While other corporations are using the Internet to tout their support of minority communities, Ford has demonstrated their support by creating a new online community. Many corporate diversity websites are thinly veiled, self-serving marketing ploys. Just ask McDonald’s about the Social Media backlash against their website 365Black. On the other hand, Tu Voz, which means “Your Voice” was created for the Hispanic target in their language with content about their lives.
The first thing you notice looking at the homepage is amount of original content. Structured like a blog the site offers several general interest posts a day created by four well-known female Hispanic media personalities. Ford does have two featured banner ads, but the original, consumer oriented content is the star. Every post doesn’t force a Ford reference and the Hispanic authors don’t start out saying how much they love Ford. At the bottom there are a couple posts featured that review Ford’s cars next to reviews for sandals.
The consumer can participate and become a part of this community and the personalities regularly respond to comments. Social Media is leveraged with a Facebook Fan page and a Twitter account. Is it working? Within five months of the launch, online ads received a click-through rate, from .3 percent up to 1.77 percent. More than half of the people who signed up for the contests opted in for future communications from Ford. And unique viewers have bested the original goal by 16 percent, while the average time spent has beaten the baseline by 73 percent.
According to Census Bureau statistics the Hispanic community is the nation’s largest minority group and is comprised of a variety of national backgrounds including Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban. But Tu Voz has taken advantage of the Spanish language and media/entertainment commonality of this influential group.
Other research indicates this minority group wants to carve out their own path and is in search of an online community that reflects their unique lifestyle, issues and culture. Ford’s Tu Voz is positioned perfectly to meet those needs while still delivering an unobtrusive sales message about Ford vehicles. Ford is doing their part to capture a chunk of the $700+ billion that brand loyal Hispanics spend every year.