The company typically relies heavily on advertising and PR to get the word out.
But for its Office 365 product, the team took a different approach.
Using partnerships and social media, Microsoft connected specifically with women business owners – a key audience group.
Rather than directing promotional messages toward them, Microsoft involved them in the process from start to finish.
“It’s definitely innovation within a large matrix organization like Microsoft that hasn’t really done this in the past,” said Penny Delgadillo, senior product manager at Microsoft.
In just a two-month period, the entirely social Office 365 “Your Office, Your Terms” campaign garnered 5.8 million overall campaign impressions and four times more traffic from social sharing than the typical Microsoft campaign.
Patton Gleason is the first to admit he can’t sell. And just over a year after going live with his online start-up, the Natural Running Store, he hasn’t had to try.
“I’m a terrible sales guy. I’m awful at it,” Gleason says. “But I really do like this idea of ‘can a relationship really be your big marketing vehicle?'”
Turns out, it can. By wowing customers with unheard-of service, Gleason has come close to replicating the in-store experience online. In doing so, he turned the Natural Running Store into a serious competitor in the running shoe arena.
And he’s done it without spending a nickel on outside advertising. The key has been to give online buyers a very personal touch and create bite-sized content for social media.
“It is 1000% a hustle in relationships,” he says.
“Just in the last year and a half, social media has become not just a component of our product marketing plan, but really the core component,” said Hession, currently senior manager of Autodesk’s AutoCAD product marketing.
“Pretty much for everything we do, we’re looking at, ‘How can we make this work for social?'”
Millions of people worldwide use AutoCAD software to design everything from sunglasses to skyscrapers. If there’s any question that a B2B software company can market effectively with Facebook, look no further than the AutoCAD team.
Today, she runs her own rapidly growing destination, drawing nearly three million page views every month.
Successful professional bloggers aren’t hard to find, but a few things are remarkable about White’s success:
- She writes a do-it-yourself carpentry blog. With White’s help, droves of women are discovering they can build beautiful, stylish things.
- She started with dial-up Internet and does it all from her home in the Alaskan interior (where record-smashing temps recently hit -40° F).
- White succeeded accidentally. She never expected that simply sharing what she loves could support her entire family.
This self-described “homemaker” has an innate knack not only for woodworking but for business as well.
Adding to the pressure, Sony’s social media team had a relatively small budget for the project.
With a creative mix of social media and in-person events, Sony brought out thousands of people to locations to “Catch the Tablet” and tell their friends about it.
Most notably, the campaign created buzz that inspired 1,000 clicks from Facebook to the Tablet S pre-order page, making it the most successful social media effort yet for the company.
But LinkedIn? The stodgier cousin of the group? Not so much.
Yet for PostcardMania, a fast-growing, Florida-based postcard marketing company, unlocking LinkedIn has been a bottom-line booster. It’s not just for job searchers anymore.
Every week, the company consistently counts at least two dozen fresh leads coming directly from LinkedIn – more than Facebook and Twitter deliver.
On the morning of June 10, Kristen Jacobs was monitoring the Twitterverse for mentions of her employer, Creative Memories, as she usually does. One tweet in particular stood out.
Upon closer inspection of the tweet and link, Jacobs discovered that Creative Memories was going head-to-head with one of America’s biggest retailers, Target, in a “Minnesota Brand Madness” challenge put on by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.
But for Alex Morrissey of JamaicansMusic.com, that moment came when a party in Indonesia ran out of goats.
“We spent a lot of time cold calling or direct emailing,” said Craig Robertson, co-founder and CEO of ecycler.com. “We would catch people when they were busy and they didn’t want to talk to us.”
ecycler.com, founded in 2009, is an Internet-age twist on the cash-for-cans concept. Rooted in the belief that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, the site connects recycling discarders with collectors for mutual benefit.