February 20, 2012 Leave a comment
I recently had the opportunity to hear Craig Daitch of Ford speak to the #cincysm group about Ford’s use of social media. I knew it was going to be a great presentation when I received this tweet from Craig the day before:
From corporate branding to the dealership to Ford Credit, Craig and Ford are truly making Ford one of the world’s most social companies. Here are a few takeaways from his presentation.
A Big Social Media Budget (but it’s not all for what you think)
When it comes to Ford and social media a lot of the attention, and money, is centered around the Facebook exclusive launch of the 2012 Explorer or the Go Do Campaign that lives on Youtube. These were obviously some big budget initiatives that paid off in terms of impressions and website traffic. While he didn’t share those budgets with us, but he did throw out a budget number that surprised me.
Ford has a seven figure, let me repeat seven figure, budget just for monitoring. As any good social media strategist knows, it is all about the data. I was really happy to hear Ford put such an emphasis on monitoring and listening to their consumers. Kudos to Craig and the Ford team for spending the money to truly listen to their customers.
Taking it to the Dealers
As a result of their monitoring budget, Ford has learned a majority of the brand’s negative sentiment directly references a specific dealership, such as “Conin Ford has horrible customer service” or “The service department at Kerry Ford just ripped me off.”
To counteract that negative sentiment, and to encourage dealerships to get involved in the conversation, Ford will rollout more than 3,000 dealership Facebook Fan Pages throughout 2012 using partner Buddy Media. Content for these pages will be provided at the corporate level and monitored at the dealership level.
I’m glad to hear Ford has recognized the need for individual dealership pages that have a specific strategy. Working for a local auto dealership as a community manager, I know the value Facebook pages as well as other social media tools can provide.
After hearing Craig’s presentation I’m definitely impressed with the steps Ford are taking. It will be interesting to see how Ford continues to bring the car buying experience to the social space.