How Ford Became One of the Leaders in Social MediaAs my job has now taken me into the communications field, I find myself trying to seek out those companies and individuals who are “doing it right” and see what I can learn from them. I’m looking for those Thought Leaders. Who is making waves with social change? Who is making leaps in connecting with consumers? Who is able to embrace social media into their business models? Who is creating a passionate fan base?

Believe it or not, Ford Motor Company is one of those businesses doing things well. Specifically, Scott Monty, Ford Global Head of Social Media, has been making an impact. Monty  and Ford are Thought Leaders. So what can we learn and apply it to our efforts to make a difference in the food, ranching, and agriculture conversations on a daily basis?

Ford’s Social Media Principles

Monty discussed Ford’s social media strategy on Bloomberg Television recently and I just want to pull out a few of his statements that made an impact on me while watching the clip,

  • “Content fuels social.” Create the content that people have conversations about (videos, pics, events, etc.)
  • “Content as advertising is a misnomer…We are story tellers…” Communicators and marketers must be social.
  • Listening as much as we create content. “We have to listen twice as much as we speak.”
  • Actively monitoring: Customers are our eyes and ears and can inform us first when they need something, what they want to see in new products.
  • “Take action based on what we’re finding”
  • “Every brand has it’s own story and what works well for it”
  • Every customer is different (truck vs. car vs van). Understand the “needs and norms” for each different type of customer.
  • It is important that everyone has a voice and can speak on behalf of the company.

Watch Monty’s interview on Bloomberg and let me know what messages stand out to you. How can you apply it to communicating your message in food and agriculture dialogues?

And if I may borrow from the SalesForce blog, 5 Social Media Lessons to Learn from Ford:

  1. If you have a good product, let go of fear and let others tell your story
  2. Social media is not a campaign, it’s a commitment. We always need to be on.
  3. The complete integration of paid, owned and earned media can have a significant impact.
  4. People engage with personalities, not product features.
  5. Embrace the platforms that your audience uses.
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