February 17, 2009
Lately, I've been lucky enough to have Ford's social media efforts covered in places like BusinessWeek's Innovators series and on a webinar by Powered, featuring Christopher Barger (my equivalent at GM) and Sylvia Marino from Edmunds.com.
But yesterday, I had the opportunity to appear on Fox Business News with Liz Claman and David Asman to discuss Ford's approach to social media. I was also joined by Michael Howard, COO of KiwiBox.com:
They asked me about Alan Mulally's foray into Twitter, and ultimately the question moves toward monetization. They wanted to know how Ford is advertising on social networks. My response (which of course was more about our communications efforts):
"We're not interested in advertising on social networks; we're interested in getting in there and interacting with people."
And there's the very core of our social media goals at Ford - to humanize the brand by having real people interacting in communities online.
How does that sit with you? What level of interaction (if any) do you prefer to see from brands in the social networks?
February 9, 2009
I often tell people that one of the reasons I came to work for Ford is that I could see that the senior leadership really "gets" social media.
Not to the extent that I expected them to know what Twitter was or how to write a blog post, or anything related to the geek-speak we're all accustomed to. But rather that culturally, they were already there. (Aside: you may recall that I actually had Ford's CEO answer questions on Twitter)
Prime example: I was told that when Alan Mulally became CEO, he declined having someone assigned to him to respond to all of his email, instead preferring to do so himself. And his proclivity for sending personal notes to employees and even customers backed that up.
So imagine my delight last week when a couple of unrelated items surfaced on the web First was a pretty widely-publicized event that took place last month, where Alan personally called a customer to thank him for buying a Ford Fusion hybrid over the Prius Hybrid:
The other was something that I helped orchestrate, but wasn't sure when it would happen. Craig Daitch expressed a "man-crush" on Alan Mulally, and I relayed that to Alan. He responded thusly:
Yes, these are gestures to two individuals by an otherwise very busy man. But it matters. Even though Alan can't possibly thank every customer or send an autographed photo to every admirer, it's the spirit of the interaction that demonstrates an interest in connecting with people.
Coming down from the ivory tower every once in a while and interacting with your customers is an important aspect of any business. It's so important not to lose touch with the people that actually touch and use your products, to hear what they have to tell you and to be open about receiving feedback.
It's a constant challenge to do that on a large scale, but the individual points of input cannot be discounted, for it is these people who will be so moved and so affected that they tell everyone they know about it (or call a television station or make a YouTube video about it).
Social media evangelism needs to happen everywhere at a large organization - from the bottom up and the top down. That's the only way it has a chance to take root.
At Ford, Scott heads up the social media function and holds the title Global Digital &
Multimedia Communications Manager. He is a strategic advisor on all social media activities across the company, from blogger
relations to marketing support, customer service to internal communications and more, as social media is being integrated into many
facets of Ford business.
Prior to joining Ford, Scott served as Consigliere for crayon
and spent a number of years with PJA Advertising + Marketing, a
boutique BtoB agency specializing in health sciences & high tech.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Scott is an active blogger and podcaster. He writes about the intersection of
advertising, marketing and PR at The Social Media Marketing Blog and
also writes The Baker Street Blog and cohosts I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, two literary undertakings. Scott
has been featured in hundreds of news and business publications in print and on the web, in nearly dozens of books, and on a variety of
mainstream media, including NBC, NPR, CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Scott is a recognized thought leader in the social media industry and
frequently speaks at industry events.
Scott received his Master's in Medical Science from Boston University's School of Medicine concurrently with his MBA from BU's
Graduate School of Management. He lives in the greater Detroit area with his wife and two young sons, golfs all too infrequently, and
has a hidden talent for voice over work.
Scott speaks on social media at events, seminars and conferences around the world. His topic generally focuses on corporate use of social media, becoming an online spokesperson, and specifically on the progress that Ford has made in the recent past. If you're interested in booking Scott to speak at your event, please click here to submit a speaking request for Ford-related purposes or email me at speaking [AT] this site's URL (if you know what I mean) to send a general email request.. Scott's bio and headshot can be found in the "About Scott" tab above.
I'm Scott. I'm the global head of social media for Ford Motor Company. This is my personal blog, where I share my perspectives on social media - the convergence of marketing, advertising and PR on the Web - for marketers, agencies, the enterprise and the individual. This blog contains my personal views. My bio is available here and my headshots can be found here.