Sometimes it takes more than statistics to make a point. Sometimes, you need to show people the example that demonstrates the statistic before it is real to them.
Last week, I wrote about how B2B firms were successfully using social media to marketing their businesses. There were some great stats and charts from the recent 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. The reception was great. Then there was a tweet from an old friend: "Why didn't you show an example?"
Fair question. One I should have thought of at the time. But, that's the beauty of blogging - there's always another opportunity to do it better!
As luck would have it, in the past few weeks I have come across some great examples of B2B firms successfully using social media marketing. Fortunately, I had spooled those examples for future use - spool is one of my favorite social media curation tools - should the need arise.
Sharing a Blog
The first example comes from a Social Media Examiner blog by Phil Mershon featuring 7 mini-case studies of social media success. One of the companies featured in Mershon's post is Openview Partners, a B2B venture capital firm that helps emerging growth technology companies with startup funding. The company has used social media to add 10,000 new subscribers to its blog.
One of the key tactics you can take with your social media marketing is to make sure that your content is easy to share using social media tools. In the case of Openview, they have all of the social media sharing icons and social media pages easily accessible from the blog. It's interesting to note that they have included a link to their Google Currents page, which makes the posts easily accessible for mobile users.
Another great example of B2B social media marketing prowess is one of our favorites here, and that would be HubSpot, the leading provider of Inbound Marketing software tools, and our strategic partner.
There are very few content offerings from HubSpot that cannot be shared via social media. Certainly, the blog is easily shared, and you can use multiple social media tools to follow the company. Advanced content is easily shared as well, as most tip sheets, e-books and webinars can be readily shared.
HubSpot also has a rocking LinkedIn page and vigorously uses its available channels to promote its content.
The other example that came through the other day is a company that does both B2B and B2C. It's a company most folks would probably not consider a top company for social media, but this company is doing things we can all learn from. When it comes to social media marketing, you have to consider American Express a leader.
They are much more than little green cards, these days. American Express has a robust presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Foursquare. Through those channels they are sharing text, images, video and special offers to millions. Jeff Bullas recently profiled the company's social media efforts in a blog. In this image, he highlights positives from their Twitter feed.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention our own efforts here at Weidert Group. Social media has been an area of great success for us, and we have learned many lessons along the way. At the top of this blog you will find social sharing buttons. To the upper right are the social "follow-me" buttons and at the bottom we include Twitter links for you to immediately follow us.
We not only make it easy for readers to share our content, we share content throughout the day as individuals and from our company Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social profiles. The result has been a steady growth in followers, overall traffic and leads.
We've had to make some technical adjustments along the way, but our social media marketing strategy has been our number one driver of leads for the past 6 months.
Social media can be a powerful driver of prospect and customer engagement for your B2B company. It does require an investment in time and the discipline to be consistent, but the results can be quite rewarding.
To learn more about integrating social media into your overall marketing plan, download our free eBook: "How To Use Social Media to Attract More Visitors to Your Website."