“You can use any social media channel for B2B,” said Erica Ayotte, social media marketing manager at Constant Contact.
“Anyone who says you can’t is not being creative enough.”
She should know. Her team has grown their Pinterest following to over 18,000 in less than two years.
How does a company that is not retail and not inherently visual use Pinterest to reach a B2B target audience?
The keys are to expand your idea of what your brand is, think visually and have a curating mindset. Here’s how Constant Contact appeals to their small-business market on Pinterest.
Owner Jeff Matt started Victory Auto Service and Glass in 1997 with one shop in the suburbs of Minneapolis.
He always made an effort to develop personal relationships with his customers who trusted him with their cars.
The business grew to three locations by 2010, and Matt found it harder to maintain the small-shop feel. “When you have multiple stores and multiple managers, you can’t be everything to everybody,” he said.
Three years ago, he approached Stephanie Gutierrez, a long-time customer, about helping the business get started in social media.
By experimenting with different approaches, they hit upon a winning formula that promotes the personal connections Matt has always valued.
The San Francisco Giants have the most engaged fan base in Major League Baseball.
They’re recognized as social media standouts in the sports world.
But as recently as three years ago, they had no cohesive voice on social media and no social media strategy.
The Giants were a traditional organization in a traditional sport. In 2010, when they brought in Bryan Srabian as social media director, they were getting information to fans by broadcasting. Typically this meant holding press conferences and sending out press releases or email blasts.
But then Srabian had an “Aha!” moment. He was reading a book by Chris Brogan and then had a conversation with him on Twitter. “We don’t really talk to our fans at all,” he thought. But they could.
It was time for a new model based on listening and responding. But first they had to find out what fans were saying, and where they were getting their information.
Are you B2B in a niche market and wondering if social media is relevant to your audience?
Drillinginfo, a software as a service (SaaS) company serving the global oil and gas industry, is a B2B provider in a very specialized niche market, which has been actively using social media since September 2012.
Their goals are to emphasize their role as an oil and gas intelligence company and boost the perception of the company as a thought leader in the industry.
Since September 2012, they have increased their blog readership by over 2000% and developed relationships with influential industry leaders through social media.
Current and potential customers have indicated that the Drillinginfo blog is a premier source of information in the oil and gas industry, which is exactly what the company wants.
“I’ve been able to make a much deeper connection with my audience,” Flynn said. “When I go to conferences, the first thing people who meet me say is, ‘I love listening to your podcast.’”
He has become an expert at connecting with his audience. Over 71,000 people subscribe to his blog, and thousands more follow his social media accounts and download his podcasts.
“Business isn’t B2B anymore, or B2C,” said Flynn, “It’s P2P—person to person,” attributing that insight to Chris Ducker.
Are you using social media to create awareness for the services you offer?
Keep reading as I reveal how a nursing home used social media to build a loyal local community.
Nursing Homes and Social Media?
Nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and rehab communities are not known for being active in social media—yet.
But changes in Medicare mean communication with patients and families and the employees who care for them is more important than ever.
“The way that we’re going to be paid and the way we’re going to be gauged is changing; it’s evolving as we speak,” said Scott Unverferth, director of operations at HCF Management in Lima, Ohio.
New pay-for-performance models are on the horizon for managed care companies such as HCF.
HCF has 27 facilities throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania that provide skilled nursing care, rehab care and assisted living. They have approximately 3,200 employees and have been in business since 1968.
In April 2012 they made the leap into social media and haven’t looked back.
She is a sought-after contributor to up-and-coming social media sites and is a brand ambassador and consultant to national brands.
Keep reading to learn how Stacy stays on top of the changing world of social while managing her busy home life and clients.
The story of Apollo 13 astronauts trying desperately to get back to Earth after a failed mission has a lesson for B2B marketers.
Astronauts used the moon’s gravitational pull to slingshot them so they had enough power left to get back to Earth.
B2B marketers: Facebook is your moon.
Could your business benefit from connecting to the 80% of online teens using social media?
In this article I explore how Sharpie has successfully garnered 89% market share with the aid of social media.
The Teen Market
Instagram is now the most popular photo-sharing site among teens age 12-17. One million of them visited the site last July alone.
Add to that the 93% of social media–using teens who have a Facebook account (according to Pew Internet research), and the 16% who use Twitter (a figure that has doubled in recent years), and you’ve got a lot of teenage eyeballs.
But to connect with a teen target market, you must do more than simply have a presence on the sites they use. You must also pay attention to what motivates and inspires them.
Take some tips from permanent marker manufacturer Sharpie. Their successful 2012 Back to School campaign helped grow their market share to 89% of their category through a savvy understanding of how teens use social media.