B2B social media case studies

There is a real dearth of social media case studies when it comes to business to business. The scarcity is even more profound when you are looking for examples from UK companies. Yet, surveys tell us that almost half of UK companies are active in social media.

We have delved online and found a few good examples of businesses tapping into the social opportunity. We popped them into a presentation so we can share. We have left our B2B social media clients out of this slideshare for the moment, as we hope to publish more detailed reviews to share later this year.

From this small sample there is quite a diverse range of approaches. However, they all follow the same philosophy covered in our report on B2B social media – they place employees at the heart of the engagement.

Dell Dell Trade Secrets programme focuses on first impressions and asks its community and customers to share their thoughts on Twitter and Facebook. The campaign has two aims
1) to create conversations with small business customers
2) promote new laptop – Vostro 130There have been more than 1500 contributions to the Trade Secrets programme as of April 2011
BT Trade Spaces Social networking site for SMEs. It helps them to buy, sell and share in a safe, referral based, environment. BT acts as the curator and host of the community.
FTAdviser Online community that is aimed at finance professionals. Members create profiles, share advice and ideas and can also access a range of tools.
Virgin Media Online community that brings together established business experts and young people with ideas to help turn them into a reality
Avanade #askavanade campaign rolled out at various trade events encouraging attendees to tweet questions to Avanade that are answered on YouTube
HP Business Answers – community site and social media estates offering advice for SMEs as well as forums for discussions
Microsoft Website dedicated to SMEs with Facebook and Twitter profiles to offer advice and conversation
So Renewable So Renewable set up a dedicated Twitter profile to conduct a live Twitter chat to discuss the future of renewable energy and created the hashtag #RenEn11
Doctors.net Implemented a practical-learning based campaign in conjunction with Patient Safety First to doctors.net to encourage changes to be made to practice by interventions. Content including downloadable pdfs, video content, blogs, forums and news were added to the network
RICS Online community, discussion forum and blogs for members of the RICS and other property professionals
Psion Focused on knowledge sharing, IngenuityWorking.com – technology community with a large number of different supporting social media platforms. Well integrated, it brings together users, resellers, developers and Psion’s own staff

What is clear is that B2B social benefits from a very focused and tailored approach. These activities are working because the ideas are unique to the specific audiences targeted. And they are all in context and relevant.

When it comes to platforms being used Twitter dominates, followed by Facebook.  Psion and RICS are spreading their wings and managing five social estates. Almost half of the companies have created communities, either on the social platforms or in their own bespoke site. The engagement levels are deeper. The response to comments and involvement in discussions is more intense than B2C.

Of the sites we found, only one – HP – clearly uses its profiles for customer service. The rest focus on brand building, customer relationship building, loyalty and lead generation.

We are keen to create and share a comprehensive portfolio of UK businesses implementing B2B social media, so if we have missed anyone please add to the comments with notes and a link and we will update the deck and publish it soon.

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