By Andy Sernovitz on December 5th, 2013 | 47896Comment on this postAndy%27s+Answers%3A+How+social+media+gave+Thrivent+Financial+customers+a+voice2013-12-05+12%3A00%3A37Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D47896
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a business built for social media — they listen to their customers to make big decisions. According to Social Media Relationships Manager Stacy Eckes-Borys, their customers, or members, own the company.
So when they were considering expanding their exclusively Lutheran membership base to the broader Christian community for the first time, they asked their customers to make the vote. That’s where social media came in.
Here’s how they did it:
- Prepare your leaders: This was the first time social media played a role in such a big decision for the company — and it was bound to be a passionate topic. Stacy’s social media team helped communicate the expectations they had for this kind of move internally so no one would be caught off guard.
By Andy Sernovitz on November 21st, 2013 | 477141 comment on this postAndy%27s+Answers%3A+How+Xerox+is+stepping+out+from+behind+the+copier+with+social+content2013-11-21+12%3A18%3A12Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D47714
When your company is so famous for something that its name becomes a verb (think Google and searching, Windex and window cleaning), you’ve done branding right. But what if you want to expand that brand beyond the stuff you’re famous for? That’s the blessing and curse Xerox faces as the king of copier machines branches out into business services such as managing health care plans.
As Vice President of Global Social Marketing Jay Bartlett explains, Xerox is already making big strides as one of the top 20 managed health care plans. But to boost their reputation as a health care company, they need more than just awards to earn a reputation.
In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference, Jay shares how they think like journalists to share industry news, create sharable content and build credibility. Here are some key points from his presentation:
- “If you build it, they will come” just doesn’t work in social media: Jay encourages thinking more like a newsroom than a marketer by creating interesting, balanced content for a specific audience — not just pushing brand messages.
By Andy Sernovitz on October 17th, 2013 | 46724Comment on this postAndy%27s+Answers%3A+How+UCB+Pharma+creates+a+social+strategy+around+their+customers2013-10-17+11%3A15%3A10Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D46724
If you’re wondering what a pharmaceutical company is doing in social media, you’re not alone. Regulation, corporate culture and touchy subject matters kept UCB Pharma from completely engaging on Facebook and Twitter until this year. But according to Social Media Manager Greg Cohen, the company’s presence in social serves an important purpose: telling their customers’ stories.
In his presentation at SocialMedia.org‘s BlogWell conference, Greg shares how they create a social media presence that encourages patients while complying with regulation and keeping the C-suite happy.
Here are some key points from Greg’s presentation:
- It’s not about selling: Product information has no place in UCB Pharma’s social media strategy. Instead, they focus on helping their customers connect with other people like them and encourage one another.
- Be the arm around the shoulder: Greg talks about how they encourage patients to share their success stories, help them communicate with doctors, and be a part of a community.
By Andy Sernovitz on October 10th, 2013 | 46642Comment on this postAndy%27s+Answers%3A+How+Whole+Foods+balances+local+and+national+social+strategies2013-10-10+14%3A09%3A56Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D46642
Whole Foods Market gives a lot of power to its local stores, from choosing which products to offer to deciding on the kinds of sales to have. So it makes sense that they also give their local stores some decision-making power in social media. In fact, the reason Whole Foods Market has local social media is because its stores asked for it.
It’s that kind of initiative that makes Whole Foods’ social strategy possible, according to Natanya Anderson, director of social media and digital marketing. In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference, Natanya explains how they make their local and brand social media strategies work together.
Here are some key points from her presentation:
- It’s all about trust: Natanya says a culture of trust is the foundation for their social media program. Companies have to empower their local employees to make decisions — not just push marketing messages down from the executive level.
By Andy Sernovitz on September 26th, 2013 | 462643 comments on this postAndy%27s+Answers%3A+How+Grainger+creates+customer+heroes2013-09-26+11%3A20%3A45Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2F%3Fp%3D46264
When you’re selling industrial office and warehouse supplies, you have to find better ways to engage with your customers than through content about your products. That’s why Grainger’s social media (and business) strategy is making their customers — not their stuff — the heroes.
In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference in Chicago, Sherri Maxson, Grainger’s social business leader, shares how they use social media to make even the most traditionally boring stuff remarkable.
Here are some key points from her presentation:
- B2B buyers make their minds up before they come to your store: According to Sherri, one big difference in B2B and B2C marketing is that B2B customers make 60% of their buying decision before you even meet them. And that’s what makes social media so important for Grainger.
- Don’t start conversations using your products: As tempting as it may be to use social media as a virtual catalog, remember that people love to talk about themselves, not your stuff.