Ford Sparks Conversation With More Than 135,000 Explorer Fans On Live Facebook Page
* Explorer Live is a Facebook program that engages Ford and prospective Explorer customers in one-on-one conversations using text, videos and images
* Explorer fans can get near real-time answers to questions from Ford experts as well as view video responses from engineers and celebrities such as Bret Michaels and Snoop Dogg
* Explorer Live continues the Ford Explorer Facebook engagement that began with the all-new SUV’s live Facebook reveal on July 26, 2010
* Since Ford began the Facebook page last March, more than 135,000 fans have joined the page
DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Company is sparking up a conversation with more than 135,000 Explorer fans on Facebook as a way to build one-on-one relationships with owners and prospective customers and get real-time feedback on Ford’s all-new SUV.
Called “Explorer Live”, the Facebook program was set up in response to the outstanding reaction to the live reveal of the Ford Explorer on Facebook on July 26. More than 75,000 people logged in on that day to see the new Explorer for the first time.
“Explorer Live is a program that allows us to get to the Holy Grail of marketing – direct, unfiltered dialogue with thousands of customers with real-time responses to their questions and to our answers,” said Matt VanDyke, director, Ford U.S. Marketing Communications. “The ability to interact with customers and get feedback from them about what they really want from their vehicle allows us to tailor our marketing outreach accordingly"
Customers have used the Facebook page to ask questions and share information and, as Eric Peterson, Ford Explorer Communications manager explains, this gave the team an idea.
To see how Bret Michaels “parties” with available MyFord Touch in the 2011 Ford Explorer, go to http://www.youtube.com/v/umjK84xPVXY.
“We were getting up to 25 questions a day from Facebook fans with topics ranging from simple and easy-to-answer questions right up to very technical and detailed product questions,” said Peterson. “Our response was to come up with a series of different ways to respond.
“At the basic level, for a simple question about something like product availability, we respond directly to the customer in almost real time. However, where we spot a trend in questioning, we wanted something more engaging, and that came in the form of rapid-response videos.”
Entertainers lend a hand
The video responses give Ford the opportunity to respond to a question using either product experts, or in some cases, celebrities such as Bret Michaels and Snoop Dogg. The videos can be straight product-related responses, or, as in the case of the Michaels video, a more tongue-in-cheek response that provides product knowledge mixed with entertainment.
With more than 40 videos posted, more than 100 in production and more than 250,000 views, the Explorer Live program has fostered a new creative energy within Ford’s marketing team, VanDyke said.
“Traditional TV advertising takes months to develop through initial scripts, research, filming, editing, revisions and finally on to the screen,” VanDyke said. “The Explorer Live program is a completely different way of working, with the turn-around time from idea to filming to posting being sometimes as short as 72 hours.
“For our creative team, this has been extremely liberating – to have an idea one day and to see it on film just a few days later. It is really changing the paradigm for us – allowing us an unfiltered link to the end customer in a way that traditional TV advertising does not.”
To see more of the creative work, log on to www.facebook.com/fordexplorer and join the more than 135,000 fans getting regular updates from the 2011 Ford Explorer.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 163,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln and Mercury, production of which has been announced by the company to be ending in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
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