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5 big brands' big social media visions

by Molly Flatt on 26 September 2012

Big brands need big visions, and social media is no exception. It’s all very well if you’re a one-man-band using Facebook to showcase your wares, but it’s very different if you’re a huge global enterprise. So how are some of the biggest brands in the world combining all their departments, objectives and audiences into one coherent and inspiring idea? What can we learn from their bold social strategies? Let’s take a peek.

Ford’s ‘One Social’

During a Salesforce conference last Thursday, Ford social guru Scott Monty snuck in the news that the car behemoth are launching a One Social initiative, intended to chime with the One Ford approach the company has pursued for several years (slogan: One Team, One Plan, One Goal).

Monty claimed that Ford’s goal was to “show people that there are people like them working at Ford Motor Company,” engaging employees and customers through a variety of social channels via four key components: Listen and engage; Measure and monitor; Training; and Growth at scale.

“Ford doesn’t have a standalone social media strategy,” says Monty. “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.”

See his full keynote below.

Coca-Cola’s 2020 ‘Liquid and Linked Content’ 

Coke have serious form in the social space, so it wasn’t surprising when they unveiled a mature and ambitious approach to the future of Coke content and conversation in social. In the below videos, Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice-President of Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, explains explains “how Coke will leverage the opportunities in the new media landscape and transform one-way storytelling into dynamic storytelling hoping to add value and significance to peoples’ lives […] reminding us that ‘every contact point with a customer should tell an emotional story.’”

This is content strategy on caffeine, but it’s also saturated with timeless best practice: accepting and even encouraging loss of control alongside careful curation, big ideas and targeting relevant audiences. Well worth taking time to watch both.

Burberry’s ‘Social Catwalk’

Fresh from more social and creative triumph at London Fashion Week, Burberry – now one of the UK’s biggest and most recognised brands – has become renowened for its incredibly comprehensive and early-adopting strategy in an industry that has been slow to embrace opportunities in this space.

Watch Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts discuss ‘Perfecting your social media strategy on the global runway’ in an in-depth Wall Street Journal interview.

The BBC’s ‘Our People, Our Content’

We’ve written before about the impressive job the BBC World Service is doing in navigating social engagement alongside their commitments to independence, authority and quality.

Now you can get a glimpse into their aims and execution of social strategy thanks to these publicly available downloads on their Social Media Editorial Guidelines for BBC producers, English Regions Social Media Strategy and internal Social Media Guidance for BBC News staff. There’s plenty of general good practice in there, as well as some unique considerations for those in broadcasting and publishing.

Dell’s ‘Constant Innovation’

Dell is another global company with a long history of innovating in social media, from crowdsourcing innovation to driving sales through Twitter to an internal social media university. The Dell team are also consistently open about their learnings and ambitions in the space as they try new things and evolve better ideas. In the video below Adam Brown, Executive Director of Social Media, discusses where they’re at.


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