Published on February 4th, 2009 | by Saurabh Pandey4
Social Media Experiment by Ford Fiesta!
As we enter deeper into the recession period, brands are thinking of innovative ways to engage customers and create buzz. One of the flagship strategies to achieve these objectives is the deployment of a Social Media Marketing program.
Auto-makers have been the early proponents of Social Media Marketing and we have seen a few cases, though isolated and not fully integrated, of SMM in the past few years.
The latest entrant in this space is FORD, which is launching it’s new version of Fiesta in USA and hopefully in India too, by 2010.
The program is christened ‘Fiesta Movement’, and as a part of the program Ford will select 100 tech-savvy (read active bloggers) car enthusiasts to each drive a Ford Fiesta and let them populate their experiences on their blogs, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and other social media sites.
Ford is trying to make this, a memorable and interesting experience which these 100 enthusiasts will love to share with their followers and near ones. Ford will organise a mission, and during the course of mission these enthusiasts will travel to new places meet new people and share their experience digitally. Of course there’s free petrol, insurance and concierge service etc.
Ford can achieve the following through this program:
1. By giving away 100 Fiesta (for a specific period of time)-it will hear from the horses’ mouths, on whether the car delivers on the key promise or not.
2. It will immediately embark on a platform where the car itself will be indirectly or directly be endorsed by opinion leaders and where hundreds of thousands of followers will be influenced-without Ford actually sending any money on media
3. It will create a chain-reaction or viral effect of comments which will reach the secondary audience
4. Search engine links for ‘Ford Fiesta’ for various keywords will improve drastically
5. Very clearly position the Fiesta more strongly with the youth audience
6. Could see a burst in Test Drive and eventual sales
HP organised a similar Social Media Marketing Program some time back, and experienced huge success. The time of Social Media Marketing is here, and it’s very heartening to see companies like Dell, HP and Ford take the leading step.