BT North America's social media campaign was a matter of “quality over quantity,” according to Foster. No more than about 160 bloggers and responders are following the network security and sustainability blogs today, she said, but within that group are a fair number of customers and influencers.
In addition, the network security buzz has inspired decent media coverage, including one interview with BusinessWeek.
“It's hard so far to link our social media campaign with sales, because our lead time is substantial,” Foster said. “For us, it's more about opening up opportunities. But it did create dialogue and open doors with customers, and I do expect to get more leads from it.”
Foster is quick to point out that the company is treading lightly in social media because of the danger of “over-branding”—too much promotion in this rigorously independent world that can damage the company's credibility.
“For us, it's narrowcast marketing,” Foster said. “It wouldn't make sense to do a broad-brushed approach, because it would be hard to compete with AT&T and Verizon Wireless. My goal is to go after the decision-makers. Because of that, I think for BT the social tools will grow in importance.” M
HOW BT NORTH AMERICA MEASURES SOCIAL MARKETING
Objective: To establish BT North America's expertise in network security.
Strategy: To leverage social media, including blogs and social and professional networks, to reach out to customers and influencers.
Results: New dialogue has been established, and sales techniques enhanced with security topic ice-breakers.