Scott Monty

 

Each week at Ford, I assemble a newsletter from all of our regional social media teams on projects they're working on, significant progress made over the course of the previous week, and any items of note that Ford leadership might be interested in.

In addition to that at-a-glance summary of our teams' global social media activities, the newsletter also includes a series of links about current events and trends in the worlds of technology, social media, mobile, marketing and communications in order to keep the wider team up to date on changes, newsworthy items, and content that might be useful in their jobs.

I thought it might be useful to share that agglomeration of links here as well on a weekly basis so we can all benefit. And if you have content that you think should have my attention, please feel free to leave a link in the comments section. While I can't promise that it will make the next edition, it will help shape the thinking around the social media environment that we all have to work in.


Industry News

  • Content marketing is about way more than blog posts, videos, infographics and the like. Strategy, SEO, meta data, embed codes, link building, syndication and more come into play and are part of Content Marketing Nirvana.



Image credit: digitaltrends

The Platforms

  • Facebook unveiled its new News Feed look, designed for less clutter and more focus on larger images and storytelling.  The new layout will have a universal design, regardless of device - mobile, tablet or laptop - and was described by Mark Zuckerberg as "a personalized newspaper." What this means for brands is we'll have to become more adept at visual storytelling AND having relevant content that matters to consumers.
  • It's been widely accepted that tweens and teens are flocking to Instagram as a social network of choice. Now that has been validated in a comment by Facebook's CFO, who recognized Instagram as "a quite formidable competitor."
  • Google+ has updated its profile and page requirements, most notably expanding the size of the cover image, adding a tab for local reviews, and creating easier ways to edit.
  • The next social craze for teens might be Pheed. The iPhone app lets users share text, photos, video and audio - think of it as Instagram with more media choices, but Facebook with fewer features. To date, 81% of the users are between the ages of 14 and 25.



Measurement



Big Data


  • Ford is referenced in the WSJ Journal Report How Big Data Is Changing the Whole Equation for Business. Noted was our scouring of a number of auto enthusiast sites to determine whether to bring the three-blink turn indicator to the U.S. without having to undergo full-scale market research.
  • IBM may have paved the way for more cloud computing and open architecture as a new model of computing for the IT industry. Unlike previous mainframe-based and client-server models that have dominated the last 50 years, cloud computing  is centered around the Internet and open architectures. More than changing the way computing is generated and consumed, the great promise of cloud-based services is "its potential for driving business innovation" - a potential that remains largely untapped. 



Commentary

One of the links we planned to share in the “bookmarks” section below is a very insightful deck from Widen+Kennedy titled “How To (Not) FAIL.” One of the key takeaways is to remember what consumers are facing and that for them, our brand is not the center of their universe; they live busy lives. If you think that’s the case, a quick look at what consumers value most from brands particularly on social networks, the answer is: discounts and offers. That shouldn’t be a shock. Why? Because like you and me, they’re starved for time and they want something that will make their lives easier.

That shouldn’t be too much of stretch for us. While we certain can make offers and discounts available from time to time, it can’t be our go-to strategy. The challenge we face is how to be interesting to them and to give more than we take. This might mean reconsidering how often we share content. Higher quality and lower quantity might be called for. Or we might simply wish to make them smile. Or provide a public service type of announcement. What this does is it makes the brand look better in their eyes so that they remain engaged. That way, when it is time to make a purchase or to consider a decision, we’re seen as a brand that is there for them when they need us, like a trusted ally.





Bookmarks/Read Later

  • Our role as communicators and marketers is primarily to be story tellers.  How do you improve those skills? You could start by following Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

So there you have this week's round-up. If you spot some newsworthy items that fit into any of these categories, please drop them in a link or send a note to me via Google+. And thanks for reading.

Top image credit: Whiskeygonebad (Flickr)


 
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