20 Support Cases for Using Social Media in B2B Marketing

20 Support Cases for Using Social Media in B2B Marketing
Jamie Lee Wallace - Thu Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:59AM
Comments: 32

The ubiquitous debate over whether or not social media is appropriate for B2B marketing is, frankly, getting to be quite tiresome. Though I will readily acquiesce that application of social media techniques within the B2B realm requires careful attention to a specific set of considerations, the bottom line is that all marketing (whether B2C or B2B) targets Real People. Real People are social. They enjoy conversations and value authentic relationships. Those are what well-executed social media efforts deliver.

I think the question is less about whether social media is appropriate and more about how it is most appropriately used. I wish I could provide accurate attribution to the concept of business-to-consumer vs. B2C or B2B - that's an idea worth pondering. (For more insights, read Chris Brogan's excellent post defining the difference (and similarity) between traditional B2C and B2B.)

There is so much to explore within this topic, but - for today - all I want to do is provide you with an arsenal of links to posts, reports, and videos that document and support the use of social media in B2B. Whether you're an in-house marketing director trying to convince your boss to spend some cash on social media, or a marketer-for-hire trying to convince your clients to dip their toes into the water; you'll find something in this list to bolster your case.

Most importantly, if you know of any great case studies, surveys, special reports, or random success stories involving B2B social media; please leave a comment below with all the details.


SAP Case Study via @JuntaJoe
This case study from Social Media Today outlines how SAP used a social community platform to boost engagement and saw "side effect" benefits in their brand and strategy development.

Forrester Research Report about B2B Buyer Participation in the Social Web @jbernoff
Author Josh Bernoff says it all when he describes the results of the Forrester survey as "startling, to say the least." B2B audiences are not as anti-social as you might think.

Laura Ramos Interview re: B2B Social Media
Laura Ramos (VP and Principle Analyst, Forrester) co-authored the Forrester study noted above. In this interview with Ben Hanna of B2B Online Marketing she provides some additional insights into the report.

B2B Conversion in 10 Social Media Steps @bethharte
Beth Harte of Harte Marketing shares her personal story of learning about, vetting, and ultimately engaging Hubspot - all through social media channels.

Slide Presentation: Social Media for B2B Technology Companies @marketplane
This slide deck from MarketPlane provides a quick overview as well as some nitty-gritty detail and a few concise case studies that support the use of social media in the B2B arena.
On demand Webinar (May take a while to download - patience is key.)

B2B Lead Gen via Social Media @brianjcarroll
Brian Carroll breaks down the 6 social media lead generation steps used by a company profiled in a Marketing Sherpa case study. He also alludes to the personal business success he has experienced through social media participation.

UPS, Social Media, and Radian 6 via @ScottHepburn
A quick overview of how UPS - both a B2C and B2B company - is using social media in their marketing efforts.

Social Media and Regional Business @shelisrael via @ScottHepburn
Shel Israel of Twitterville interviews Mat Saddoris, owner/operator of United Linens, on the subject of that company's use of social media (blogs and twitter).

B2B and Social Media - Not Just Marketing @shelisrael via @ScottHepburn
In this interview with IBM's Adam C. Christensen, Shel Israel drills down to the philosophy behind IBM's social media policies and discovers the internal benefits of using platforms like twitter for global collaboration.

You'd Better Be Where Your Customers Are @TDefren
Todd Defren of Shift Communications makes the simple but insightful point that if your customers are online, you should be too.

Twitter and B2B - It's Real
B2B Magazine posts about how B2B companies are using twitter. Article includes quotes from Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO of Eastman Kodak Co.; Jon Miller (@jonmiller2), VP-marketing at b-to-b software vendor Marketo (@marketo); and Dan Schawbel, EMC's social media specialist (@danschawbel).

ExecTweets - Twittering from the Big Guns
Visit this site to see a tweetstream dedicated to the 140-character musings of top execs from companies like Intuit, Unilever, Microsoft, NASA, and many more. You can also filter by industry - check the Technology feed.

Social Media for B2B from the Internet Advertising Bureau
A comprehensive (don't miss pages 2 and 3!) overview social media's role in the B2B arena. This article provides a great overview of the various tools, some great how-to tips, and a few brief case studies for additional reference and inspiration.

B2B Social Media Examples: Trucks to Electronics
The team at Social Media B2B provides some interesting case studies. This one is about trucking company Scania, but don't miss the links to additional case studies at the right of the page - more goodies there.

Social Media Tactics for Fast-growth and Start-up B2B Companies
Carabiner Communications offers a paper on how B2B companies can (and should) use B2B. They offer specific ideas on how to execute as well as some integrated case studies.

Motherlode of Social Media Marketing Examples @peterkim via @onedegree
Social marketing expert Peter Kim's wiki provides visitors with a massive list of hundreds of social media examples that can be sorted by industry, company, type of media, etc. Lots of exploring to do!

