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Automotive Social Media Rankings; Ford and Lincoln at Top of List

Ford, Lincoln Top First-Ever Automotive Social Media Rankings

ATLANTA, GA -- (Marketwire) -- 04/14/09 -- Leading social media company, Vitrue, released today the first-ever ranking of the automotive industry's most social brands, which is designed to capture a brand's share of voice across the ever-growing and influential social media web. Ford debuted at No. 1 followed by Lincoln at No. 2. The rankings utilized Vitrue's proprietary Social Media Index (SMI) to track and measure the brands' "chatter" during Q1'09 across the social web including photo and video sharing sites, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, microblogs like Twitter and the general blogosphere.

"We strongly believe that the most successful and innovative automotive brands going forward will embrace social media as a foundational communication vehicle to connect with their consumers," said Reggie Bradford, ceo of Vitrue. "Consumers will play the most important role in development of this next generation of the automotive industry. Car companies must look to social media as a more influential, effective and efficient way to start a dialogue with their consumers."

According to a recent Advertising Age story, the Obama administration, working closely with carmakers, signaled there will be more financial resources allocated to digital media, among other numerous changes.

"Brands like Ford are very much in the mainstream in terms of consumers wanting to see them thrive in this marketplace. They are very much Americana," said Bradford. "Ford is well positioned to continue to grow their social presence to reach, communicate and engage consumers to better understand their needs. Social media provides the environment for consumers to drive innovation forward by letting their voices be heard and brands that are firmly rooted in the social web will succeed by being able to harness this tremendous power of insight and endorsement."

The Vitrue SMI was designed in the fall of 2008 to help marketers understand how to benchmark their standings and gives the industry a gauge to help define who is effectively utilizing social media practices in the social space. In January of this year, Vitrue announced the first ever top social brands of 2008 which complied the top 100 brands overall. Today, Vitrue is digging down to see who is winning within the automotive vertical. The Vitrue SMI is the first tool to measure word of mouth and provides a simple and comprehensive snapshot of what people are talking about on the social web.

As Facebook reaches an audience of 200 million users (Facebook cites) and attains incredible time on site now averaging 169 minutes a month according to ComScore, brands can no longer ignore the need to be firmly rooted in social networks. As of January, more than 50% of Facebook users and 44% of MySpace users in the U.S. were over 35 years old, also according to ComScore estimates.

For more information, visit www.vitrue.com/auto

The Vitrue 20 Top Social Auto Brands

1. Ford
2. Lincoln
3. GM
4. Honda
5. BMW
6. Mercedes
7. Dodge
8. Ferrari
9. Toyota
10. Suzuki
11. Jeep
12. Nissan
13. Cadillac
14. Audi
15. Porsche
16. Kia
17. Subaru
18. Chrysler
19. Volvo
20. Chevrolet


About Vitrue, Inc.
Vitrue, Inc. delivers world-class advertising solutions for marketers to connect with consumers in social ways. Vitrue turns traditional advertising into direct, personal relationships by harnessing the authenticity, depth and viral nature of social media, which enables consumers to help build brands through their online actions. Through their industry expertise, technology platform and integrated marketing approach, Vitrue offers the most comprehensive social media marketing solutions built exclusively for Fortune 1000 brands and agencies including P&G, Unilever and Pepsi. Vitrue is based in New York City and Atlanta. For more company information, please visit http://vitrue.com.

Contact:
Vitrue PR
404-478-8300
Click Here for Email Contact

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To learn more about the Automotive Social Marketing and Reputation Management Solutions from Ralph Paglia and the ADP Digital Marketing Team, please copy and paste this sentence into the text box at the bottom of your completed online form available by clicking on the image below:

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Tags: Automotive Social Media, Ford at Top of List, Ford social marketing, automotive social marketing, social media Rankings

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 1, 2009 at 3:57pm
@ Chris - Sorry about not getting back to your comment sooner... Regarding your observation that Social Media Marketing seems to elicit more of the "can't release the ingredients to the secret sauce" type of responses back on ADM, I believe there are logical reasons for that to happen. First of all, it is so new that most of us simply do not know if our secret sauce is going to taste good when others try it... Secondly, there is so much money at stake in this space, and both car companies and dealers are eagerly seeking solutions that the customers have simply not yet aligned with the suppliers. This makes it a "gold rush" type of opportunity, and unfortunately some of that gold rush mentality is appearing with a lot of half-baked solutions being tossed around as "Social Media Marketing" when in reality they are nothing than the same old stuff a supplier was selling before, with a couple of "Add This" buttons added to the side. My employer, ADP Dealer Services has been developing our Social Marketing/Reputation Management solution as a combination of software code, third party applications and managed services... But, every time I think we have the solution complete, one of our pilot installations reveals another aspect that is just toooooooooo good to leave out of the final solution manifest.

