We are getting lots of questions from our clients about how to scale social media. At first, the discussions are “tools and tactics” focused. Then it quickly becomes apparent that “doing social media” is a major commitment that will take real people and real funding over time. No freebie here.
The other day Scott Monty the SM guy for Ford blogged “A Year @ Ford – Part 1” and I knew this was one to share. (A year ago Scott quit his agency gig and moved his family to Detroit and joined Ford to head up digital communications – and what a year it was. Can you think of a more turbulent year for the automotive Industry?)
Here are my takeaways – but if you (or your clients) are trying to figure out how to do SM – then read the whole thing:
- Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork: Scott didn’t set out doing, he set out meeting everyone he could across the organization and learning what they needed.
- Inventory: All big companies are doing something in SM. Find out what it is and leverage it.
- Sr. Management Support: Without this you are doomed to failure.
- Stakeholders: Marketing, PR, Product, Customer Service, Legal all have a stake in SM initiatives. Figure out what it is and how to incorporate it.
- Strategy: Before tools comes strategy. What is the organization trying to accomplish.
- Horses for Courses: Different SM channels for different Ford constituencies. Mustang fans don’t care about the same thing as Fusion Hybrid fans.
- Help: Once the strategy was in place, Scott brought in some really expert agencies (advertising, PR and SM) and people to help execute. That means budget.
While this is a long term initiative, the early returns are quite good with very positive press coverage for Ford, and significantly improved perceptions of the brand.
As an outsider, I’d say that Ford has stopped relying solely on mass media & big advertising and they are taking the Ford Story direct to the people.
What will your clients do?