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Social media is a major part of Ford's continued evolution in digital and in many cases features some of its most groundbreaking work.
Ford was the first automobile manufacturer to reveal a vehicle on Facebook, it was the first brand on Google+ and it runs perhaps one of the most uniquely enjoyable and surprising Vine accounts.
Last month I wrote about why Ford's social media strategy is so good, in which I discussed Ford's various social channels and how it expertly tailors its output and connects to each channel’s audience with the right content and tone of voice.
At the helm of this strategy is Scott Monty, Ford's global digital & multimedia communications manager. Within just a few years Scott has transformed the 110 year old car manufacturer into one of the most successful brands in digital and social.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Scott Monty for the blog and he had the following to say about Ford's social media strategy, the challenges the company faces and Ford's overall digital transformation.
It’s the end of another month and therefore it’s time again to crawl through the six second efforts from brands both small and gigantic in order to bring you the very best mini advertorial marvels.
Did anyone used to watch that Jasper Carrot thing from years ago where he would sit on a stool and present weird adverts from around the world?
I suppose this is a bit like that, only this is probably slightly less interminable and you don’t have to look at Jasper Carrot’s face in between videos.
This is also less of an excuse to parade soft European erotica to a post watershed audience and more of an excuse to show how your brand can use the platform in interesting and engaging ways.
Well I’ve blathered on long enough, here’s the round-up.
How does a 110 year old car manufacturer, the fifth largest in the world, remain relevant, engaging and remotely approachable in the digital age?
It seems like a fiction, but the venerable American corporation does some excellent work on many different social media channels, tailoring its output and connecting to each channel’s audience with the right content and tone of voice.
I’m writing this as someone who doesn’t have a particular interest in cars, either from a practical or aesthetic point of view.
However, as someone with a definite interest in great content, over the past few months Ford has definitely piqued my curiosity. Particularly when it comes to social video.
Here are March's very best branded Vines, including efforts celebrating the month's biggest events: the rise of the selfie, St Patrick’s Day and, uh, Flappy Bird.
Alright, March isn’t too event-heavy, but still there’s some great Vining going on.
This month I’ll try and highlight brands that we haven’t covered as of yet. Sure Samsung, Oreo and Disney routinely knock them out of the park, but these do tend to overshadow other brand’s efforts.
With a total running time of one minute and 20 seconds, welcome to the smallest show on Earth:
Here are February's very best branded Vines, including efforts celebrating the month's biggest events: Valentine's Day, the Winter Olympics, Super Bowl and that time when I found my car keys.
Much like January's 14 best branded Vines, I feel it's only right to add some context before the following 72 seconds of entertainment commences, in the form of relaying the latest news about Vine.
Here it is: Vine still hasn't added a search field to its desktop site. Thanks Vine. Thanks a lot.
Anyway, on with the smallest show on Earth:
Here are January's best branded Vines, although I may have extended the remit to include a few from late December too, as is my right as the regular publisher of this round-up. The goal-posts keep changing. I’m just like Google!
Anyway, to add some context before the cavalcade of tiny entertainments begin, what’s the latest news from the world of Vine?
It’s been a big month. Vine launched a desktop site. Yes, the major social media network that has just celebrated its first birthday finally launched a desktop site. Is it any good? Just click on my post called 13 major UX flaws on social media sites to find out. I think you may be able to guess my opinion from the title.
So once again I'm rounding-up the best Vines of the month without the aid of a search field on the very social media network that I’m discussing. Fine!
Here we go:
Here are the top 25 US brands of 2013, according to YouGov's BrandIndex.
This is based on brand perception, acquired by conducting approximately 2.5m interviews a year and asking the question "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?"
It seems the most popular brand of 2013 in terms of positive regard is Amazon.com, which has overtaken Ford as America's corporate sweetheart.
At JUMP, part of the Festival of Marketing, Celia Pronto, Head of Marketing and Ecommerce at Ford Retail Group, spoke about bringing customer experience (CX) into the boardroom.
I’ve summarised what she had to say about this large and changing sector. For anyone high up the marketing chain, looking to change the way their company does business (with direct links to revenue!), this is salient and bang up to date.
Celia Pronto is Group Marketing and Ecommerce Director at Ford Retail, and her expertise is in working with multichannel businesses experiencing vast transformation.
Here, Celia gives us a taste of the presentation, and some valuable insights into the company's strategy...
With in-car radios quickly being replaced by Spotify, car manuals being PDF’d onto iPads and QR codes in magazines taking you straight to the mobile site for the manufacturer, it’s apparent that the digital transformation of the auto industry is taking place right now.
Ford, Chevrolet, Volkswagen, and Toyota are all selling amazingly globally, but one of them isn't performing as well in its digital marketing efforts.
In contrast, Smart, Suzuki, Fiat, and Daihatsu are floundering in terms of sales, but one is doing far better online than in the stores.
I spent a number of years as a social media manager - first for PayPal, then giffgaff and, most recently, I was the corporate community manager for the BBC. I feel a strong affinity to those behind the brand handle after being through the wars myself. It's not uncommon to spend sleepless nights at a keyboard, or take a night bus home so you can stay above ground to tweet during an issue ,or be attached to your phone on your only vacation in months. This is the current state of our community directors and their staff.
It was great to see Ogilvy feature three social community managers on their recent panel, The Rise of the New Community Manager, as part of Social Media Week. The panelists included Karen Untereker, U.S. Manager, Social Media at Ford Motor Company, Ariel Norwood, Online and Social Media Team Leader, Northeast Region, Whole Foods Market and Vanessa Wojtusiak, Head of Social Marketing, iHeartRadio and was moderated by Rachel Caggiano, Senior Vice President, Social@Ogilvy.
Social Media Week in New York started big with Ford's announcement this morning with a new Ford Fiesta ad campaign that will use content created only by users - in fact, it'll be their first ever user generated campaign that spans the entire advertising year.
Ford are focusing on creating a team of 100 social influencers who will create the advertising material that Ford will distribute through a mix of paid media, social media and experiential events. These will be the new Ford Fiesta Agents - I'm just glad they didn't opt for Guru or Ninja. Phew.
So the content the agents create can be in whatever form they choose to do. Ford gives them cars, a camera and in addition to this open remit of any content goes, the group will also have to complete challenges with properties such as American Idol, the X Games and music festival, Bonnaroo.