For example, I was in a meeting with our ADP Digital Marketing Consulting Service leaders today, and am spending the whole day tomorrow with them again. Why? Because after working with over a dozen different dealers in developing and implementing a social media marketing strategy and processes over the past 18 months, I am more convinced than ever that in-dealership training and consulting needs to be a significant part of what any supplier offering social media marketing solutions to dealers needs to provide.

I have worked with only one dealer group where the management team was able to get the traction themselves with me simply supplying them with materials, documentation and various online access instructions, but even they had me spend an hour with all of their General Managers. Every other dealer that had had any level of success has had me in their dealerships training managers and staff over the course of several visits... So, I am leery of making this type of cultural shift in the form of a solution that is remotely set up without any in-dealership work being done.

Anyways, I think the mystery you keep running into is more about the fact that all of us working in this space are learning new factors and issues that need to be dealt with on a daily basis.
Comment by Chris Hanson on September 16, 2009 at 5:52am
@Ralph Thanks, those look like great examples.

You are the second person to use, "secret" and "not sharing" on ADM when it comes to social media....
Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 14, 2009 at 5:29pm
Sanderson Ford has done a great job in Glendale, AZ... And, so has Westbury Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Westbury, NY. What I see happening lately with Automotive Avenues in Denver is the best example to date and the Ancira Auto Group in San Antonio will be a big player... I hate to say it, but whenever women are involved, the dealership seems to do a better job with social media. The exception would be Sanderson, but that's because Dave Tedder does a good job at anything he tackles. There are certain "key ingredients" to making social media marketing work, but i can't give away any of what my homies are using as their secret sauce.
Comment by Chris Hanson on September 14, 2009 at 5:25pm
I've checked both of those out, nice. Thanks Ralph.
Comment by Chris Hanson on September 14, 2009 at 5:15pm
I know it was kind of a broad question Ralph but you answered kind of what I was looking for and was thinking along the same lines. I have come across several things Ford is doing. What are your favorite examples?

Unfortunately many of the dealership projects I have come across were started but never really followed through with.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 14, 2009 at 5:11pm
Chris, if you want to see just one tiny sliver of what Ford has going on in Social Media Marketing and the Blogosphere in general, check out

www.FiestaMovement.com and then visit www.ScottMonty.com. The picture of social media marketing done right will begin to emerge!
Can other car companies catch up? Sure, but they will need to make the same or greater investment in resources, including people, money and suppliers, as well as giving social media a prominent level of priority in their overall marketing strategy. I think that when Ford launches the 2011 Fiesta next Summer and the results of their year long social media marketing campaigns become well known, you will see other car companies scrambling big time.

The smart car company would be the one to get started now, instead of waiting for Ford to become so well established in the social media space that everybody else looks like a wannabe... But, I have done a lot of work with social media marketing and most of the car company executives I speak to (outside of Ford) respond like a hound dog that hears something but doesn't know what it is... Head cocks sideways and they say "huh?", which is followed by a "I think that's in somebody else's area of responsibility...". The problem is the ad agencies... It can be hard to make money under some of the old school billing systems that ad agencies use if they were get involved in social media... The Ogilvy Agency is the best in the business.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 14, 2009 at 4:59pm
Chris,

When you say "Top Social Auto Brand" there can be more than one way to measure... But, if commitment of resources, focus and results measured by the company's standings in various "Social Media Marketing" reports and analysis by unbiased third parties has any relevance to the evaluation... Well, then there is only one car company that is so far ahead of everyone else that the current second place candidates all need at least a year to catch up. That company is Ford Motor Company.

No other car company has focused on Social Media with the degree of resource allocation and afforded such a high profile to social media marketing within the company's culture as has Ford. All the independently produced measures of car company rankings within social media using various measurement techniques show Ford as being far ahead of the others... And, when the reports and rankings are opened up to all companies doing business in North America, Ford is the ONLY car company to make the top ten list, or top 20 list for that matter. Which means that as of right now Ford is so far ahead of all the other car companies with their strategy, systems and monitoring processes that there is no debate when it comes to determining which corporation is the "Top Social Media Marketing Car Company". Although, you could have one heck of a debate regarding which car company is #2, #3 or #4... I have plenty more, but take a look at the chart below which evaluates all corporations doing business in North America in regards to their effectiveness with Social Media Marketing:

Comment by Chris Hanson on September 14, 2009 at 2:54pm
Ralph,

Who do you think is the top social auto brand and why?

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