90% of Social Media Is Just Showing Up

LAS VEGAS Ford Motor Co.'s social-media guru uses a slightly modified Woody Allen quote to describe the auto maker's approach to utilizing the platform to build sales and awareness of the brand. Ninety percent of social media is just showing up, Scott Monty, Ford's communications manager of global digital and multimedia, says at the Driving Sales Executive Summit here. You have to be where people

LAS VEGAS — Ford Motor Co.'s social-media guru uses a slightly modified Woody Allen quote to describe the auto maker's approach to utilizing the platform to build sales and awareness of the brand.

“Ninety percent of social media is just showing up,” Scott Monty, Ford's communications manager of global digital and multimedia, says at the Driving Sales Executive Summit here.

“You have to be where people expect you to be,” he says, noting Ford's longtime sponsorship of the “American Idol” television show. “We have relevance because (consumers) know we are where they expect us to be.”

Monty, along with Ford's chief marketer, Jim Farley, are considered the architects behind the largely successful Fiesta Movement, a marketing campaign that put 100 Fiestas in the hands of social-media users and asked them to post their comments and videos of their driving experience online.

The campaign, launched months before the '11 Fiesta B-car hit dealerships, resulted in 58% consumer awareness of the product, a level some vehicles don't reach even after several years on the market, according to Ford research.

The 58% awareness level came from unprecedented social-media exposure, Monty says, noting the Fiesta Movement generated more than 40 million Twitter impressions and 132,000 hits on the campaign's website requesting more information.

The secret to the success of the Fiesta Movement was building trust among consumers, Monty says. “People don't trust what companies have to say anymore.”

To build trust, Ford strives to forge a personal bond with consumers by responding to “tweets” through the social-media Twitter site and creating advertisements that feature Ford engineers, marketers and other employees.

People “appreciate that extra step to feel like they're a part of something bigger than them,” he says.

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