Social media has captured our attention and time as well as our imaginations. Businesses know this and cleverly use the various platforms to reach customers and expand their audiences. We’re all familiar with the shooting stars, like NASA’s #AYearInSpace campaign, and we can’t forget Oreo’s Super Bowl famous “dunk in the dark” tweet, but what about the brands that are killing it on a pretty regular basis? Take a lesson or two from these top B2B social media campaign leaders – so you can kill it on social media too.
Leverage your employees as brand advocates: Dell – Facebook
Technology company, Dell, is one of the social media pioneers, including employee advocacy. Employees are encouraged to share their own content in addition to what the company’s marketing team provides. The Dell social media goal, according to program head, Amy Heiss, is for 80% of posts to be employee generated and reflect what is important to them and relevant to Dell customers while 20% is directly about Dell.
Let your customers know that you get them: Salesforce – Twitter
Put your customer in the spotlight and you can’t go wrong. Salesforce asked a simple question: how did their cloud solutions change their customers’ lives. They mentioned that they would be featuring customer stories and the campaign took off. Not long after that initial tweet, the company started creating inspiring stories of the real people behind the product, the customers. People love well written human interest stories and that shows in the incredible engagement that these posts attract.
Find the story in everything: Intel – YouTube
The chip manufacturer shows that no matter what, in everything there is a story. The thousands of videos on their YouTube channel are about chips, but not exclusively. They also tell the stories about what the chips they create actually do in the world, what they make happen. Each video is very nicely shot, not over the top cinematic, but nice visuals and professional photography. The stories are well told, speaking to the wide range of audiences that comprise the company’s diverse customer base.
Use a clever and relevant call to action: Powwownow – LinkedIn
This web conferencing and conference call service knows how to live in the moment – and make their product necessary no matter what is going on. Their multichannel “call and conquer” campaign is a reminder that no matter what is happening around you, be it a snow storm or the London tube strike, you can still stay connected with clients and those meetings can happen even if you can’t be there face to face.
Go live! GE – Facebook Live
There is something about being real, raw, and honest in the moment that capture’s people’s interest. GE has brought that realness and humanity to their brand with unscripted, unchoreographed Facebook Live videos, showing that it isn’t just for the B2C crowd. It allows you to interact with your customers in real time, answering questions and responding to comments. Create some buzz and drive participation by crowdsourcing questions.
Allow your whimsical side to shine: IBM – Instagram
The technology company that once had one of the most conservative dress codes in business now shows the world that it can let its hair down and have some fun. Using stunning, eye catching images and a sprinkle of whimsy here and there, the brand’s 223k followers are encouraged to leave comments for employees or caption images of behind the scenes peeks into IBM’s offices and functions around the globe. It’s OK to have some fun on social media – your audience will love it.
It’s OK to have some fun on social media – your audience will love it. Tweet This!
Tell your brand story in a big way: MarketStar – Facebook
This Utah marketing firm really knows how to tell a story. With fantastic graphics and engaging content, they use their social media accounts to support their blog, but also use their employee stories to tell their own story. By generating blockbuster content like the classic Zombie Lead blog post, the boosting it across their social media channels, they create clever, shareable content that lives forever.
Create well thought out and well shot video content: Volvo Trucks – YouTube
The world famous “Epic Split” video featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme shot to viral fame with millions of views and hundreds of thousands of likes and comments – plus a nice, hefty bump in the company’s subscriber base. You don’t need a celebrity to boost your brand, though. You just need content that is done well.
Form partnerships with influencers in your customers’ industry: Lenovo – Twitter
How can a technology company set itself apart? By leveraging influencers in their customers’ industries, that’s how. Lenovo has executed this impressively by engaging in strategic partnerships such as their relationships with the MIT App Inventor program and educational non-profit NAF. The company voices its support of these organizations and their causes, attracting attention to their brand and increased engagement.
Have fun and use visuals: MailChimp – Instagram
MailChimp’s social media involvement is a little zany and a bit bizarre – they definitely are not afraid to show the lighter side of marketing automation. Their “Did You Mean MailChimp” campaign was a real crowd pleaser as the company had a little fun with the many ways that people have mistaken their name. Their Instagram feed is chock full of creative, funny images that not only show what they do, but allows the brand’s personality to bubble to the surface.
The key takeaway here is to speak to the human first, customer second. Underneath it all, customers are still living, breathing, emoting human beings and if you can reach that humanity, touch those emotions, and spark that imagination, you will find social media success.
Stephanie M is a writer living in East Central, Alabama, but she didn’t always lead such a peaceful, carefree life. A few years ago she made a daring escape from the “cube farm” at a Federal Agency in Washington, D.C. (after eight very long years) where she worked. as an analyst focusing on disaster response, technical writing, program management, and FOIA.