Firestone Understands Social Marketing

I captured this screen-shot while browsing Facebook recently.


It’s a great example of social-marketing.

Hard-marketing doesn’t work in social media. That’s why the Firestone ad doesn’t read, “Firestone tires are better than other tires when driving at night.” People get annoyed with hard-marketing when it clutters their valued social spaces, and it doesn’t result in sales.

Instead, the company takes a softer approach, and positions itself as a thought-leader in the automobile industry.

It provides a helpful tip for its audience. Granted, it’s something that most drivers are already aware of, but they are still giving advice to people on how to drive more safely. And it’s also important to note that the driving tip has absolutely nothing to do with tires, the product that Firestone sells the most.

No product is mentioned in the ad. To me, that means that Firestone understands social advertising. They added value in the form of a driving tip to the audience, and backed it up with some subtle branding: “Make your car a Firestone.”

No, I didn’t see the sponsored Facebook post and go to Firestone’s website to buy something. However, Firestone put itself in the forefront of my mind, and made me think positively of the company. When I do need new tires, I’m more likely to buy Firestone.

Do you think that Firestone Tires has the right strategy?


About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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6 Responses to Firestone Understands Social Marketing

  1. Mark Trova says:

    Interesting read. While I do agree with you that this is a great example of social marketing, I do not like it as much as other ads personally. You know this stuff better than me, but I would at least like to see the product in the ad. I also feel like the ad is promoting something completely unrelated to the product, the connection obviously being combining safety from the tires with safety from using your headlights. That’s fair, but I now feel like by doing those things (turning on my lights in the fog/snow) it doesn’t matter which tires I use.

    Not to discourage you…please continue posting.


  2. jmignano10 says:

    Mark – though I get what you’re saying, that’s kind of the point. I don’t know about you, but when I’m on Facebook, the last thing I want to see is someone telling me to buy their tires. I disregard it completely, and turns me off to the company. But I don’t get annoyed with social ads like the one above. Sure, it doesn’t convince me to buy a tire, but that’s not the goal in this case. What they have succeeded in doing, at least to an extent, is adding a small value to me (the advice), making me think more favorably of the brand, and most importantly keeping the brand at the top of my mind.

    The image was a part of a larger campaign – If you go to their Facebook page, there are a lot of these “advice images.” Seen over time, these positive benefits increase more and more.

  3. Alex McDonald says:

    Jim and Mark,

    I am pretty much in the middle on this from you two I believe. I understand what you are both saying. The fun part about advertising is that there are a million different ways to do it and they all can succeed in some form. This type of advertising is strictly brand recognition. They are trying a unique approach for people to see their name, slogan, and motto. Back in 1984 Apple put out a unique commercial for Macintosh and its success was outstanding. That was mainly product advertisement. I look at the endless McDonald’s commercials today and they are rarely advertising a product. They are trying to get people to think of McDonald’s whenever they think of fast food.

    I think this is a solid approach for Firestone which gives them a different advertisement strategy. The fact that there are so many crazy ways to promote, isn’t that the beauty of advertising?


  4. jmignano10 says:

    Thanks for reading, Alex. I’m fascinated by the different strategies as well!


  5. Chris Brashear says:

    Thanks for the kind words and using our page as an example. I also think there is some great dialogue above on different tactics for Facebook and social media in general. Jim you are exactly right that we believe in “adding value” (outside of promoting our products) to our social fans as we consider it a special privilege that our brand(s) co-exist within a users social network, alongside their friends, family, co-workers, etc.

    While we do talk about our products and our company occasionally – we also make an intentional effort to add value by educating, entertaining and connecting our fans with each other. We are glad that is coming through in our social publishing and we are excited to continue to connect with our fans – on their terms – in social media.

    Chris Brashear
    Digital Marketing Strategist
    Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations

  6. jmignano10 says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great to see you present in this forum – thanks for checking out the blog. You’ll be happy to know that I have been in a bit of a writing drought recently, but I couldn’t help myself when your promoted post appeared in my news feed.

    Keep up the great work!

    Jim Mignano
    Digital Media Assistant
    Carestream Health

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