Ford marketing chief outlines social media strategy

By Mary Jane Grandinetti
Posted Feb. 9 at 9:44 a.m.

Touting the auto as the ultimate mobile device, Ford marketing chief Jim Farley outlined the automaker’s social media strategy to open the media preview of the 2011 Chicago auto show Wednesday.

“Social media events such as the Explorer’s Go Do Adventure will let millions of people spend time with our cars,” he said.

“With 500 million people on Facebook, we can reach more potential customers in a more personal way,” Farley said of the company’s move to new media. Its latest efforts are centered on the Ford Focus and the Chicago-built Ford Explorer that arrive at dealerships next month.

Mobile Communication is the next frontier. Ford is planning smartphone apps tailored to each Ford vehicle — a Navi app for the Explorer, for example, and a fuel economy app for the Focus.

The social media focus is fitting, Farley said, because Ford has been a “leader” in making tech democratic since the Model T.

“Imagine a Genius Bar at the Ford dealership,” Farley said referring to Apple’s trademark service operation,”or a GeekSqaud that will come to you to explain and assist you with your car.

“We’re working on both because we have learned the second, third and fourth introductions to a car are as important as the first when you buy it.”

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