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

Related Insights

  • Thoughts

    DER BLINDE FLECK DES DIGITALEN WANDELS

    Eine persönliche Einschätzung über den Anspruch und die Realität eines digitalen Entwicklungslandes.

  • Thoughts

    C.R.E.A.M.

    Cash Rules Everything Around Me – a phrase coined by the infamous Wu-Tang Clan in 1993. Then, it might have been an adequate observation. Nowadays...

  • Thoughts

    3 Great Slideshare Presentations on Digital Strategy

    Anyone working or aspiring to work analytically and strategically should sooner or later read Julian Cole’s presentation Digital Strategy Toolbox...

  • Thoughts

    Recommended Reading: CRM at the Speed of Light

    Paul Greenberg, thought-leader in the CRM-field, lays the basis for Social CRM in the 4th edition of his book CRM at the Speed of Light.

  • Thoughts

    DIGITAL STRATEGY & BRANDED INTERACTIONS

    Understanding brand strategy in context to interaction design is relevant for each digital strategist. A really recommendable book to approach the topic is Marco Spies' Branded Interaction.

  • Thoughts

    Illustrating the Customer Decision Journey: 3 Examples

    One of our core analytical tools is the customer decision journey. Three Social Media examples from the automobile industry depict how marketing measures pursue different goals and thus, play a distinct role in the customer decision journey.

  • Thoughts

    5 READS: HOW DIGITAL IS SHIFTING THE AGENCY LANDSCAPE

    Our top reading recommendations that deal with the question: How has the digital age forced influenced the agency landscape?

  • Thoughts

    Walk the Talk in Colombia

    This March we prepared an innovation marketing workshop with 40 innovation managers at Ruta N in Medèllin, Colombia. Talking about innovation, we thought, it’d be appropriate to do it in an innovative way.

  • Thoughts

    The Funnel-Fish

    While we tend to take the funnel metaphor literally from a marketer perspective– invest as much or targeted as you can in the early stage of the funnel (awareness) – reality from a consumer perspective seems to be a little different...