A survey published back in October 2012 revealed that 64% of businesses were using social media as a marketing tool. If this was the case back then, this statistic is likely to have grown considerably today. Among the most popular reasons to use social media for B2B, was to increase brand awareness (83%), encourage social sharing (56%) and acquire trust and followers (55%). Here are some businesses that managed to hit the nail on the social media head.
Maersk have been using social since 2011 and their goal was to raise brand awareness, increase employee satisfaction, gain insight into the market, and get closer to its customers. Its social strategy is to tell the stories that emerge from within the business. This could be stories that talk about what it’s like to be responsible in fuelling a boom in the sale of Kenyan avocados. The company managed to acquire 150 150 unique leads from a Facebook campaign it ran last year that spoke about how its shipping containers navigate the frozen Baltic Sea in the winter. The Facebook campaign lead users to a website, where they could fill in their contact details into a form to download a brochure about the company’s anti-freeze services. Whoever downloaded the form was assumed to be a ‘hot lead’ and the company’s sales team were then asked to follow up.
Today, Maersk has more than 1.5m Facebook fans, of which around 15% are customers. They also have 12,000 Twitter followers, and active accounts on platforms such as Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. They have tailored their social presence to match each network. For instance, on Instagram followers are asked to post pictures of their ships using the hashtag #Maersk, and on LinkedIn, job vacancies are promoted and articles about the work culture within the business are published. Due to these efforts, Maersk is second only to Lego when it comes to engagement on Facebook, according to a recent study.
AGCI is a global agriculture manufacturer that can attribute much of its $10bn in net sales to its social media strategy. Under the parent company AGCO, there are many brands such as Challenger, Massey Ferguson, and Valtra, all of which deal in farm machinery across the world. This is why their social strategy is focussed on using thought leadership to connecting the businesses with machinery dealers and farmers.
AGCO started by gathering information about the kind of social interactions their customers were having online. They found that customers were posting YouTube clips of themselves using the company’s equipment. The company then engaged these users through a mix of educational and informational content such as photos of the farming equipment in action and weekly ’tillage tips’. This strategy has subsequently managed to attract 10,000 Twitter followers, 180,000 Facebook fans, and almost 3,000 YouTube subscribers. By partnering with their dealers, AGCO also offers training and marketing tools to help them promote themselves.