Six great examples of B2B companies using social media

Social media provides a valuable set of tools for B2B marketers. Here are some of the best examples of B2B firms utilising social media across a range of business activities.

HubSpot

Hubspot twitter profile

If you’ve ever searched Google for email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, lead generation or almost any other aspect of digital marketing, you are quite likely to have discovered HubSpot’s content. They are masters of content marketing. Pushing out eBooks, webinars, checklists, toolkits, blog posts and slideshows by the bucketload.

Lead generation with social media

HubSpot utilises social media channels to distribute their content for the purposes of lead generation for their inbound marketing campaigns. Calls-to-action, landing pages and high quality materials ensure that they add large volumes of leads to their marketing funnel, each of which can be tracked by source – even down to the individual tweets. Learn more about how to use inbound marketing in your business.

Boeing

Executives are often compelled to ask what social media has delivered in terms of revenue whilst missing the additional benefits it can bring; Boeing executives are not of this breed though.

Early adopters

Boeing’s use of social media really kicked off in 2005 when Randy Baseler, then VP of marketing (now retired), set up Randy’s Journal. It gathered 500,000 visitors in the first two years online with a strong and active community of employees and enthusiasts alike. Since then, Beoing’s social media usage has increased, with social media playing a significant role in the digital marketing and stakeholder engagement strategy for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (see the video below for more details about that).

Social media newsroom

Boeing look to use social media to engage a wide range of stakeholders – media, customers, shareholders, aviation enthusiasts, etc – with exclusive content that would only ever be available through the company. For Boeing, social media offers a chance to take control of the media output and become their own newsroom.

At Farnborough International Airshow 2010 Boeing created their own microsite which produced news articles throughout the event. Todd Blecher, Communications Director at Boeing, stated: “We attracted 103,710 visitors who made more than 225,000 visits and 222,300 views of our videos. That was remarkable for us. I’m very proud of that effort.” In short, it was a runaway success.

Peddinghaus

Peddinghaus are manufacturers of structural steel fabrication machinery. Structural steel fabrication is not a glamorous industry (trust me, I worked in it for five years) but Peddinghaus Corporation has embraced the latest digital marketing trends by establishing themselves with a large, active and very visible presence on YouTube and Twitter.

B2B video marketing

Peddinghaus offers a good example of what can be achieved when a manufacturing business takes online marketing seriously. Since starting to utilise YouTube two years ago, Peddinghaus has gained over 28,000 video views on their channel. Videos range from basic product demonstration videos through to a series of short case studies showing you the benefits that utilising Peddinghaus equipment can bring to a steel fabrication company.



IBM

One business that has completely embraced social thinking throughout the corporate structure is IBM. Where as many businesses use “social” as a marketing activity, IBM has turned itself into a social business.

Creating a social business

Transforming a business into a social business requires more than simply getting all the employees on to Twitter and LinkedIn. It isn’t just about engaging with customers through blogs or online communitities either. Becoming a social business requires social thinking to be embraced for internal communications as much as external communications. As IBM puts it, “When you inspire your workforce to innovate and collaborate more productively, you create tangible business value.”

The presentation below details how IBM transformed from a traditional business into a social business over the past 20 years.

IBM Social Media Marketing from Tiffany Winman

Cisco

Cisco has been “doing social” for some time now. In 2010 it published the Cisco Social Media Playbook: Best Practice for Sharing (embedded below) which details how Cisco intends to use social media including the four steps of their social strategy: listen, plan, engage, measure, and they have a section of their website dedicated to social media activity.

Reducing costs with social media marketing

One of the most compelling early cases supporting social media marketing came from Cisco back in 2010. When it launched a new router exclusively through social media, the results were astonishing: nearly three times as many press articles as with traditional outreach methods; 9,000 people attended the social media product launch event – 90 times more attendees than in the past; one-sixth the cost of a traditional launch.

The campaign won awards and saved the business over $100,000 compared to a traditional product launch. Impressive results by anyone’s standards.

  Cisco Social Media Playbook:  Best Practice Sharing by Cisco

RS Components

RS Components are the world’s largest distributor of electronic products. As part of a task to develop their online presence within the electronic design engineering community they created DesignSpark, a “global gateway to online resources and design support for engineers.”

The results were impressive:

  • DesignSpark is the fastest growing community of its kind with 45,000 members in its first year.
  • The DesignSpark PCB tool has been downloaded over 60,000 times, helping RS increase their presence within the EDE community.

Read the full DesignSpark case study.








By Martin Broadhurst

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