3 Secrets Every Brand Can Learn From Ford’s Social Media Strategy
January 7, 2016 • 5 min read
Updated on May 2, 2017
I decided to look at the social media performance of Ford to write a blog post. Big mistake. Global brand, social presence across multiple networks, dedicated pages based on geographies, and moreover, different pages for different models – imagine all the data I had to go through.
To start with, Ford has over 50 different pages on Facebook, over 40 on Twitter and YouTube and over 25 on Instagram. Combine that with their few LinkedIn and Pinterest pages, that’s more than 150 social media pages for one brand! Given the size of the brand and its reach in global markets, the number seems reasonable and I’m sure there are multiple teams to handle their pages. This shows how they have dedicated information and support for different geographies and models – which makes the life of a fan or a customer a lot simpler in case you want to contact them for any information.
For the purpose of this article, I decided to stick to their main company page and look at the model pages only on a case by case basis. I’ve used Jan 01 – Dec 31, 2015, as my time period.
In case you’re on a blog diet, here’s the TL;DR version.
- If you’re a global brand, having exclusive pages for different geographies or brand variants is a good idea. It makes information better accessible and organized.
- Ford posts regularly on all social network – almost 7 pieces of content per day. You should too. If not every day, find the days when your brand garners maximum engagement and be sure to post on those days.
- The car brand publishes good content that stems from an understanding of what their audience likes best. Once you know what content types and categories perform best, capitalize on them.
Fasten your seat belts, here is the detailed version of everything I was able to dig up about Ford’s content strategy and what every brand can learn from them.
1. Consistent Posting
Ford is what you would call a consistent company on social media. In 2015, Ford Motor Company’s parent page had content that was well spaced out. It’s not an overload nor is it infrequent. This steady activity keeps them on top of their fan bases’ mind without annoying them.
50% of their Tweets are replies and another 13% are Retweets which effectively means they proactively tweeted 1,082 times in the year. That’s an average of 7 creatives coming out of their desk on a daily basis.
Posting at the right time
Interestingly, their content engaged the best on Mondays. Having known this, Mondays are when the brand posted the most frequently as well.
They post when they should be alright, but are they posting interesting things that an average viewer would be interested in? Yes, they do.
2. Quality Content
We know a few fool-proof ways to improve enagment. However, Ford already seems to be on top of things.
They post about cars, obviously.
They have their regular planned content.
Even some quirky pop-culture related content.
Heavy debate, but we decided: both. What do you see? #thedress #FordMustang pic.twitter.com/M3CbQ5k10b
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) February 27, 2015
Best of all, when they know a content piece is going to perform well, they’re not afraid to put some money behind it. I found this tweet was sent out through Twitter Ads.
These #raptors don’t play around. #ZoorassicWorld pic.twitter.com/rcJXn4hvlq
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) June 20, 2015
With a good combination of humor and business, their content on Twitter and Instagram in 2015 has garnered an overall engagement higher than the industry average. However, on Facebook their average engagement score is slightly lower than the industry average. A smart way to change that would be through social media benchmaking.
Engagement is a measure of your audience’s interest in what you have to say. How you say it and how you create a space that encourages your audience to interact with your content makes a big difference in engagement.
Content Types & Categories
On Facebook, Ford posts a lot of questions which engages great for them.
Even on Twitter, a large chunk of their tweets carry links, and that’s what their followers like best.
On YouTube, their videos are on average 77 seconds long, which hits the sweetspot given short attention spans.
3. Appropriate Distribution
Ford has large fanbases across social networks.
Though there is a good chance there is an overlap between fans on different networks, the universal fact is that on the different networks, the same people consume content differently. On Facebook, pictures and videos are showcased best, on Twitter links stand out. Hence tweaking a singular piece of content to different networks is essential.
They use hashtags lavishly on Twitter – which is perfect for the fabric of the social network.
Autonomous #Ford #FusionHybrid vehicles will be hitting the streets of California in 2016. #FordSmartMobility pic.twitter.com/6B5WHaABxO
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) December 16, 2015
Their Instagram triggers wanderlust with amazing picture and short captions.
For example, though they upload videos on YouTube, they seem to have an exclusive set fo Facebook that are more attractive for a newsfeed that auto plays content.
However, when running a campaign with a standard theme, Ford uses an identical format and tone of voice to instill recall. We can see how their post and Tweet have similar layouts and messaging.
That brings me to the end of my research which only looked at the tip of the iceberg that is any global brand’s strategy. As we’ve seen with Ford, there are a few points that stand out as lessons to any social media marketer. Got questions or thoughts about Ford’s social media habits? Tweet us @unmetric and let’s get chatting.