Does social business always deliver the best customer engagement?
A few weeks ago, Peter Kim wrote a post about his trip to Ford. He mentioned a few different times that Ford’s initiative of inviting external influencers – several different bloggers from countries including Canada, Germany and China was a bold move and that it was a great example of how Ford delivers on being a social business. I agree.
Opening the doors behind the firewall to external people and being open to feedback is certainly one attribute of a social business along with operational elements like communication, connections and culture as Peter mentions.
I have always had this philosophy that a social business enables a brand to communicate more effectively with customers, partners, employees etc. and as Peter says “scale” programs such as Ford’s initiative earlier this month. That being said, a natural conclusion of Ford being a social business is that their external engagement initiatives are second to none.
However, a recent report by Visibli, a real-time analytics platform shows otherwise. Visibli analyzed the top 5 auto brands to see which one of them is most engaging on Twitter, and how they do it. Some of the findings include:
Honda is more engaging on Twitter than Ford and rest of ‘big auto.’
Honda does it by targeting the right followers — 45% of their followers are interested in auto-related content, higher than any of the other brands
Contrary to popular ‘best practice,’ almost 100% of Honda’s tweets are auto-related. Zero variety … but it works!
Other than owning a Honda Civic many, many years ago, I have zero visibility into Honda as a company. Are there social business initiatives happening behind the firewall? Are teams collaborating and engaging internally? I really don’t know and I don’t know anyone who works there.
But here are a few considerations:
This is one study from one vendor; and one could argue that a retweet is not an accurate measure of customer engagement or at least the the only measure of engagement
Perhaps Ford is still early on in their journey of social business transformation per Chris Carfi from Ants Eye View.
It could very well be that Honda just has a stellar marketing team (or agency) and utilizes real-time analytics to provide extremely relevant content to the community – the right content, at the right time, in the right channel to the right customer.
Increased customer engagement is only one output of a social business – other outputs include an increase in employee engagement, increase in employee productivity, efficiency and sales; innovation, collaboration, etc.