By Mark Calder
They are corporate giants that haven’t forgotten how to connect with the average Joe. That is why Coca Cola and the Ford Motor company do such an impressive job with social media marketing.
Both companies find ways to connect to the hearts and minds of their buyers through their Facebook pages, inspiring them and leaving them feeling good about the world and about both drinking Coke and buying a Ford.
Coca-Cola is brilliant at connecting with people in the world through its Facebook site (see : https://www.facebook.com/cocacola ) On the site there are simple, beautiful pictures which connect the company with joyful events such as the World Cup – which Coke sponsored. We see pictures of average fans enjoying a Coke in Brazil.
Campaigns directly connect the company’s product with individual customers through initiatives such as the bottle name campaign (see: http://www.shareacoke.ca/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Hub&utm_campaign=SaC&utm_content=email-share-button#findAndShare) Fans of the product like the bottle name campaign and are interacting positively (see: https://www.facebook.com/cocacola#!/photo.php?fbid=10152527640130250&set=p.10152527640130250&type=1&theater.)
The company is not just selling a product but selling a lifestyle – i.e. fun in the sun with Coke: https://www.facebook.com/cocacola#!/coca-cola/photos/a.99394368305.88399.40796308305/10153411257393306/?type=1&theate
At the same time the company also takes the time to connect its product with serious world events- such as offering tribute to Nelson Mandela following his death: (see: https://www.facebook.com/cocacola#!/coca-cola/photos/a.10150567797523306.402510.40796308305/10152896831608306/?type=1&theater
Ford does things a little differently, but the company still does a brilliant job of connecting with the heart and soul of its customers on its Facebook page (see https://www.facebook.com/ford ). For instance, on Mother’s Day the company posted a brilliant video in which children were asked what kind of car they would like to design for their mothers. The children talked about chocolate cars because their mothers liked chocolate or they asked designers to make a waterproof car so their mothers could ride under the ocean and see fish and sharks (see: https://www.facebook.com/ford#!/photo.php?v=10152388780520049&set=vb.22166130048&type=2&theater )
The company also does a wonderful job of letting its customers tell others how great their cars are. The company has posted an amazing video which shows real customers taking test drives of its Ford Focus. with honest commentary (see: https://www.facebook.com/ford#!/photo.php?v=10152319844595049&set=vb.22166130048&type=2&theater)
Both Coke and Ford understand that the best way to market to customers through social media is to not just sell the product, but sell the company as caring about the world.
A company that doesn’t do a great job at social media marketing is Aeropostale.- (see: https://www.facebook.com/cocacola#!/photo.php?v=10152080389797608&set=vb.57143807607&type=2&theater ).
Instead of testimonials,, what the company offers is stilted videos that plug their clothing (see: https://www.facebook.com/aeropostale#!/photo.php?v=10152083530227608&set=vb.57143807607&type=2&theater.) They also supply endless pictures of wardrobe combinations which some customers say make little sense (see: https://www.facebook.com/aeropostale#!/aeropostale/photos/a.73837772607.73750.57143807607/10152612107942608/?type=1&theater )
The company needs to address several shortfalls on its Facebook page. The major problem is that young boys wear Aeropostale clothing just as much as girls do but most of the Facebook postings are directed at females. The company can market effectively to boys through video – i.e. skateboard videos of kids enjoying the sport wearing Aeropostale clothing. They could post video game links on the site that kids could download. Aeropostale is a big company. They could hire celebrities such as football stars to wear their clothing – maybe encouraging donations to charities the athlete supports.
The company will have to come a long way though, before it can match Ford of Coke.