Microsoft Advertising, the Pay Per Click search marketing arm of Microsoft Corporation, is a prime example of B to B social media marketing success. This innovative company started using social media platforms in 2006, well before many B to C’s had started delving into this realm. It started simply enough: Web developers from Microsoft sought out and participated in existing online forums pertaining to their recently launched Microsoft adCenter product. From there, they started one blog, then turned it into an actual network of blogs devoted to clients, marketers, developers and a population of general interest consumers. The feedback received through these blogs continues to be a source of information for savvy adCenter employees to learn what their clients focus on and how to make their products better.
The company then launched a Twitter presence, mainly to reach a new demographic of users. Once Twitter was pushed out and was fashioned to link directly to adCenter blogs for a continual stream of information, Microsoft Advertising saw a spike in online user numbers. They were able to analyze data from re-tweets, forum discussion and links to learn what content the audience wished to see. They also learned more about their audience. By analyzing their report data, they learned where their clients lived and even what time of day they logged in to Twitter. In 2009, the adCenter Twitter module started interfacing with the customer service team to further reach clients.
After the success of their Twitter efforts, Microsoft Advertising launched a Facebook page. Although the team hasn’t been as dedicated to building an audience with Facebook as they were with Twitter, they have managed to get some brand interaction and a loyal, active following of clients. They also started taking team conferences to the next level by hosting an online presence in real time, live from the events themselves. Not to be forgotten in the overarching strategy was a focused and dedicated effort to using search engines as social media tools. By harnessing the power of positive public relations initiatives, they improved adCenter’s search rankings while managing to learn from negative public relations incidents to become a better organization all around.
Overall, the social media strategy set forth thus far by Microsoft Advertising has been successful in spreading the company’s messages, helping website developers learn how to make the products better, increasing profits and accurately collating feedback both positive and negative. This strategy took six years to implement and is still being built upon every day. Microsoft Advertising is a major player in the Information Technology industry sector and employs a large staff of technology professionals who were able to build an effective social media strategy in-house, learning as they went.
For businesses that aren’t Microsoft Advertising, the benefits of working with an experienced solutions provider are immeasurable. A social media-savvy strategic marketing firm can take the guesswork out of developing new and innovative technology marketing from the ground up or work to leverage and improve efforts already in place. An experienced provider expertly develops and manages successful social media marketing strategies based on what works best for different companies and organizations. Employing the help of the right provider will lead to measurable increases in sales and customer retention rates as well as the powerful qualitative benefits of a positive reputation.
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56% of marketers who leverage blogging say it's effective and 10% say it generates the biggest return on investment.