'BtoB' NetMarketing Breakfast: Creating surprise with social media

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New York—Social marketing continues to intrigue, even surprise, marketers with its effectiveness, according to a panel of b-to-b marketers at today's BtoB NetMarketing Breakfast here. “Our one-day Twitter campaign on behalf of our Green Cities Index received 97 million impressions and 195,000 clicks, equivalent to about three months' worth of search engine visibility,” said Joshua Kidd, manager-digital marketing and communications at Siemens USA. “We really didn't expect that. I was surprised it worked.” Siemens' Green Cities initiative assesses and compares cities' environmental performance, and supports the company's work in energy, healthcare and city infrastructure. The company promoted the program with a day's worth of Twitter ads during last summer's Aspen Ideas Festival. “We started off with 250 Twitter followers and after that day had 8,529,” Kidd said. “We also garnered a lot of mainstream media attention. Even though the tweets were geared toward the general public, they ended up reaching most of the b-to-b audience we would target anyway.” Social marketing is working in less surprising ways for IBM Software Group, according to Pam Evans, the division's senior marketing optimization manager. “We use our website as a magnet, drawing people from social networks,” Evans said. “We use our own employees as experts, encouraging them to blog.” Evans said there are 3 million unique visits monthly to, the group's main site. These visitors are met with live chat opportunities to make for a warmer welcome. Evans cited an analysis by consultancy SiriusDecisions that found companies with organized social media strategies drive 30% more inquiries, while increasing conversions by 5%. That's the case with IBM, she said. “There's a big social media effect on demand creation,” Evans said. “Social expands our net universe and our ability to get people in the door.” Content syndication is a central focus for J.P. Morgan Asset Management, which markets its wealth management services to financial advisers. And while social marketing is still dim on the company's radar, thought-leadership content has the effect of creating its own social buzz. “We use a variety of tactics, including videos on YouTube and our site, podcasts, webinars, newsletters and market calls,” said Ken Fredman, head of digital programs and operations. “We try to track engagement, not just clicks,” he said. “We look at visitor activity deep within the site.”
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