Has it been just over a year since the last Blog World Expo? I vividly remember attending that one – I saw colleagues, friends and made new acquaintances, sharing knowledge and learning some exciting new things. And what an amazing and wild year it’s been in the time since.
In September 2008, I was still getting my feet wet at Ford Motor Company – having been there all of two months. There was a lot to learn and a lot to do, and as we embarked on setting our social media strategy, we had to remain aware of and active in the social space. I like to say that we subscribe to the Woody Allen philosophy of social media: “Ninety percent of social media is just showing up.”
We also believe in the Yogi Berra corollary to that: “It’s the other 50 percent that’s hard.”
So just how does a Fortune 10 company go about embarking on such a journey, and how has Ford been able to turn the ship so deftly? Well, I’m not gonna give all of that away here – you have to come to my keynote to hear the Full Monty. 🙂
But what I will tell you is that we couldn’t have done it without two very key elements – elements that make a huge difference in the success of our social media efforts:
1) Great leadership: through our CEO Alan Mulally (who joined the company in September 2006) and his dynamic executive team, we have a solid business plan that’s putting the company right.
2) Great products: having strong leadership and a plan means we have the ability to execute on that plan, and that means creating first-class products on a global scale. Vehicles that people want and value with a level of quality unsurpassed by even Toyota and Honda. The proof is in seeing them up close – which is why we’ll have some at the show for you to drive or sit in.
With that in place, our progress and success in the social media space has been that much easier to accomplish. But there’s also another secret ingredient here as well – one that may not come from hiring talent or investing in design and R&D.
From the very first time I walked through the doors of Ford’s world headquarters in Dearborn, I was struck by the amazing passion that was apparent in every single person I’ve met at Ford. And that continues to this day. We all want this company to succeed, and we’re committed to making it happen.
When you have internal evangelists like that, it’s not a stretch to think that there are some like that on the outside as well. And that’s a big part of where we’re going with social media.
I look forward to sharing more of The Ford Story with you on October 15 in Las Vegas. Until then, remember: whatever happens in Vegas stays on Google.
***update 10/10/09 4:09pm***
You can listen to Scott with our Social Media Director Jim @genuine Turner on BlogWorld Radio here.