Make Any Product a Social Media Star
Is your B2B product dull, boring and unexciting? Do you feel that it is nearly impossible to create a captivating, engaging social media strategy around it? Well, perhaps you’re just making excuses. Yes, it is much easier for B2C companies to utilize social media accounts to engage their audiences. With that being said, some B2B companies have found their inner creativity and made inventive social media campaigns around their not-so glamorous product.
Below I have complied a list of five B2B companies that have ingeniously found a space in the social sphere. Take a note from the pros and learn that any company can have a fantastic social media presence!
The Fighting Five: B2B Companies Doing Remarkable Things on Social Media
SunGard, one of the world’s leading software and technology service companies, provides software and processing solutions for financial services, education, and the public sector. Not the most stimulating product in the world. So how did SunGard make its mark on the social media world? They jumped on the zombie fad bandwagon.
A la Walking Dead, SunGard created an engaging zombie-themed eBook & infographic. The results were outstanding. There was a three-times-greater download rate than expected, 5.7% email open rate, plus a 150% higher click-through rate vs. other campaigns. It ended up delivering 24 leads!
SunGard even won “Best Integrated Campaign,” “Best Direct Mail Campaign,” and “Best Email Campaign” at the B2B Marketing Awards. They also won the Stevie Awards for “B2B Campaign of the Year” and “B2B Marketing Team of the Year”.
Lesson learned: By creating engaging content that feeds off a recent trend you can create highly sharable content that will flourish on social media.
Salesforce.com has turned to inbound marketing in order to become more visible online, creating a library of eBooks, webinars, videos, infographics, and whitepapers. To top it all off, they have an informative blog that covers the worlds of sales, customer service, marketing, cloud, mobile, and social.
One of the most important rules Salesforce follows is the 90/10 rule. Ninety percent of Salesforce’s content is about customers, while only ten percent is about their product. This is a great strategy that has resulted in a traffic increase of three hundred percent on their social sites.
Lesson learned: Don’t simply promote your own content. Focus on sharing other relevant information with your audience and making them the focus.
3) American Express
The multinational financial services corporation, American Express, launched something completely unique in 2009. OPEN Forum, an online networking site for business owners, aims to give advice to small business owners through blog posts, videos, and other content. Once you’re a member you can share ideas with other users and learn from industry experts in the various forums.
OPEN Forum is supported through its Facebook page and Twitter account. On Twitter they currently have close to 200,000 followers, while on Facebook they have over 330,000 fans. By creating a place where you can launch your content, as well as provide a place for your customers to share ideas, you ultimately gain more clients.
Lesson learned: Nurture a community.
Kinaxis, a company that delivers on-demand supply chain management and S & OP service, has a less-than sexy product. To combat this blandness, they created an online social video campaign featuring some Hollywood B-listers. Remember Kevin Pollack from A Few Good Men or Ray Wise from Jeepers Creepers II ? Probably not. However, the content of the series is still funny. Example: Suitemates follows two businessmen around their new home — which just happens to be jail.
Lesson learned: While we all don’t have this kind of budget, there is still a valuable lesson to be learned from Kinaxis’s successful social video campaign. When appropriate, it’s highly useful to use humor in your promotions, especially when it comes to social media.
HP, a technology company that operates in more than 170 countries, has found success on Google+. Yes, you heard me right. A company has found phenomenal success on the not so popular, but highly important social network, Google+.
HP has utilized the community aspect of Google+ by creating various communities where followers can access more specific information related to HP. They have over 500,000 fairly active followers — a major achievement.
Lesson learned: By segmenting your social media audience you can provide valuable and better suited content to each of your subgroups. As a result, you create a more efficient social media strategy.