Scott Monty is Ford Motor Company’s social media strategist, and lately his efforts to get the brand out there, when brand loyalty is needed most, have seemingly done more for Monty’s rep. than his client’s. It’s all playing out over on Gawker Media’s Jalopnik.com, a blog for those who love automobiles like you love advertising dirt.
The vast coverage Monty has gotten for recently helping Ford out of a bind via Twitter has garnered two response posts on Jalopnik in the last few days as well as a fury of comments from readers who wonder what’s up with the Ford brand.
It started with a story in FastCompany, written by an “expert blogger” (who it was later revealed is just a subscriber to the site who used it to create her own blog), that extolled Monty’s efforts in quelling a feud between Ford and a fan site. Apparently, Ford sued the fan site for allegedly selling gear with Ford’s logo on it, which the site owner then wrote about on Ford forums and everything went to hell. Until Monty stepped in, and began tweeting away on his personal account to his (then) 5,600 followers about how he was working with the legal department to work it out. “Please retweet” he ended his tweets, and things calmed down.
So Monty did in a sense save the day, and he used social media to do it. But since then, Jalopnik contends, the “social media expert” has been fluffed by media outlets, including FastCompany, who should instead be focusing on the brand’s entrance into social media rather than one man’s efforts to get it there. Why do they consider it fluffery? Because finding Ford on Twitter isn’t as easy as searching “Ford”, and furthermore Ford’s use of social media isn’t any more significant than any other brand doing the same.
Ford company has a number of accounts for different portions of the brand, but Monty reached the masses via ScottMonty. As Jalopnik’s Ray Wert writes, “… if Scott Monty wanted to show that he was really doing this for Ford, he’d open up a Ford Twitter account — an idea seconded by another social media site — to use daily for his work rather than his current ScottMonty twitter account. Because right now it seems like he’s set up more for ScottMoCo promotion than for FoMoCo promotion.”
This little feud is something of a hip-check to Monty, who may be overstepping the social media boundary — whatever that is. Because although we may look at the situation and say, “Monty did nothing wrong, per se” the same may not be true for Jalopnik readers — and other Web savvy Ford lovers. Right now, the automaker needs to focus on selling cars, not their social media guru.