How Big Brands Use Social Media

    October 15, 2009

For big brands learning to use social media effectively can be challenging as they try and find the best approach.

(Coverage of the BlogWorld conference continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

In a keynote with Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motor Company, Monty spoke about Ford’s entry into the social channel.

Monty said Ford started using social media about 2 years ago and it started as a hobby, but it worked well so they kept at it.

Scott Monty, Ford
Scott Monty, Ford

Ford began by getting involved in the conversation instead of just pushing products. Monty said Ford "wanted to humanize the company." They tried both a corporate and personal approach.

Ford does not blog but they do interact via Twitter. "Blogging is not our strategy. We will blog when it is appropriate," Monty said. They have go-to bloggers when they have breaking news.

Monty said the biggest mistake Ford made with social media was being too narrowly focused for too long, but it’s also an opportunity to branch out.

"We don’t know what’s going to happen next," said Monty. Because they are there participating everyday the community steps in so Ford does not have to do all the heavy-lifting.

Monty said Ford is trying to be more creative with their online advertising but has not brought that into social media because they want to humanize the company.

For the future Ford wants to stay current and provide users with what they want all on one site. The company is integrating social media into their customer service.

"Social media is the cocaine of the communication industry," said Monty. It’s not about correcting your communication process, it’s about correcting the product industry.

WebProNews Video reporter Abby Johnson contributed to this report.