOL MovieFone. Her wealth of knowledge in dealing with large e-commerce and content sites allows her a wider perspective into what it takes to launch successful marketing campaigns in the online space.
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