Ford Social: The Automotive Idea that Needs to Take Off
Some ideas in social media work (for a little while) because they catch a break and resonate with the target audience even if the idea itself was a bad one. These types of concepts include Foursquare apps that try to stalk attractive women (lifespan: 1 week), video chatting sites that connect random people (chances of seeing a penis: 1 in 4 and rising), and anything that depended on the Twitter API to make it work.
Then, there are ideas that haven’t taken off yet but that are absolutely brilliant. Ford Social is one of those ideas. If there’s any industry that is made to be shared through social media, it’s automotive. Our cars are part of our personality, our circumstances, and our life events. They are, for many of us, an integral part of our daily lives. We often spend more time in them than with our families. We even spend some time surfing social media while in them (though we shouldn’t do that if we’re driving).
Social media and automotive were made for each other. It’s for this reason that it’s perplexing that Ford Social isn’t huge by now. Launched in 2010, this site does everything that a community should do. It’s design is crisp. It has stories, images, and videos, much of which comes from the users themselves. It’s hip in appearance and intuitive in its interface. The only thing it lacks is a ton of engagement. Some stories get no comments at all. Most fail to get double-digit retweets or Facebook shares.
This site should be killing it.
Perhaps it’s just a lack of promotions. A visit to Ford.com shows that the only mentions on the homepage are as part of a 10-link drop down menu and a link at the bottom – #34 our of 36.
It could be a problem with their SEO. An article from four days ago titled “2013 Fusion Race Car Makes its Debut this Weekend” should rank well for the term “2013 Fusion Race Car” but doesn’t appear until page 4 on the search, and even then it’s the Ford Social homepage that appears, not the article itself.
For a number of reasons, the site isn’t getting the traffic it needs to generate the social sharing that it should be getting. If more people went to the site, it would get those social signals. Unfortunately, they’re not.
I know I would personally love to help with the initiative. It needs more attention.