The Companies That ‘Get' Social Media
With all of the tips Gillin, Goldner, Gluckstein, and Musto offered, surely they must have some companies in mind that are playing the social media game well.
"Some companies just get social media," Musto says, pointing to Oreo and Tide, both of which she feels "do a good job of interjecting their brands into highly-relevant topics using multi-media via social. They share graphical representations of their products, showcasing their brands in a fun, lighthearted manner that elicits response/engagement from their online communities."
For his part, Gillin likes the CME Group, the former Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which he says "has amassed the largest Twitter following of any B2B company of which I'm aware."
"CME Group saw Twitter as an opportunity to become a news source, and it has positioned itself as an indispensable resource for commodities traders," he says. "CME Group works in a highly regulated industry, but that has not dampened its enthusiasm for experimentation with these new media."
Another company using social media well, in Gillin's estimation, is Constant Contact, which specializes in providing marketing services for other companies. The company succeeds by not making its social media presence all about itself.
Gillin says the company "has used Facebook and Twitter to deliver a constant stream of useful information to its small-business clientele about how to better market their companies. Only about 10% of its content promotes Constant Contact services. The other 90% is informational and advisory. Over the last two years it has grown its following on those two social networks nearly tenfold."
While there are some potential bumps in the road that companies should look out for when doing their social media marketing-paying attention to the news, for starters, might help-it seems the keys to success aren't complicated: Be courteous and helpful to your clients, stick with it, be varied and diversified in your topics-and, in the immortal words of the Bobby McFerrin song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
"Most of all, don't try too hard," Gluckstein says. Social media "is supposed to be an informal setting for interactive communication, so don't overthink it."
Catherine Gluckstein, SumAll
Paige Musto, Act-On Software
Editor's Note: After being interviewed by the author of this article, Paul Gillin and Paige Musto turned their answers to our questions into their own blog posts.