Ford Ditches Auto Shows for Facebook

Ford’s latest Explorer model won’t be introduced at a glitzy auto show — instead, it will make its debut on Facebook. The company will launch the car with a campaign that focuses on drivers’ real-world experiences, rather than with glamorous TV ads. “We live in a 140-character society … When we have people’s attention, we want to make sure it sticks,” says Scott Monty, Ford’s head of social media.

Ford engineer Jim Holland is pictured on the left with 2011 Ford  Explorer. This is as much as Ford has shown of the new SUV, which debuts  this summer.

Linking the Explorer with Ford’s social-marketing strategy could help the brand become more relevant. Monty says Ford is using the Internet to help customers see it not as a faceless monolith, but as an organization of people like them who can answer questions, and listen to ideas and complaints.

Still, the Explorer reveal on Facebook is chancy.

“The auto industry is so closely tied to reviews and news from traditional media outlets that I think it is a risky move to eliminate an auto show announcement,” says Heidi Sullivan, vice president of media research for Cision. But “the buzz created could far outweigh any negative reactions.”

With the 2011 Fiesta, Ford launched a very early and intense social media campaign, revealing essentially everything about the car over a year before the official sales launch. The goal: to build hype and get everyone familiar with it rather than trying to surprise the buying public with big claims and flashy looks. The same tactic may work for the new Explorer, especially since it is a fairly major change from the previous version.

To see the Facebook unveiling for yourself, you’ll have to visit the Explorer Facebook Page and “like” it to get access to the first photos.

Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2010

Social media is the talk of the planet. But where do you go to learn the best tips and tactics? Look no further…

In December, Social Media Examiner solicited nominations for their annual list of the top 10 social media blogs. They received over 150 suggestions, and narrowed the field down to 21 finalists. The judges in the selection process included Scott Monty (Ford), Ann Handley (MarketingProfs), and David Meerman Scott (author New Rules of Marketing and PR), who all carefully reviewed the nominees.

The final winner selection was based on these criteria:

  • Quality of posts: A qualitative analysis of the content of posts was examined by the judges. Educational and discussion-spurring posts are more valuable than self-promoting posts (55% of decision).
  • Frequency of posts: Blogs that write multiple posts per week scored higher. This is a sign of the blog’s commitment to blogging (15%).
  • Reader involvement: Blogs that have regular comments from readers are another sign of a healthy blog. In addition, the numbers of nominations for a specific blog played a part in this (15%).
  • Blog ranking: The number of other blogs that link to the blog shows the value of the content (15%). The judges used accepted third-party blog ranking systems for this portion of the score.

The winners were just announced. If you’re looking to reap the rewards of social media, these rich blogs need to be at the top of your reading list.

  1. Chris Brogan: The Elvis of social media and the king of common sense, Chris Brogan is in a league of his own.
  2. Social Media Explorer: Social media all-star Jason Falls provides a fresh and interesting take on all things social media.
  3. Mashable: The world’s source for social media news, Mashable is the place to go for breaking stories.
  4. Convince & Convert: Jay Baer provides rich content for businesses seeking to embrace social media.
  5. Altitude: Amber Naslund offers a breadth of fresh air with smart, inspiring and personal social media insight.
  6. CopyBlogger: The king of engaging content, Brian Clark and his team help businesses persuade in a 2.0 world.
  7. Brand Builder: For businesses looking to dive deep into social media discussion, check out Olivier Blanchard’s rich insights.
  8. Diva Marketing: Toby Bloomberg’s blog provides a wide array of social media advice.
  9. Kikolani: Looking for great “getting started” social media guidance?  Then frequent this blog.
  10. Future Buzz: A nice mix of stories and reviews makes Adam Singer’s site one that should be on your radar.

The other 11 nominees are well worth a look, too:

Congratulations to the winners. Be sure to check out all of these amazing blogs!

Do you frequent any of these blogs? What are some of your favorites?

(Via Social Media Examiner)

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