Ford has been lauded as a leading brand in social media, particularly in comparison to its direct competitors in the auto industry. With that in mind, our latest “Brand in Focus” looks under the hood (see what I did there?) of Ford’s social media work across platforms.
Taking a look at Ford.com, it actually isn’t that straightforward as to where to find Ford across social platforms. At the same time, there isn’t even a direct link to those pages, as you must click on “Ford Social” first – see the screenshot below. While they certainly don’t make it easy, I do like the Ford Social page – a nice summary and collaboration across the brand’s social media pages.
On Ford Social you get a number of admin and selective posts from others across the Ford portfolio. The company then pipes in various Ford-related Facebook and Twitter posts from users. Then, at the bottom of the page, you are (finally) shown where you can keep up with the brand across social networks – on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vine. Let’s dive into each a bit …
Ford’s Instagram page has over 350K followers and they are treated to a daily update from the brand (weekdays) at the very least. It looks like Ford made more of a conscious effort to upload video clips to its Instagram page in February, as the brand had very few prior to this past month.
The majority of Ford’s posts have relatively strong branding and/or are a direct image of one of their cars. Overall, I would hope to see Ford build off of February’s efforts and continue to upload the short video clips.
With over 3 million Facebook Likes and followers, there are certain things that I really like about what Ford is doing on Facebook and two areas of improvement that I noticed right away. Positives:
- Thousands of Likes from its fans on just about every post
- The use of images on each post
- Occasionally building off of prior posts, a means of getting people to realize what they may miss when they aren’t checking out Ford’s page
- For some reason, the page owners only go back to 2007 on Ford’s company timeline. The company has a tremendous amount of history for itself and in the US – use it!
- Ford isn’t following up on the posts that others put on its page. While I would like to believe that someone is monitoring the company’s page, it could also do a better job of acknowledging when fans are providing positive commentary on the brand … and addressing negative feedback appropriately.
It doesn’t begin and end with the Ford’s corporate Twitter page linked to above. With almost 700K Twitter followers, Ford does a real nice job of providing a consistent stream of content on the network. However, for some reason, that content generation isn’t leading to a ton of RT’s and Favorites for each post – typically seen to fall in the double digit range. While the page highlights Ford’s different cars, the company decided that it was the correct thing to do and create unique pages for many of its SKU’s.
Ford’s YouTube efforts also look like they have been stepped up a notch in recent months, as there was a large gap in time between uploads over six months ago. I would have expected to see more videos on the page, at least uploading the national campaign ads over time. I also found it a bit interesting that Ford has abandoned linking directly to its Google+ page, despite over 3 million followers and updating it regularly. They have chosen to link directly to YouTube which may signal where the company plays on spending more of its efforts moving forward, as video becomes more pertinent/relevant.
Approximately once a week, Ford will upload a pretty interesting Vine video. With a little under 50K followers on the network, it isn’t too surprising to see the company spend less time on Vine vs. elsewhere. Ironically, I tend to like Ford’s humor and efforts on Vine vs. other Instagram and elsewhere. (Rooting for the underdog again, perhaps.)
Ford has made a clear, conscious effort to win on social media vs. its competition in the auto market. There are a lot more positives than negatives/opportunities for the brand on each network. Where do I think the brand is doing the best? I would probably say Instagram given the number of followers it has built and the regular content being uploaded to the site. Ironically, I thought it could do more on its Facebook page – particularly in providing the corporate history and ties to American culture/history.
I also enjoy what Ford does on Twitter and Vine, despite the lack of engagement it receives on both. It is surprising to see that lack of response on Twitter specifically, given it is consistently updating its status throughout the work week.
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of Ford’s social media efforts? Let us know in the Comments section below.