How Ford Became the World’s Best Social Media Brand

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

Ford ceases to kick its social media strategy into overdrive with impressively shocking campaigns that not only set global social media trends, but raise the benchmarks for how brands should utilize it for their business.

They have socialized and humanized their brand image so much to the point that they now have a social hub called Ford Social (see image above), where they aggregate all of their social media profiles and communities, allowing fans to share stories, images, videos and ideas with one another.

They showed us the power of social influence marketing and brand advocacy with the famous Ford Fiesta Movement campaign, which not only helped them survive the 2008 recession but yielded these outstanding results as well:

  • 4.3 million YouTube views 
  • 500,000+ Flickr views
  • 3 million+ Twitter impression
  • 50,000 interested potential customers, 97% of which don’t own a Ford.

the intuitive Ford Explorer Launch social event, the cool Fiestagram contest, and now the innovative Smartphone social media bluetooth app. 

The Software “Ford Keyfree Login” automatically logs in and logs out your web accounts as you approach your computer with your smartphone, using bluetooth technology. 

It’s free, time saving, no more hacking and no more industrial spying.

But how did they do it, you may ask? Sure it helps to have a social media genius like Scott Monty on your team, but there are 7 other lessons as to why Ford did so well socially with Jeff Bullas’s The 7 Secrets to Ford’s Social Media Marketing Success.

Not only did Ford show us how to utilize each social media tool in a creative and enticing way, but they also exemplified the power of social influence marketing and brand advocacy, and how to humanize your brand properly.

Social Influence Marketing is the New Global Advertising

By: Abdulhadi Hafez

We’re not sure who came up with the term, Social Influence Marketing (SIM) but it has been shown in reports and presentations conducted by Razorfish, the advertising agency that has taken on the difficult social engagement task for the giant brand, Nike.

Social influence marketing, in a nutshell, is to influence the attitudes and actions of your target customers through their social spheres of friends and family. In other words, it is to create customers who create customers!

I know this is like our twentieth time mentioning the above Nielsen study (Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most), but it shows a very important insight pertinent to SIM, and that is the claim that 70% of people trust the opinions of consumers online. These are not friends, but rather complete strangers! Because if you look right above it, 90% of people trust recommendations from people known.

And that is why Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales & Service wrote a book on the subject called “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth" (ZMOT) in which ZMOT is described as the moment when online purchasers go online to read the reviews and recommendations from their friends and virtual strangers. One shocking stat from the book is how 83% of Moms Do Online Research After Seeing a TV commercial.

So what does this mean? It means that recommendations from personal acquaintances or opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising. So it is vital for brands to monitor review and opinion sites such as Yelp and Amplicate to see what their consumers are saying about them. 

And don’t you dare forget about the micro-blogging phenomenon, Twitter, where 340 million tweets per day are conducted, many of which may be about your brand. 

Last but not least, here in Kuwait blogging is a very big part of the culture where many of them make it their full-time job to try out different restaurants and cafes and then blog about it, and that’s why we’re starting to see a lot of restaurants proactively inviting these bloggers to come and try out their food for free and then have them write unbiased reviews about them. Such brands have the realized the power of SIM and have already taken steps to adapt to the new global way of advertising.