Social media can be a great meeting place for businesses and their customers. If you’ve been paying attention to the social space lately, you’ll see a common thread: companies trying to figure out how to connect with customers (and potential customers!).
One might think it’s an easy task for consumer brands. Tweet a coupon and customers will buy. Folks tend to have personal connections (think Apple, the Green Bay Packers, Chevy, Coke and so on) with these products and brands. B2B marketers challenge themselves all the time to create the environments that encourage these interactions.
But how strongly does one feel toward a B2B brand? As it turns out, pretty strong. AdWeek recently featured some insight into how these brands are making strides to become a social business.
Here at Rocket, we’re getting our feet wet with social. And we get to do it on two fronts: building employee proficiency while also tackling the moving target known as social business, or social selling. To get there, we’re experimenting on LinkedIn, where we’re challenging customers, partners and employees alike to engage.
Here’s a fun example:
Last month, VentureBeat asked “Why your 8 year old should be coding?” Since Rocket is a software company with lots and lots of smart engineers who code a lot, I posed the question to our LinkedIn discussion group. What resulted is phenomenal, considering this group is fairly new and Rocket employees haven’t had any formal training or exposure to “social business.”
Over a three-week span, over 45 comments were posted to this question. Each person commented, often many times, on how they got started in the coding game. The conversation quickly centered on each individual’s own memories of when they first got interested in coding, perhaps as a hobby, or later as a profession.
A lot of insight was revealed. Most obviously, we could begin to see how customers and Rocketeers (that’s what we call ourselves) interact. We could see the dynamics prevalent in a simple conversation. We essentially created an online cocktail party. Folks were quick to share and just as quick to engage each other in thoughtful commentary.
Over a simple chat about a common experience we helped put a face and personality to a B2B brand finding its way into the social business world. Powerful stuff.
And if you’re curious, I first learned to write in BASIC back in the 1980s. I was around 12 years old.