The beauty of social media lies within its many opportunities: companies can act very local or be totally International in their communication strategy. For B2B companies, social media tools are ideal to broaden their communication strategies, their image and their brand building. Some tools are even for marketing and talent acquisition.
Take The DOW Chemical Company, for example. As a global organization, they cultivate its image globally, but inter-act also locally. In The Netherlands, DOW is praised for its use on Facebook, where they engage locals in easy-to-digest news about what´s going on in their immediate environment and within DOW. This way, the region isn´t only up-to-date as far as the DOW industrial area concerns, but also triggers more positive talk about DOW. (See Marketingfacts: Hoeveel social mediacases in het B2B wil je hebben?)
Overall, at DOW, social media is very much about communication, image and brand building. They’re doing it in a superb way: by detaching from the entire awkward chemistry-subject. Instead they´ve looked along the entire value chain at the “end-consumers” and the benefits they have from solutions coming from DOW. In their communications they concentrate on the impact DOW has on the modern world and on its progress as a “solutions-focussed” company. DOW calls it “solutionism”. This way, the chemical company has many topics to engage with consumers – which aren´t their target group, obviously, but allies in many other ways: DOW´s followers are one big opinion leader, influencing high potentials, shareholders and other stakeholders.
Another positive example for excellent social media engagement is ABB. Personally, I never really knew in how many industries they engage. To me, it was just a big conglomerate. Then I started following them a while ago, read their blog and really enjoyed it. Within a short period, I figured out so many interesting innovations and products that came from ABB I had no idea about before.
Having said this, there are also the “hold-outs”. B2B companies, where employees made some half-hearted attempts in social media and then neglected the sites or tweets. You can find multiple Facebook pages for some of these companies that have questionable content. Even worse: they are liked (I wonder what for?) or followed and therefore shared. This can seriously damage the company´s reputation. They not only lose out in the above opportunities, but are even ridiculed.
All in all, it remembers me a bit of the early days when the Internet started out. I remember employees in an attempt to build their company´s first website. It was all far away from any corporate identity and communication strategy. With animated gimmicks and turning logos. Now, it seems, as if history catches up. At one point, though, these big B2B names won´t be able to withdraw from social media for longer. Right the opposite, the sooner they mark their presence, the bigger the opportunities on declaring their fields of expertise.
- Corporate Social Media: Social Media in the C-Suite (maximizesocialbusiness.com)
- Casey Gollan’s Latest Guide to Using Social Media for Business (prweb.com)
- Wow Your B2B Prospects With Social Selling (business2community.com)