One Social Vision for Ford Motor Company

KiyomiRutledge    October 4, 2012

Organization Name: Ford Motor Company

Industry: Automotive

Web Reference:

Ford Motor Company Press Release: http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=28019
Scott Monty, www.scottmonty.com
Fast Company, http://www.fastcompany.com/1668368/corporate-social-media-policies-good-mediocre-and-ugly
Shel Holtz, www.socialmediatoday.com/shelholtz/838001/ford-s-vision-one-social
http://socialmediapolicy.com/2012/03/09/ford-motor-companys-digital-participation-guidelines/

Description of how Ford Motor Company has leveraged social media to increase business performance

For a company who sold its first automobile in 1903, Ford Motor Company has come a long way and evolved the company corporate culture to embrace changing trends towards social media. Ford recently launched a “One Social Initiative” with the goal to show potential customers that there are people like them working at Ford Motor Company. Employees at all levels engaged with customers through a variety of social channels and featured in their above the line commercials. In a recent Ford press release Luis Salem, the media planning and brand entertainment manager coordinating “Drive One,” stated that “there are a lot of talented and passionate people working at Ford and we felt that they would have the most credibility with consumers to create renewed consideration for the Ford brand.” According to Scott Monty, Head of Social Media at Ford, “One Social” recognizes that the various modes through which Ford’s many moving parts are engaging in social media “need to be united.”

There are four components to the One Social vision:

  • Listen and Engage

  • Measure and Monitor

  • Training and Learning

  • Growth at Scale

“Ford doesn’t have a standalone social media strategy,” said Scott Monty during a recent Salesforce keynote.  “We have a business strategy supported by social media. We need to scale social media across our employees, dealers and customers, and know exactly how it is driving our business. We also need a unified view of social to make analysis that comes out of it available to product development, advertising or product marketing” (Shel Holtz).

Lessons for others

Social media policies for employee engagement can be customized to best fit the organization. Ford goes beyond some of the standard social media policies for employees such as: making sure you state that your views are your own and not the official position of Ford, treating others with respect, use common sense or avoid commenting on company financials.

Fords policy includes two other components that aren’t as common in other company social media policies.  First, Ford asks employees who spot a potential social media issue that might merit a Company response to report it to the Communications or Legal teams.   Ford also asks employees to refrain from discussing offline conversations in an online medium if it can be avoided. This includes, adding colleagues or partners into an online conversation without their permission.

Ford Motor Company Digital Participation Guidelines:

1. Be honest about who you are

2. Make it clear that the views expressed are yours

3. You speak for yourself, but your actions represent those of Ford Motor Company

4. Use your common sense

5. Play nice

6. The Internet is a public space

7. The Internet remembers (i.e., “Whatever happens in Vegas…stays on Google.”)

8. An official response may be needed

9. Respect the privacy of offline conversations

10. Same rules and laws apply: new medium, no surprise

11. When in doubt, ask

Ford Motor Company’s Digital Participation Guidelines (link to pdf)

Submitted By: Kiyomi Rutledge, SMBP, University of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email at: kiyomi.rutledge@gmail.com

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.

One thought on “One Social Vision for Ford Motor Company

  1. taracb

    I think Ford’s Digital Participation Guidelines are a great idea for other companies to implement. I think one of the most important is #7, “The Internet Remembers”. With resources like, the Internet Time Machine (http://archive.org/web/web.php) people can never be too careful with what they post online. You can never permanently delete from the Internet.

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