The last place most business men and women expect to find new business contacts is on social media websites. However, places like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Linkdin, are great ways to connect with customers on a business to business level. This unconventional way to reach new business clients seems as though it may be a shot in the dark, but many companies are finding that using social media in B2B marketing is highly effective.
1. Kinaxis Directs Traffic with Online Community
Under the direction of Kristen Watson, Kinaxis developed an online community for business professionals. By finding where their target audience spent their time online Kinaxis could become present on the site and the target audience could be directed to the Kinaxis community. The goal was to double web traffic as well as the conversations about Kinaxis to bring information about the company’s supply-chain management solutions.
2. Oracle Uses Hub and Spokes Model to Drive Social Media
The goal in Oracle‘s social media strategy was not to create a new form of social media, but to enhance the already existing Oracle Partner Network (OPN). This means that, using the OPN as the so called hub of the operation and the social media links as the spokes to engage the customers more deeply in the activity of the OPN. Oracle trained 25000 partners virtually, while they maintain a partner to partner value.
3.Blogging Engineers at Indium
Indium, a developer, manufacturer, and supplier of electronic assembly materials, recruited 14 engineers to blog on its website. The blog provides an alphabetic archive of posts that can lead to conversation and business for Indium. Each of the blogging engineers has a profile including a headshot, bio and contact information which allows for a more personal connection with potential partners.
4. American Express OPEN Engages Small Business Owners
American Express OPEN realized the priority of social media to potential customers and developed OPEN forum. It is so popular that the site has succeeded in increasing the number of visitors by 525% in the past year and now have over 1 million followers. The site also includes an ‘Idea Hub’ where member can network and customize topics to their interests.
5. HSBC Bank Invests in Social Media
The businesses that have invested in HSBC in past years, as well as potential new customers have access to the HSBC Business Network, a social media tool that allows both the customers and non-customers to share and engage in the active forum. This forum was so successful that it is now almost entirely user run and the homepage is filled with messages and posts from users. This social media tool is not only a way for HSBC to connect and provide for the businesses already investing in them, but a way to reach new target entrepreneurs.
6. Cisco’s Meltdown Viral Campaign
Cisco boasts it’s unified mobile communicator service to IT and business clients through a video of a businessman having a meltdown in a hotel because he cannot reach a coworker. The video goes from hilariously bad to worse as the man’s frustration builds until he explodes into rage. The video is incredibly entertaining for over 80,000 people have viewed in on YouTube. This video also has a clear call to action which the creators of this campaign must surely hope viewers will act upon.
7. Microsoft Advertising as a Social Media Powerhouse.
For years Microsoft Advertising has successfully used social media strategies to connect and market to businesses. With a new community site called adCenter and new accounts with Twitter and Facebook, it’s clear that social media marketing is a high priority for Microsoft Advertising. Other forms of social media they utilize to grow the adCenter community are videos, blogs, photos and coverage of industry events.
8. Archer Technologies Community and Exchange
Archer Technologies has launched two social media campaigns; the first, Archer Community, is an online forum for customers to share and connect on. There they post feedback that helps the development of Archer products. The Archer Exchange provides an online marketplace that connects customers to downloadable applications developed by other Archer clients.
9. Cree Uses Social Media for Awareness
LED Manufacturer Cree hopes by embracing social media with their current campaign “LED Revolution” focuses, not on sales, but to promote knowledge about LED lights. Each day this interactive website is updated with hilarious videos that encourage the viewers to, “break the fluorescent shackles.” In addition Cree also uses Facebook and Twitter as leverage in a push/pull approach.
10. SolidWorks Viral Video
The engineering software company, SolidWorks, created a series of viral videos appealing to engineer’s sense of humor. Titled “SolidWorks vs. Origami Master Torimoto,” the video highlights key aspects of SolidWorks’ benefits as well as their core products. The clear call to action in the video creates leads for SolidWorks.