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Nicolette Beard

How Does B2B Marketing Work on Google Plus? 4 Top B2B Tech Company Examples

By Nicolette Beard     B2B, Online Marketing, Social Media

B2B Technology Google PlusWhile sports teams, news outlets, car companies, universities, non-profits and the entertainment industry dominate the top 200 business pages on Google+, a growing number of B2B technology companies have embraced Google+ as well.

As with any top consumer brand, consistent engagement is crucial to success. B2B technology brands are developing relationships with prospects just like on any other social platform.  In the world of optimizing customer experience across the B2B sales cycle, Google+ for businesses offers B2B marketers  an opportunity to connect with buyers in a meaningful way and provide relevant information.

Thought leaders and subject matter experts increasingly serve as trusted sources to help business buyers determine the best solution to solve a business need. Knowledge and expertise combined with social media have trumped the peer influencers of the traditional buyer, giving rise to the “B2B Social Buyer”. [Source: ITSMA pdf]

Let’s take a look at some well-known B2B technology brands taking advantage of this new type of buyer who sources information and networks on Google+:

Intel – https://plus.google.com/+Intel

Intel Google Plus

This perennial blue chip company has been a driving force behind the global technology revolution for 40 years, so it’s no surprise that they’re thriving on social networking platforms, like Google+.  They invite followers to join the conversation about the latest cutting-edge advancements in technology and new product launches. With 483,326 followers, Intel is the top technology company on the platform.

What they’re doing right

  • Audience segmentation: Tech enthusiasts, Newsroom, Trends, IT expert.
  • Cross-platform promotion: Clever use of Instagram.
  • Video: Google+ personalized videos for industry events.
  • Posts: Good balance of product links, thought leadership and educational information.
  • Visuals: Excellent use of larger image format.

Opportunities

  • Regular posting seems to have dropped off this month with a 10-day gap from their previous daily posts.

Dell – https://plus.google.com/+Dell?

Dell Google Plus

While it can be argued that Dell (a TopRank Client) is known as a consumer brand, a formidable portion of their business is B2B: selling computers to businesses, educational and government organizations. They’ve also made a big push into IT consulting in recent years and their Google+ page is evident of that. Dell is positioning themselves as IT experts in data storage, systems management and cloud security – a far cry from the early days of vanilla-flavored mail order desktops. If anyone can tap into the B2B Social Buyer (who were probably in kindergarten when Dell was founded), it would be Dell.

What they’re doing right

  • Transparency: Posting videos of Town Hall meetings with company president, Michael Dell.
  • Posts: Several posts per day including a variety of content, e.g. infographics, video, industry news, company news, technology training and fun facts.
  • Communities: Enterprise IT Security and Dell TechCenter, while not hugely populated, moderators post daily. The TechCenter appears to be an adjunct for customer service, providing five additional ways to get help troubleshooting IT issues.
  • Hangouts: This is a new and creative way to interact using video with current customers or prospects. Dell kicks off its ‘First Friday’ Hangouts September 27th.

Opportunities

  • Video channel: Entitled Dell Brand Videos, this tab contains very little; the content that is posted is a hodge-podge. They’re missing an opportunity to tell their global technology story.

VMWare – https://plus.google.com/+vmware

B2B Social Media Marketing - Google Plus

VMware touts itself as the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, reducing complexity and enabling more flexible, agile IT services. With almost 30,000 people including VMWare in their circles, they enjoy a fair amount of shares on a regular basis.

What they’re doing right

  • Communities: 1500+ active members participate daily in to discuss server and cloud technology in terms only IT professionals can appreciate.
  • Posts: A variety of daily posts, including contests, giveaways, industry news, technology solutions, videos and cross-promoted blog posts.

Opportunities

  • Visuals: Few images accompany their posts. With a focus on more dynamic imagery, they could grow their engagement even more if they invested in posting dynamic imagery.
  • Video: This channel doesn’t exist and could breathe life into a dry subject.

MATLAB® - https://plus.google.com/+matlab?

MATLAB Google Plus

This company is a high-level language and interactive environment that enables people to perform computationally intensive tasks faster than with traditional programming languages such as C, C++, and Fortran. Clearly, this is a specialized audience of systems engineers, so it’s great to see that over 22,000 people believe MATLAB solutions to be important enough to include them in their circles.

What they’re doing right

  • Posts: Consistent daily posts receive respectable engagement with comments and shares. This is notable because they have their own community newsgroup and six active blogs!
  • Video: Several technical videos posted explaining complex system design variants plus a Student Challenge for engineers.

Opportunities

  • Visuals: Every post is accompanied by a thumbnail image that doesn’t communicate much.
  • Video: They’re missing a tremendous opportunity in telling their story to a wider audience by featuring only links to video content rather than the video itself. Their MakerZone Project, a crowdsourcing initiative, could expand their influence exponentially with the Google+ crowd, if they’d only promote it.

As you can see, the top two technology brands are doing a lot of things right. This may be a function of resources rather than marketing know-how. The lack of visual content could also be a reflection of right brain (creative) vs. left brain (analytical) processing. With Dell the only tech company dipping its toe into Hangouts, there’s room for improvement here too.

Do you think it makes sense that B2B technology companies are the first to adopt Google+? Are number of followers the only measure of success?

Be sure to visit TopRank’s Google Plus page

Image source: Shutterstock


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