I had the pleasure of meeting Ford's Scott Monty a few times and getting his take on social media and brand marketing. If you, like me, follow him on +ScottMonty and @ScottMonty, you've doubtless benefited from his keen insights and thought leadership. And if you don't already, start now. It's a big deal that he's leaving the auto giant. He's making the rounds on kind-of a farewell tour with the media, and I found his interview with AdWeek especially interesting. Here's the excerpt that resonated:
Where do you see social media heading after these last six years?
I think it's at a critical juncture right now. With all the commentary that's been going on about Facebook and the loss of organic reach, obviously, how the paid component to social evolves is critical. Outside of Ford and looking at the industry overall, it saddens me how social has been co-opted by marketing to become just another mass advertising/marketing channel. I think the promise of social is about relationship development, and I have always said that. All the talks I've given about Ford's progress has concentrated on attention and trust. While advertising can get you the attention by interrupting people, it's more important to build relationships with customers and other people you want to reach. And I think communications and marketing and customer service have to band together around social.
Read all of Christopher Heine's Q+A with Scott: Ford's Social Media Star, Scott Monty, Talks About Leaving—and Not Looking Back.