This post is based on some comments made by Jim Farley, Ford’s head of Global Marketing, on how to successfully use social media. It’s in pretty stark contrast to General Motors, who announced some months back that they were stopping Facebook, at least. Ford has launched campaigns for Fiesta, Mustang and Fusion, and has basically used social media to test marketing themes at little or no cost before they select more traditional media.
What’s useful for the rest of us is that Ford takes a theme that they think might work, puts it out on Facebook and watches (‘listens’ in their vernacular) to what the target market says and does. For example, they invited younger drivers to borrow a Fiesta and do whatever in it; massive hits. Mustang: design your own; again massive hits, and info about what options were popular. Fusion: Random Acts of Fusion; judgement not completely in on this one. The key is that Ford found out valuable market intelligence at very little cost.
So, the lesson is, that if you’ve got a consumer product or service, you can put it on Facebook and Twitter and see what happens. Adjust the offering accordingly.