Social Media Study: Built Ford Tough

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Ford is one of the most active brands using social media today. You can find them on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter, and they were the first brand to join Google+. But it isn’t simply their presence on these sites that make them so successful, it’s their ability to tailor to their fans and create online events that translate into attention offline as well.

The Fiesta Movement – Ford gave 100 fans a brand-new Ford Fiesta for a six-month period and gave them a mission to complete each month. These “agents” delivered Meals on Wheels, took Harry and David treats to the National Guard, wrestled alligators, and even eloped! Each story was documented on social media, including YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Explorer Reveal – Instead of the traditional reveal of a new vehicle at a car show, Ford decided to reveal the 2011 Explorer on Facebook, building up buzz around an all-day event on the site, which included giving away an Explorer to one fan at random, live Q&A with the CEO, Facebook chats with Ford employees, a photo gallery, and a detailed tour of the new car.

Doug the Spokespuppet – A series of over 50 viral videos that share the adventures of a wise-cracking orange puppet were released slowly over a period of a few months, sharing a story arc for those who wanted to follow along. The ad campaign was only released online and ended up being the highest-viewed Ford videos at the time.

Ford Social – This campaign gave fans an easy way to share their passion for the brand by providing them with a choice of 54 digital badges to share on their favorite social network.

With social media becoming more popular than email for online communications, it’s more important than ever to develop a social networking strategy for your company. Don’t just limit yourself to posting status updates. Be creative and think of ways that your business can make its mark online and engage fans.