Zero to 60: Social Media Strategy via Ford [Keynote - OMMA Global 2009]


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Keynote given to OMMA Global on September 21, 2009. Subject: social media strategy as told through Ford Motor Company's experience.

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  • To many people outside of the Detroit bubble, or who have not owned or considered owning a Ford, the Blue Oval lacks personality. And in 2006, Ford was on the ropes, seen by many as the weakest of the U.S. automakers. Alan Mulally was hired as CEO from Boeing, Bill Ford assumed the Executive Chairman title. Leadership was rounded out in terms of strategy, operations and vision. My impressions of Ford when approached in 2008: remarkable leadership, product lineup in 2009 and 2010 that would take the world by storm, and intelligent, talented and passionate people. In summary, not the typical Detroit company that people assumed it to be.
  • In its earliest days, there was a face associated with Ford. In recent years, not so much. We realized that with social media, we had an opportunity to begin to humanize the company.
  • Companies worthy of attention have two things: Great product/service (Nike, Apple, Zappos) Great leadership (Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca)
  • Ford is clearly in a different place – we’ve got a strong plan that we’ve been executing on independently for more than two years, and it’s being demonstrated daily in the great vehicles we’re bringing forward. But it takes leadership – real leadership, committed to making hard choices.
  • Ford’s great products were on the way, but the leadership was already in place. One Ford : One Team. One Plan. One Goal. The plan: Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet Work together effectively as one team
  • I’ll channel a little Woody Allen and Yogi Berra here. You get points for simply having a presence in social media. But it’s more than just registering an account – it’s about participating and making sure you’re an active member of the community.
  • They want to be able to speak to people directly at the company, or with someone who represents the company in some fashion. In short, they want to ensure they’ve been heard.
  • They want to understand the process and be communicated to regularly, to ensure they’re being treated fairly.
  • Straight, honest answers – no spin You can’t outsource authenticity.
  • Currently, 10 corporate Twitter accounts
  • The Ford Story – our social media hub at Combination of Ford-generated and third party content, with access to all of our social presence.
  • “ You Speak Green” Facebook app encourages participation http://
  • We allow people to see what each other are saying and how they rank.
  • The Mustang Configurator gives people a chance to personalize their experience and share it out on their own platforms.
  • We gave a Ford Flex to Plaid, “the greatest agency in all the land,” for their tour of middle America, from Detroit to New Orleans, in which they highlighted the coolest brands, agencies and individuals.
  • When Jaime Case and Chris Hodges were planning their wedding, they eschewed the traditional large gathering, and instead chose to visit friends and family all over the country, getting marriage advice from them. We gave them a Ford Fusion to make this trip of a lifetime a truly memorable one.
  • The Fiesta Movement – 100 Euro-spec cars, 100 people, 6 months, unfiltered content, product feedback prior to U.S. launch
  • Real-time updates from real people driving our cars – 100% authentic, not edited/censored/filtered in any way. In addition to buzz, the feedback that our engineers are getting allows them to improve the North American version before it event comes to market .
  • Lots of additional proof points available at: http:// = ScottMonty
  • It was our goal to be the #1 social automotive brand within three years. We achieved it in 6 months. Now, the goal is to be the world’s leading social brand. Period. It will happen through leadership. This is not about technology; it’s about culture change and leading an organization. We have the senior support. Our CEO, CMO and even our General Counsel are rooting for us and want to get involved.
  • Rolling out social media to other teams, cross-training staff, creating an army of digital ambassadors. Even at 1% participation, that’s 2,000 people that can represent Ford effectively online. Connecting with our enthusiasts Creating a catch-all for requests for sponsorships, vehicle use, social media projects, etc. And listen so we know how to improve.
  • Zero to 60: Social Media Strategy via Ford [Keynote - OMMA Global 2009]

    1. Zero to 60 : Social Media Strategy via Ford Scott Monty ( @ScottMonty ) Global Digital Communications Ford Motor Company ( @Ford )
    2. We have a fundamental challenge: Q: Thinking about everything you have read, seen, or heard about business in the last year, in general, do you trust corporations a lot less, a little less, the same, a little more, or a lot more than you did at the same time last year? Source: Edelman Trust Barometer, 2009
    5. Great products Great leaders Common elements of successful companies
    6. “ Be like a headland of rock on which the waves break incessantly; but it stands fast and around it the seething of the waters sink to resist.” -Marcus Aurelius
    7. Leadership
    8. Ninety percent of social media is just showing up. It’s the other half that’s hard.
    10. Accessibility
    11. Transparency
    12. Authenticity
    13. Strategy: to humanize the company by connecting consumers with Ford employees and with each other when possible, providing value in the process.
    14. Making it happen
    17. Now tweeting at: @Ford @ FordFiesta @ FordMustang @ FordDriveGreen @ FordCustService @ FordNews @ FordTrucks @ FordRacing @ FordLatino @ FordTaurus
    18. Alan Mulally on Twitter
    28. Effective?
    35. What’s next? <ul><li>Cross-training staff </li></ul><ul><li>Rolling it into other functions </li></ul><ul><li>Going for the 1% </li></ul><ul><li>Connecting with enthusiasts </li></ul><ul><li>Update </li></ul><ul><li>Listening to our community for suggestions </li></ul>
    36. Twitter: @ScottMonty Blog: Facebook: This presentation is available at: