Recently, a new company from China wanted to launch in the US market and decided to try social media marketing instead of a traditional marketing strategy. The company, Xerafy, leveraged nearly every type of social media that exists to build a substantial brand. Employees and partners published weekly blogs along with Twitter, Facebook, and Linked In posts. Xerafy focused on fueling end-customer conversations by providing basic whitepapers on applications from IT-Data center re-architecture to tool tracking. Simple YouTube videos showing their products averaged 100 views in the first month to thousands in the first year. Xerafy started in 2010 with a forward vision for leveraging social networks for their RFID tags and now have a global sales channel with $5 million in funding.
However, the tech community has been slow to adopt social media for their technology corporate branding. Many business executives view Facebook and LinkedIn as suitable only for personal connections or think, “I’m too old for this social media stuff.” Contrary to popular belief, 2011 February Nielsen shows the largest growth demographic for social media is 55 and above age group. According to Forrester Research, 68% of users follow social media for business purposes.
How much value does it provide for the technology community? Companies like Texas Instruments are using social media to better reach engineers to share tips, issues, and successes. The process is working since the TI community is growing at 1,000 Twitter followers per month, reaching 18,700 followers in September 2012. Xerafy utilized LinkedIn to reach 258 RFID groups and 26,120 people who are involved with RFID for partners, leads, and solution building. The point is that social media is an effective tool, a real way to control technology corporate branding while reaching a target audience and fostering B2B lead creation. A McKinsey study of 1,700 companies found 69% of companies have gained measurable results.
Getting Started with Social Media
The next factor is how to get started. Don’t just delegate it to the twenty-year-old new hire. Do experiments by searching keywords and connecting to groups and sites that fit your target audience. Technology media companies are a great vehicle with which to start because it links Twitter, blogs and networking. Your social strategy should engage the entire corporation – from executive to customer support, sales, and engineering departments – to foster engineer-to-engineer and direct company conversations.
Help empower your organization to develop this new channel of communication. B2B social media firms like Forward Vision can help set up channels for communication, training, and topic touch points.