It looks GM is putting some weight behind their Social Media Marketing.
Big Fuel, the New York-based agency that handles all of General Motors’ social media marketing, is opening a Detroit office to service the account and is on a hiring binge. Avi Savar, the CEO and founder of Big Fuel (pictured), said he has about 15 people on the ground in Detroit right now and is looking to double that number by March. The agency has another 80 people in New York and handles other clients including McDonald’s, Neutrogena and Colgate-Palmolive’s Wisp toothbrush. Savar said he hopes to have a staff of more than 200 by the end of 2011.
Big Fuel was brought on about three months ago. Previously, the agency had been gearing up to work with Hyundai, but when Hyundai’s lead marketer Joel Ewanick moved over to GM (after a short stint at Nissan), Ewanick persuaded Big Fuel to come over. The agency hasn’t executed any campaigns on behalf of GM yet, but Savar said a few are set to launch in January. This includes one for the Chevrolet Cruze called “Cruze-arati” that gives Cruzes to people who have big followings on social media.
GM’s social media marketing had previously been handled in house by, among others, Chris Barger and Mary Henige. The two were behind a program back in March in which eight teams of drivers/bloggers attended South By Southwest on GM’s behalf. GM’s social media marketing, however, has often been overshadowed by rival Ford, whose Scott Monty has more than 48,000 followers on Twitter. Ford also made a splash this summer when it introduced the Ford Explorer on Facebook and, in November, began circulating videos featuring celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Bret Michaels responding to consumers’ questions about the model.