Editor’s Note: This post is a part of our Amazing Moments of B2B Marketing Inspiration series. Join us each week for new stories of marketing success.
When you think of General Electric (GE), you probably think of light bulbs. If you know a little more about them, you might think of plane engines. But if you’re active on social media, and you’ve come across their Snapchat and Instagram accounts, their incredible YouTube video series’, or their stunning Pinterest page, you probably think of all of those things, and space travel. I would venture to say that no company has built a more robust and successful marketing plan across the spectrum than GE. For a brand that specializes in things that aren’t necessarily buzz-worthy, they create a massive interest and education about their many, multifaceted offerings through a very thoughtful content strategy that spans all the major social media platforms. They do a great job of identifying their target audiences by social platforms, and creating segment-specific content that connects with consumers.
Developing an Outstanding Social Media Strategy
GE started to amp up their content marketing strategy in September of 2011 with their campaign “Short Film, Big Ideas”, which included 30 3-minute films that featured leading documentary film producers and highlighted “innovators—people who are reshaping the world through act or invention.” The films included stories of successful people in cancer research, energy production, food access among the poor, and pain management. Since then, they’ve maintained a large fanbase and following on social media, and continue to dominate with branded content.
GE is currently very active on Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google+. They post amazing, beautiful photos on Instagram, create breathtaking visual stories on Snapchat and Vine, and Instagram video. They share their larger films and commercials on Tumblr, YouTube, and Facebook. On Twitter, they’re posting out infographics, reports and photos of the things they’re working on. They joined Vine just one day after it launched, and have been on the front lines of testing new platforms as they’ve come out. Currently the brand has more than 3,381,178 fans and followers across all their social media platforms. Each channel is leveraged differently to better connect with the different audiences, age groups, and education levels. As a B2B marketer, this is one of the biggest lessons a company like GE can teach. When you’re rolling out your social media strategy, do a complete social ‘audit’ to determine who your audience is and how they use each platform. Then make sure that you tailor your content to reach the right audience through the right channel.
How to Use Storytelling to Connect With Your Audience
One of GE’s most successful marketing strategies is their storytelling. Storytelling allows them to highlight all the ways their products touch the lives of people every day, and it’s a practice that any B2B marketer can add to their strategy. Tell the stories of your company. Tell the stories of your people. Tell the stories of your present successes, and your past. Find the stories hidden inside your walls, from the passionate people who make your products, to the passionate people who buy and sell them. What is your overarching story for your company? How do you seek to make life better for others? Tell those stories, and use social media to amplify them and connect with your audience in a whole new way.
So how do you execute a social media marketing strategy as successful as GE’s? Start by realistically determining which channels you can be engaging on daily. Perhaps you don’t need to be on Snapchat and Pinterest because your audience isn’t. Use the data available to you to figure out where your target audience is, and be there. Put together a social media strategy that includes a content strategy for each channel, and the story you’ll tell, how you’ll tell it. And lastly, don’t be afraid to tell the big and small stories of your brand and its products.