Behind the Scenes with the "Will it Blend?" Videos
The koroberi team shares a seven minute video interview with Blendtec's George Wright, VP of Marketing, and Kels Goodman, Video Producer. They reference their B2B successes from the wildly successful video campaign around the fourth minute.

First-hand B2B Success with Social Media for Small- to Mid-sized Businesses
Mark Harbeke of Winning Workplaces writes about how his corporate consulting business seen measurable growth as a result of his social media efforts.

Reaching B2B Customers with Chocolate-Covered Bugs
Of course, we have to share one post right from the Savvy archives - an overview of how Grasshopper (formerly Gotvmail) used a unique campaign in combination with social media tools to make a big impression with their entrepreneurial audience.

LinkedIn Group - B2B Social Media @diannahuff
Do you want to get into deeper conversations on the topic of Social Media in B2B Marketing? Hop over to Dianna Huff's LinkedIn group to engage in lively discussions with other marketers in this space.

More posts by Jamie.

Related Posts:

Twitter Do's - I Don't Care If You Feel Lousy Before You've Had Coffee by Wendy Thomas

The Status Quo for Internet Marketing is Constant Change by Kate Headen

Comments: 32


1. B2B Online Marketing  |  my website   |   Sun Jun 14, 2009 @ 05:47AM

Great list, Jamie. As an addition to your list, we're posting detailed updates every 30 days covering the development of our B2B Twitter account, http://twitter.com/B2BOnlineMktg. Here are links to the first three:

Part 1 - http://www.smartbusinessresults.com/2009/twitter-for-business/
Part 2 - http://www.smartbusinessresults.com/2009/twitter-for-business-pt2/
Part 3 - http://www.smartbusinessresults.com/2009/twitter-for-business-pt3/

Keep up the great work at Savvy B2B!

2. bruce   |   Mon Jun 15, 2009 @ 09:34PM

Fantastic list. Now I just need to check out all the links

3. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Wed Jun 17, 2009 @ 06:47AM

@Ben of B2B Online Mktg - Thanks! I've been reading about your journey - very interesting insights. Thanks for sharing your experience!

@Bruce - Thanks much ... glad you're enjoying and hope reading all the links doesn't take up too much of your day! ;) For more, you might like to check out a few posts at Mark Schaefer's blog. Here's one: http://schaefersolutions.blogspot.com/2009/06/b2bs-social-media-superstars.html

4. John Bottom  |  my website   |   Mon Jan 11, 2010 @ 11:23PM

Nice one Jamie - you do a great job bringing all this stuff together. We are shortly going to publish an 'anthology' of case studies, ie a detailed description of some of our B2B social media work to date. It's a mixed bag, but should be useful to people considering the same. I will send you a link when it's done [when the client has given us the OK!]

5. Directory  |  my website   |   Thu Jun 24, 2010 @ 09:19PM

Social media marketing is easier, more efficient and more effective if the marketer has the right set of tools.

6. Cam Buchan  |  my website   |   Thu Jul 15, 2010 @ 02:20AM

Thanks for the list. One client I worked with needed a very basic understanding of what the key elements of social media were? Just what was Twitter, or Facebook and why should I care. This, even before I could get to the needs. This article:


from the New York Times was very helpful in helping them understand the basics.

7. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Wed Jul 28, 2010 @ 07:52AM

@Cam - Thanks for the additional reference!

8. Gerrit Janssens  |  my website   |   Thu Aug 05, 2010 @ 09:38PM


Thanks for the excellent overview. I would like to add these stats about social media use in b2b just to point out you are right by stating it is not a matter of whether they are appropriate. Because they are widely used.


9. Jamie Wallace  |  my website   |   Tue Aug 10, 2010 @ 03:12PM

@Gerrit - Thanks for the link - great video. Watch for it to pop up on next week's wrap-up. We love to share the good stuff! :)

10. Chris Yates  |  my website   |   Tue Nov 09, 2010 @ 07:39AM

Here is a video on YouTube that has slides on Social Media B2B Marketing. Hope is helps.


11. B2B Social Media Marketing  |  my website   |   Wed Dec 08, 2010 @ 08:45PM

Thanks for the excellent overview about the social media marketing, and thanks for the greatest lists.

12. Jamie Lee Wallace  |  my website   |   Thu Dec 09, 2010 @ 03:56AM

@B2B Social Media Marketing - You're very welcome. I think it may be time for an update soon!
Have a great holiday season!

13. Marino Fadda  |  my website   |   Mon Dec 13, 2010 @ 11:59PM

Great list! Thanks.

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I would like to add these statistics about public networking use in b2b just to indicate you are right by revealing it is not a issue of whether they are appropriate. You can watch this video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0juIO7Y9gY

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Just what was Twitter, or Facebook and why should I care. This, even before I could get to the needs. This article: http://www.slideshare.net/ianfilippini/ian-filippini-meaning-of-ian

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