Ford Motor Company is using Google+ differently than it uses Facebook, the company's social media expert says.
Observers have been trying to compare Google's new social network, Google+, currently in field trial phase, with Facebook, the world's largest social network. But Ford's global social media lead, Scott Monty, says the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is approaching Google+ differently than how it uses Facebook.
Ford has one of the more successful brand pages on Facebook, with more than 750,000 likes.
Known as one of the premier corporate media experts in the business, Monty said in an interview Thursday the company's Google+ page won't be simply a retread of some of its previous social media efforts.
What we've heard from fans is that they don't want a repeat from what we are doing on other social networks, Monty said. So depending on roll out to the general public, we will tailor our content accordingly.
Ford set up its own hacked Google+ page in early July, even though Google stated it was initially only for individuals and not for businesses. But Google reacted very positively to Ford's initiative.
We're positively overwhelmed by how quickly Ford has become involved with the project, said Christian Oestlien, the lead product manager for social advertising at Google, in an interview with Ad Age. They're doing some incredibly cool stuff like the hangout they're doing this afternoon with their customers. It's the kind of stuff we're looking to test.
Ford's Google + page perfectly describes the company's 21st Century efforts. It says, Founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, we make automobiles. And we like social media.
Monty and his team are currently testing out the Google+ community and experimenting with its various features. Through the efforts, Monty says the company is finding out what fans want. Ford will in turn gauge participation appropriately.
Monty has already developed an affinity for some of the Google+ features, in the month he's been on the network.
(The) group video interaction is really slick, he said. Ability to group followers very easily into circles is attractive though we'd like to collaborate with users so that they can self-select into certain circles for specific updates.
Google has previously said official brand pages could come in late July, but Monty considers Ford's page to be official already. It just might evolve more when Google officially rolls out its business page section.
The company has actively used Google+ by uploading photos and videos and engaging the community with statuses. More than 8,000 users have already put Ford into one of their circles, making it one of the most popular early pages on Google+.