Growing Importance of Social Media in B2B Marketing: 5 Examples
As part of the research for one of our social media trainings, we took a closer look at the topic of Social Media in B2B Marketing. We learned that many companies have already recognized the advantages a dialog via Social Media with B2B customers or partners implies; if executed and promoted accurately.
This dialog, then, becomes handy in different corporate departments such as research & development, marketing, sales or customer service.
The automotive industry, for example, has a strong interest in approaching its corporate customers and car dealers via Social Media, in order to obtain customer insights, offer sales support or even improve customer service. Yet, only few car manufacturers have converted their interest into actions successfully.
The following examples show how synergies arise through the interconnection and communication in the B2B sector and how sustainable benefits can be generated.
Ford Direct – Dealer Center is a cooperation platform of the Ford Motor Company, aimed at its franchise dealers in the US. The site provides extensive tools, services and expertise on digital marketing, e-commerce and reputation management. Dealers learn, for example, how to use Social Media for CRM measures, using 20 different social networks.
Inside Caterpillar Community, the construction machine manufacturer enables customers to meet each other to learn more about their vehicles and their use in everyday work. Customers receive expert advice and tips there from both; Caterpillar and colleagues.
MYVAN is an international social TV platform by Mercedes-Benz Vans for business customers and van enthusiasts. Especially craftsmen and technicians find a diverse range of infotainment formats on Mercedes-Benz and other commercial vehicle brands. The content – videos, images and editorial articles – are shareable and commentable. The exchange on the content is encouraged via additional channels such as Facebook, YouTube and Flickr.
Product Improvement: In order to respond to B2B or B2C customer wishes and, most importantly, to learn from their experiences, the Ford Motor Company USA operates the Ford Social platform. Ford owners describe their everyday stories, get advice and tips, or submit ideas for innovation and development of the vehicles.
Ford Service@Twitter shows how a car manufacturer nowadays can successfully offer both, B2C and B2B customer service. As frontrunner, Ford answers questions and service issues on one service account; separated from its other brand marketing focused accounts.
Published by Martin Harloff
Image by Penn Olson
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