Businesses that sell primarily to other companies can use social media to expand a brand, convey a vision, engage a community, promote products, and even provide customer support.
Here is a list of B2B companies that use social media creatively, and effectively. The list includes manufacturers, online technology firms, and business-service providers. There are several large conglomerates, as well as some relatively smaller companies.
Global conglomerate GE gets a lot right on social media. Living up to its “imagination at work” slogan, GE’s social media content is dedicated to scientific and technological innovation. It is less about the GE brand than engaging a community of forward-thinking individuals. Its Facebook page, which has 1.3 million likes, states its mission simply, “We love science, technology, innovation, and hearing from you! So, say hello.”
GE utilizes multiple social networks for each of its business categories, such as GE Capital, Aviation, Healthcare, Industrial Solutions, Transportation, and Mining. Aviation is easily the most popular division, with over 86K followers on Twitter alone. It gathers its community with the hashtag #avgeek.
Constant Contact helps small businesses get results through campaigns like email newsletters, surveys, events, Facebook promotions, online listings, and more. Its Facebook and Twitter pages clearly define its brand and offer an abundance of helpful information for its small business community. In addition, Constant Contact has a dedicated Twitter page for customer support.
A global leader in commercial real estate services and investment, CBRE has the advantage of being in a business that looks good in photos. CBRE’s social media pages — particularly its Instagram page — are filled with inspiring buildings and gorgeous skylines across the globe. CBRE also conveys the secular growth story of its industry by promoting the changing nature of the modern office.
As a global technology leader and proponent of the “Internet of everything,” Cisco has a strong social media presence. It has pages on the primary social networks, including a dedicated support page on Twitter. However, Cisco distinguishes itself on YouTube, with a wide variety of videos on business trends, industry solutions, service provides, small business best practices, and product training.
Maersk Line is a leading shipping company with a fleet of 580 container vessels. It hosts active social media pages, detailing its enormous distribution efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google+. Maersk explains its social media evolution on its website. Maersk states there that it finally got going with social media in 2011. Up until that point, it had been in “a listening phase,” trying to digest what social media is about and decide whether or not it makes sense for a B2B company. Maersk states that is main goal with social media is to “get closer to our customers.” Its Facebook page has over 1.1 million likes.
Forrester Research is a research and advisory firm, providing proprietary research, business services, and custom consulting. It has pages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Its Twitter page has 294K followers — offering businesses plenty of free information, research reports, and webinars on crucial topics like Big Data and mobile commerce.
GoToMeeting is an audio, video, and screen-sharing communication platform from Citrix, which provides businesses with mobile workspaces and cloud services. GoToMeeting has its own pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube that provide practical information for businesses, as well as support for its services — GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, and GoToWebinar.
Hootsuite is the popular social media management platform, for businesses of all sizes, including 744 of the Fortune 1,000 companies (according to Hootsuite). Its Twitter and Facebook pages offer plenty of helpful and entertaining advice on social media for businesses. Hootsuite also has a dedicated help page on Twitter. Hootsuite’s YouTube page has playlists on product releases, training, social insights, and even industry events.
John Deere is a manufacturer of agricultural, construction, forestry, and turf care equipment. John Deere sells to businesses and consumers through dealers and retailers. John Deere posts impressive numbers on all of its social media sites, with nearly 2.3 million likes on Facebook, 88K followers on Twitter, and 39K followers on Instagram. John Deere combines product information with inspiring images of its vehicles in action.