Ford continues to lead the way for automotive companies in the use of social media. The company is celebrating the success of its Fiesta campaign, in which it gave a new Fiesta to each of a hundred social media-savvy consumers in exchange for six months worth of continuous coverage on Facebook and Twitter.
The Fiesta gained over 6.5 million YouTube views and 50,000 requests for information about the car, almost all from non owners.
Scott Monty, Ford’s head of social media, claims the campaign has been an “unrivalled success”, to the extent that 58% of consumers are aware of the new Ford Fiesta, a higher level than exists for some well-established Ford vehicles. He adds it has also “added to the growing perception of Ford as a company that ‘gets it’ when it comes to social media – meaning that we’re comfortable with others telling our story and with letting go of control.”
There was a good deal of risk attached, as car mags were quick to point out. What would have happened if the cars had turned out to be lemons? The Fiesta would have had a blizzard of bad publicity, and marketers would have been in the firing line.
So we’re unlikely to see this particular approach being repeated, at least not routinely. But it underlines the potential for social media in the marketing sphere, and the opportunities for brands to showcase progressive thinking.
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