SXSW: B2B Information Firm Hoover’s Uses Social Media

In our final video interview from SXSW, I spoke with Tim Walker, Social Media Manager at Hoover’s, the leading supplier of business information on companies, industries and people. This company provides data that allow a variety of people within B2B organizations do their jobs better.

Their primary external social media platform is Twitter, with a hand-crafted list of interested followers, made up of customers, prospects, and others interested in their company. They use Twitter to share interesting information from their blogs, as well as information from the general business press. Tim engages with other users, talking about interesting things in their space, and answers questions about their products and services. This allows Hoover’s to serve the free users of their site, along with paid subscribers. Some social media connections are in the works for their subscribers, too.

Hoover’s uses social media collaboration tools internally, so they can move projects along. Tim’s role is to make sure that social media tools reach the right parts of the organization.

Facebook is still viewed as an experiment for this B2B company. They share content from their blogs, and other parts of their world. In addition to posting the occasional question, Tim has used it to promote things like training options to remind people of their existence, and that exposure has been helpful.

And finally, TIm’s advice for anyone starting in social media is to be open and be yourself. Understand that this is not a short term project. It is iterative, and cumulative. Get into a rhythm that you can sustain, and keep going.

Follow Hoover’s on Twitter at @hoovers and Tim at @twalk.

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