In the article, Big Brands’ Journey Toward Social Business, Francine Hardaway analyzes Bravo TV Network’s social media strategy and then concludes with three checkpoints to becoming a successful social business.

To start the process, every department, not just the marketing and PR teams, have to work under the philosophy of being social. Brand and consumer awareness has to be fully understood by every department.

The next step involves social media training that is company-wide and driven from the top down. Meaning that a social business starts with the executives embracing the social philosophy; the CEO should start blogging.

Lastly, fully integrate your business objectives into your social media strategy. This will be an automatic checkpoint for your company if social business is driven by the executives and is used in every department.

Bravo has been a social business pioneer; it now has a blog for every program running on its network.

Ford is another company that understands the power of becoming a social business.

As I mentioned in my week 1 post, some companies have great product launches because they had created awareness or “hype” via word-or-mouth for their product. In the article, Ford Uses Social To Rewrite Launch Rules, Sarah Mahoney describes how getting consumers to talk about their product has been a key to Ford’s success.

Ford wanted to sell their Fiesta, a European model, in the US but it had zero name-plate recognition. So what Ford did was give 100 Fiestas to social-media savvy young adults and let them talk about the car for them.

Ford weighed the risks of not being in control of what was being said about their car, with one executive even raising the question that these young people might smoke weed in the car. They did have their incidents, but it turned out to be a huge success and the social-media content from the young drivers reached 28 million views and their nameplate awareness rose to 60% before they ran their first traditional ad.

Since the strategy was so successful, Ford now uses 20% of every product launch budget for pre-launch activities such as the Fiesta campaign.

Not only did Ford create awareness through their brand agents, but they also listened to them and made adjustments to the Fiesta that they had never thought of.

Ford success also comes from their understanding that listening to their customers is just as important as talking to them.

-Brian Scholl


~ by goodpackagedconsumers on October 21, 2012.