Last month, GM made headlines after the company decided to pull $10 million in advertisements from Facebook, citing the ads were not increasing sales for their products.
GM’s Facebook woes open the company’s social practices up to many questions. What did they hope to achieve by advertising on Facebook? Is GM setting realistic social media goals? Most important, what is GM missing? The answers in part may lie with a competitor, Ford, which has demonstrated significant social savvy from which GM could learn.
- Ford is where the people are. Ford recently highlighted the many ways they are using social media platforms to connect with their current and future customers. The company meets their customers where they are, not just via Facebook and Twitter, but by scouring industry blogs and forums for customer comments and taking part of those conversations.
- Ford remains relevant. When GM dropped their Facebook ads, Ford took the opportunity to become a part of the conversation. They tweeted their opinion by saying Facebook ads have been successful for them when paired with great content and innovative ways of storytelling (leading to my next point). By staying in tune with their audience and on the cusp of all things social, Ford is able to create relevant content.
- Ford is an innovative story teller. They get fans involved by posting trivia, holding contests, and partnering with companies outside the auto industry which diversifies their fan base. Last year, Ford held a 6-week contest on Instagram where users uploaded photos that captured the qualities of the new Ford Fiesta. The results were over 16,000 photos submitted and over 120,000 fans gained. The “Fiestagram” contest allowed Ford to successfully market the Fiesta’s advanced technology while growing their following.
- Ford creates a customer experience. The motor company has built a community around their online brand. Ford Social is a hub where fans of the brand meet to talk about all things Ford. The website merges various Ford programs and platforms into one location to keep fans coming back regularly for more.
A glance at GM’s Facebook profile shows an opportunity to amp up the engagement. With no recent contests, cross promotion to other social sites, or call to action, the page lacks activity. The company is simply selling their products, employees, and initiatives. GM needs to rev up their engines and create innovative content that engages their brand-lovers around the world.