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Engaging Business: The 4 Most Creative Uses of Social Media in B2B

Social media has a lot of things to be proud of. It’s connected more people, brands, businesses and organisations together than any other period in history. It really has become a viable tool in marketing, advertising and PR. How viable? When it comes to B2B, consider the recent report that stated:

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  • Almost 90% of B2B marketers use social media
  • 87% use it to distribute content, which is a 10% increase from 2011
  • Already, half of marketers rate social media as an effective or very effective form of content marketing

Treading a fine line

It’s a tricky arena to navigate certainly. Social media done wrong can be embarrassing. Worse, it can have a substantial negative effect on brand and profit. You only have to see 2013’s worst social media fails to understand that care must be taken at all times. However, we’re here to focus on the times when it’s done right. The examples when social media has proven an effective method of marketing for B2B, especially when those businesses are not typically associated with innovative social campaigns…

Adobe

In April 2012, Adobe promoted their new Creative Suit 6 product. They did this by promoting an innovative scavenger hunt around the city of San Francisco.  Returning items to Adobe HQ was the goal. Clues and product information were shared via social media platforms, including Foursquare and Instagram. The winner would receive a generous prize of £6,000 and a lifetime membership to Adobe’s Creative Cloud platform.

Results:

  • Over 80,000 social conversations, of which only 3% were negative
  • Twitter based conversations resulted in almost 4,000 hashtag tweets and generation of over 30 million impressions
  • Responsible for three million referrals from social platforms to Adobe’s website, along with 13% of Creative Cloud subscriptions.

TippEx

Utilising YouTube in a very unique and effective manner, stationary company TippEx created a memorable and effective campaign that yielded effective results. They used a branded YouTube channel to create an interactive experience with the user. The user had the ability to choose how the story played out in the video.

Results:

  • 35 million views within four months
  • Average brand exposure of five minutes
  • Shared on Facebook & Twitter over 350,000 times
  • Aided towards sales increase in Europe of 30%

Maersk

Maersk provide shipping and maritime technology, which won’t set the social world on fire. However, they tried and succeeded by revitalising their public persona in an effort to gain employees. By first concentrating on their own employees (25,000+), they built an in-house audience that could then connect with external sources such as family and friends and people who might be interested in a career with Maersk. By using social media as a method of creating value instead of selling, Maersk enhanced their brand perception.

Results:

  • 700,000 Facebook fans
  • 12 social platforms, forming over 170,000 interactions
  • Almost 70% of visitors clicked through to recruitment pages
  • Applications rose 116%

DocuSign

DocuSign is a transaction management company. Again, not a brand you would associate with being an influential social presence. However, they used LinkedIn’s InMail platform effectively to make waves and generate new leads.

They targeted members of LinkedIn with senior position job titles at companies that had over 500 employees. The emails were carefully considered and written, reducing talk on sales and sent from experts in those industries. These experts had also taken part in the company’s webinars, further building trust.

Along with links to DocuSign webinars attached which also brought the recipient to video content and case studies, it gave a much clearer and more entertaining understanding of who DocuSign were as a brand.

Results:

  • First InMail garnered over 1,700 opens and 140 clickthroughs
  • Over 350 people registered for webinars
  • DocuSign’s LinkedIn community increased by 300 people.

Done correctly, social media can provide B2B with great results. Sometimes, all it takes is a creative mind and the drive to see it through.

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