Effective use of social media — such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter – in your business is essential to maximizing your online sales. Effective social media marketing programs are focused on creating interesting content that encourages readers to share the information with their social networks.
Why should you worry about social networking in your business? Because a corporate marketing message that comes from people you know is much more likely for you to buy into. And, you are much more likely to spread that message to your social network if the message came from a trusted friend.
The Case of Ford Motor Company
There is no better example of the power of social media to revitalize a brand than Ford Motor Company. Ford was hurting big time following the recession that started in 2008, with a major drop in its share price. However, Ford has shown to be very resilient, as it rejected TARP bailouts and truly embraced the power of social media to boost sales.
Ford currently has at least 80 Facebook pages, with more than 14.7 million fans, that they use for various marketing campaigns. Their global head of social media, Scott Monty, gets that people interested in Ford products want to see a lot of diverse and interesting content. That is why the company is constantly tweaking its marketing messages in social media. Ford was recently ranked #9 by OnlineMBAPage.com in a recently published list of the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Fortune 500 Companies for 2013.
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Ford was one of the first companies to sign up on Google+, and it has emerged as one of the corporate powers of the social media world. Ford has been able to restore its brand to some level of prominence because of its effectiveness in directly connecting with customers on social media.
Check out some of the social media statistics for Ford today:
- Facebook: 80 pages, 1,763,000 likes and 14.7 million fans
- Twitter: 186,000 followers
- YouTube: 109,000 subscribers
- LinkedIn: 155,000 followers
- Google+: Circled by 1,900,000
Ford has put together some very successful social media campaigns. Some examples:
- Fiesta Movement: Ford gave Fiestas to 100 young people and let them drive the cars for six months, posting videos and blogging about the experiences.
- Random Acts of Fusion: This campaign started with a teaser video on the Fusion Facebook page, where Ryan Seacrest urged Ford fans to work together to unlock more content by giving 1,000 likes on the Facebook page. The goal was reached in 24 hours.
- How to Focus Your Car: This cool campaign was created to show off the Focus as a high-tech vehicle that young drivers should enjoy driving.
- Doug, Ford’s Spokespuppet: Ford did a campaign with a puppet as a spokesperson. It encouraged Ford fans to go to Doug’s Facebook page and like it. The goal was 10,000 – it got 43,000 likes in 2011.
Ford’s great success with social media marketing is a great indicator of what can be done in the social media space by progressive companies.
Ford is not the only large corporation to hit the target on social media campaigns. Other big social media campaign successes have included:
#1 Oreo – You Can Still Dunk in the Dark
This brilliant social media campaign was cooked up on the fly during the 2013 Superbowl by the advertising company Mondelez International. These guys had no idea that the power would go out in the Superbowl, but they had a team watching the game, ready to launch a social media campaign on the spot.
Their Oreo advertisement, cooked up in minutes when the lights dimmed in the Superdome during the game, was released on Twitter and was retweeted 15,000 times in 14 hours.
#2 Mello Yello – They Call Me Mello Yello
If you grew up in the 1980s, you probably remember the citrusy soda Mello Yello. It is still around, but many people were not very familiar with it anymore. Mello Yello recently came up with a new social media campaign that played off of the 1966 hit song by Donovan. Mello Yello aggressively used Facebook to spread the new message to old fans of the product, and also thousands of Millennials who weren’t around in the early 1980s.
Mello Yello also launched a Facebook page , which included a cool Retro Smooth Photo Generator. It allows users to take a photo of themselves and go from ‘not smooth’ to ‘smooth,’ by using a hipster-style photo filter.
#3 Grey Poupon – The Society of Good Taste
It is a rare social media campaign that requires you to fill out an application to become a Facebook fan of the product. But that is exactly what Grey Poupon did in 2012.
The idea behind this unusual campaign was to create a sense of exclusivity for the Facebook page for Grey Poupon mustard. It also attempted to develop a highly relevant and qualified Facebook audience.
Users who wanted to become fans – get this – had to APPLY to become members through the Society of Good Taste application! The app scanned your profile in Facebook and learned about your friends and interests. Then it assigned you a score to determine if your taste was good enough to become a fan of Grey Poupon.
This very unusual campaign was highly successful in building brand awareness for Grey Poupon.
#4 Sephora – 15 Days of Beauty Thrills
The goal of this Facebook campaign in 2012 was to attract fans and to drive more traffic to the new Sephora website. Sephora utilized some of its beauty partners, such as Urban Decay, Pantone Universe, Make Up For Ever and others, to provide ‘thrills’ for the Sephora Facebook community. Some of these thrills included a $5000 shopping spree, a new Fiat, a trip to Paris and several others.
Sephora also used a fan-gated application that required you to like the Sephora Facebook page to gain access. Fans learned about new thrills at midnight the day before, and they could enter to win the thrill each day on Sephora.com
This Facebook media campaign worked because it created a strong sense of exclusivity. It offered insights and special, thrilling deals to its Facebook fans that they could not get elsewhere.
All of these companies are really leveraging the power of social media to drive their sales and brand awareness to the next level.