Social media marketing makes it convenient for people to connect globally through social media. The incorporation of social media advertising into businesses is no longer an option but a necessity. Ford has incorporated social media marketing tools into its marketing campaigns to increase the demand for its cars and brand awareness. Even so, there exists an enormous opportunity in the social media industry that the Ford Motor Company has not utilized yet. This report discloses that social media marketing influences potential customers to a large extent. Also, social media platforms have become the largest source of information for customers. Therefore, investments in this direction are worthwhile since the impact of social media to brand awareness continues to grow every day.
The management of Ford Motor Company requested this report to look at the ways to leverage the advantages presented by social media to increase business performance. The data in this report was collected by XYZ consulting over a period of five months. The consulting firm coordinated with the marketing department to come up with data regarding social media penetration by Ford Motor Company. In this report, recommendations are highlighted to help the business capture the opportunities presented by social media.
Statement of Problem
The social media platforms present great opportunities for brand awareness, and Ford Motor Company aims to increase its penetration to benefit from the various channels.
Ford Motor Company is a multinational business based in Michigan, United States. The company started its operations in 1903, and it sells automobiles under the Ford brand. The company also sells luxury vehicles under the Lincoln brand. The main product lines for the business include tractors, buses, trucks, automotive parts, vehicle leasing, and financial services. Its mission statement is to make people’s lives better by making mobility accessible and affordable. The stress on mobility highlights the duty of the business in society. By the end of 2021, Ford Motor Company held more than 257 billion in assets and is one of the leading manufacturers of light vehicles globally (Ford). The company has more than 185,000 employees in the world. In the United States, Ford Motor Company employs more than 80,000 employees. The business has varied operations worldwide in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, Germany, the U.K, and Brazil.
Ford Motor Company has a highly varied target market that covers the global economy. Therefore, the marketing mix is highly comprehensive to maintain its customer base. The business mainly uses television and online advertising. It also uses sales agents and direct selling. Ford has adopted social media to reach its wide customer base, although it relies mostly on television advertising. Ford Motor Company achieved great success through the Fiesta Movement campaign, which helped attract more than a million followers on Facebook and another 200,000 on Twitter. The campaign created a lot of buzzes and increased the awareness of the brand. The company has embraced internal and external communications through social media.
Ford Motor Company is focused on car owner satisfaction and the experiences of clients after purchasing cars. The company has self-service websites where customers can find whatever they want. These are www.customersaskford.com and www.dealersaskford.com.
O’Murchu et al. argue that the internet has brought about a communication revolution (2). People gather information through varied channels due to the simplified access to information (O’Murchu et al. 2). The various portals encourage professionals and social connections. Olivier argues that social media programs have to be tied to business objectives. The measurement of the social media program provides insights regarding the strategy that is working and the one that is failing (Olivier). Businesses can be easily misguided by social media metrics that may not have a lot of impact on the business. Many followers may not necessarily help in meeting the business objectives. They may look attractive on paper but are meaningless to the business. With a social media program, monitoring is also essential. Objectivity is essential to the measurement initiatives for positive results. Barnes also emphasizes focusing on leveraging social media’s power and aiming to reach everyone who might be a customer of the business (Barnes). Barnes is of the view that social media presence requires consistency to remain at the hearts of customers.
Analysis and Evaluation
From the literature review, it can be presumed that while the opportunity for a large market is present, a measurement framework is needed in all the social media programs. Therefore, it is important that all the items that need to be measured are identified and the best measurement tools identified. There should also be neutrality in the persons tasked with the measurement processes. All the measurements should be tied to the business objectives. All in all, successful social media programs can be repeated if they meet the objectives.
Discussion of Findings
One of the findings was that social media presents an opportunity for the Ford motor company. The large numbers of people on these platforms are potential customers. Moreover, the success of the Fiesta Movement campaign indicates a need for more investment in social platforms. However, there is a need to tie social media programs to business objectives.
The main issues that are dominant in the report are:
- There is an opportunity in the social media platforms for Ford Motor Company
- The social media programs have to be measured and monitored for effective results
XYZ Consulting recommends the following:
- Increased investment in social media channels to address the significant global market.
- Improved monitoring and measurement in social media programs.
Barnes, James. “How Obama Won Using Digital and Social Media.” YouTube, uploaded by Media Saucers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFB5FtMfwNo
Ford. What’s Happening at Ford? https://www.ford.com/
Olivier, Blanchard. “Social Media ROI: Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in Your Organization.” Indiana USA: Que (2011).
O’Murchu, Ina, John G. Breslin, and Stefan Decker. “Online Social and Business Networking Communities.” ECAI Workshop on Application of Semantic Web Technologies to Web Communities. Vol. 107. 2004.