The Web is awash with articles exalting the benefits of social media, so it's more than a little ironic that B2B marketers still find themselves searching online for social-media information that speaks to their unique needs and challenges.
Even though B2C companies get the lion's share of coverage, B2B organizations of vastly different sizes and in various industries are making striking gains in employing newer Web technologies to increase their market share and solve revenue challenges.
Developed especially for B2B marketers, this article provides social-media case studies for companies ranging from industry veterans SAP and BusinessWeek to newer and smaller firms Equation Research and Radian6.
As a bonus, the marketers behind each winning effort share key Tips to help other B2B marketers develop social-media programs.
1. B2B Skills Training: SAP's social-media footprint brings customers back into their ecosystem, decreases purchasing cycles
SAP is the largest IT vendor in the world—and, interestingly, also the globe's No. 1 training organization. In 2008, SAP Education needed to attract more skilled business and IT professionals to the SAP ecosystem for their skills-training needs. And to help accelerate the knowledge of new workforce participants, SAP had to find faster, more flexible and time-sensitive ways to reach, train, and enable professionals.
Learning on Demand by SAP, with the new feature of offering individual courses or full catalog subscriptions, was born from this need.
To promote this initiative, SAP needed a strategy that would allow it to communicate and connect with prospects outside of the sales process. Marketing turned to social media in order to create a dynamic "digital footprint."