B2B marketing case study o2 enterprise social media strategy

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O2 Enterprise has taken an innovative approach to using social media for business over the past 12 months.

The programme has focused on using the core business social media platforms to support individual O2 employees in their 1-2-1 interactions with customers, prospects and influencers.

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B2B marketing case study o2 enterprise social media strategy

  1. 1. CATEGORY: SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY OF THE YEAR O2 ENTERPRISE AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO SOCIAL MEDIA IN B2B AGENCY: THE MARKETING PRACTICE CLIENT: O2
  2. 2. SUMMARY O2 Enterprise has taken an innovative approach to using social media for business over the past 12 months. By focusing on people rather than relying on our brand alone, we’ve been able to have real conversations and create valuable 1-2-1 relationships with customers and prospects. It’s about encouraging our own industry and product experts to get social, sharing their expertise, experience and opinions with their followers. The key then lies in ensuring there’s lots of useful, valuable content for our ambassadors to recommend to people. And to ensure consistency with our well-known consumer side, O2 Business is injecting some much-needed humour and enthusiasm into B2B social media. The results speak for themselves: over 11,000 followers on Twitter, a 50% increase in YouTube views and a LinkedIn following that’s doubled in the space of one year to over 27,000. “WE’VE MANAGED TO SUCCESSFULLY TRANSLATE OUR SOCIAL BRAND AND ITS ‘BE MORE DOG’ VALUES INTO THE B2B SPACE, TO GREAT EFFECT.” Becky Potgieter PR & Social Media Manager 2
  3. 3. MARKETING POSITION BEFORE MARKETING IDEA WAS DEVELOPED Apart from B2B vendors with very specific, lower-value products (such as hardware providers), most B2B organisations are still trying to work out how to use social media effectively. Particularly when sale values can be in the tens of millions of pounds, as is the case with O2’s enterprise services. When you’re promoting complex ICT products and services, it’s difficult to get your proposition across in 140 characters or less. Which is why taking an integrated approach that recognises social media as a key strategic channel is so important. So while there’s plenty of social noise in the marketing of technology and services to enterprises and the public sector, there’s not a lot of carefully structured strategy that seeks to make social media effective and accountable. This was the opportunity that we set out to exploit. 3
  4. 4. DETAILS OF THE NEW STRATEGY, WHAT YOU DID AND WHY IT WAS INNOVATIVE OR SPECIAL TO THE ORGANISATION By the beginning of 2013, we had begun work in earnest on our social media presence. Our approach differs from most B2B enterprise social media activity in that we recognised that social is a personal medium. We chose to focus on our people rather than our brand because we know that social media users want personal conversations as part of their digital experience. We interpreted this trend into our B2B environment, and created an ambassador scheme to encourage 1-2-1 engagement through our social spokespeople. We encouraged employees from all parts of the business to become O2 ambassadors, and share our content through the channels that suited them, with an emphasis on Twitter and LinkedIn. Sales teams, practice heads, consultants – they’re all experts in their fields and the conversations they have with customers and prospects via social media are much more valuable than anything the social media team could do on its own. They are also able to respond more quickly, and refer to the latest industry findings and developments in conversation – adding value to their interactions. While O2 has worked hard on its consumer media presence, the people we wanted to target through social media for O2 Business – the people responsible for purchasing ICT products and services – would find more value in two-way conversations with an expert than from a faceless brand continually flogging its services. This was the trick that so many B2B social media programmes seemed to miss. 4
  5. 5. OVERVIEW What follows is a quick overview of how O2 Enterprise used Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, YouTube and our blog platform in 2013 to reach a wider audience and drive greater engagement: TWITTER We used Twitter in two main ways over the past 12 months. 1. We made sure that we regularly created the right kind of valuable content for our ambassadors to tweet and share with their contacts. Then we encouraged them to do so as often as possible. 2. For example, Ben Dowd, Business Director at O2, has over 1,700 followers who he regularly shares O2 content with, most recently in promoting the O2 Local Government Digital Fund (a programme designed to stimulate innovation in local government and highlight O2’s digital expertise in the sector). 3. We used the O2 Business Twitter account extensively in the run up to and during the launch of our 4G service. We created thought leadership, example business cases, short videos and in-depth webinars around 4G for business, which we then shared with our 11,000+ followers (as well as through our ambassadors) to drive people to engage with our latest content on YouTube, our blog site (The Blue) and our 4G landing page. O2BusinessUK @o2businessuk Thanks to flexible working. O2 saved more than £3.8 million because we now need 500 fewer desks O2BusinessUK @o2businessuk You can now get glorious #O24G in Wolverhampton. Be there on the move! O2BusinessUK @o2businessuk Customers engaged with brands on social media spend on average 20-40% more on those brands than those who aren’t Expand 5
  6. 6. LINKEDIN Last year we also focused on ensuring our O2 Business LinkedIn profile was complete and contained valuable content. We recognised that, in the business space, it is difficult to crack the humour that characterises social media. So we developed a strategy of parodying some of the most over-used clichés. For example, in the run up to Christmas 2013, we ran ‘12 days of Christmas’, where we posted a new ‘gift’ that IT could bestow on the business for each day. SLIDESHARE We recently joined SlideShare and we’re using this new channel to make content available in a quick and easy-to-digest manner. In just five months, the page has racked up over 2,000 views. WE’VE SEEN GREAT CONVERSATIONS TAKING PLACE BETWEEN OUR AMBASSADORS AND PROSPECTS, CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE VALUABLE TO BOTH SIDES.” Helen Brougham, Enterprise Engagement Manager 6
  7. 7. ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS SPECIFIC TO YOUR CATEGORY WHAT WAS ACHIEVED/RESULTS TWITTER @O2BusinessUK now has over 11,400 followers. Example: https://twitter.com/o2businessuk LINKEDIN The O2 Business company following has more than doubled in the past 12 months; it now has over 27,000 followers. Example: http://www.linkedin.com/company/2012?trk=prof-exp-company-name SLIDESHARE In just five months, the O2 Business SlideShare channel has received over 2,000 views. Example: http://www.slideshare.net/o2businessuk YOUTUBE We posted 47 new videos in the past 12 months, and the O2 Business YouTube channel has seen a 50% increase in views from July-December 2013. Example: http://www.youtube.com/user/o2ukbusiness BLOG We published roughly 70 posts on our blog ‘The Blue’ over the past 12 months, which have received over 20,000 views. Whenever possible, these blogs are created by industry or product experts to ensure they are relevant and valuable to our readers. Example: http://news.o2.co.uk/2014/01/17/using-digital-technology-effectivelyworkforce-customers 7
  8. 8. CLIENT TESTIMONIALS We’ve seen great conversations taking place between our ambassadors and prospects, conversations that are valuable to both sides.” Helen Brougham, Enterprise Engagement Manager “We’ve managed to successfully translate our social brand and its ‘Be more dog’ values into the B2B space, to great effect.” Becky Potgieter PR & Social Media Manager 8

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