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Zero to 60: Ford's Social Media Story

Presentation I gave to BlogWell in Minneapolis on August 13, 2009 on Ford's social media efforts to date.

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Zero to 60 :  Ford’s Social Media Story   Scott Monty ( @ScottMonty ) Global Digital Communications Ford Motor Company ( @Ford )
 
 
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Zero to 60: Ford's Social Media Story

Editor's Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Companies worthy of attention have two things: Great product/service (Nike, Apple, Zappos) Great leadership (Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca)
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. They want to understand the process and be communicated to regularly, to ensure they’re being treated fairly.
  9. Straight, honest answers – no spin
  10. It’s important to keep a presence on the relevant social sites. Some of the ones Ford focuses on include: Facebook Delicious Flickr Scribd Twitter Upcoming YouTube
  11. Currently, 10 corporate Twitter accounts
  12. The Ford Story – our social media hub But it’s not just what Ford is saying…
  13. …it’s what other people are saying too.
  14. 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. http://www.plaidnation.com
  15. 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. http://www.weddingroadtrip.com
  16. The Fiesta Movement – http://www.fiestamovement.com. 100 Euro-spec cars, 100 people, 6 months, unfiltered content, product feedback prior to U.S. launch
  17. Real-time updates from real people driving our cars.
  18. With fun assignments every month that involve their online and offline communities. But the most important part of the Movement is that we’re getting feedback from the Agents every week, connecting them with our engineers, and making changes to the U.S. version of the car – before production even starts !
  19. Lots of additional proof points available at: http:// twitter.com/scottmonty#/favorites?user = ScottMonty
  20. 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.
  21. Marc Girolimetti was a skeptic. And a 15 year VW/Audi driver. He started following Ford’s social media activities and an amazing thing happened. Read his story at http://blog.actslike.com
  22. http://blog.actslike.com/2009/08/10/the-art-of-leadership-a-ford-story/
  23. 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.