SAP Brands B2B Social Media Profiles as Part of Global Campaign

Earlier this year B2B company SAP launched their “Run Like Never Before” campaign with television, print, digital and mobile ads in the U.S., Brazil and Germany, according to this press release. There is no lesson in the fact that the enterprise software company launched an ad campaign, but it is instructive to look at how they supported it with social media.

Social media profiles of B2B companies frequently use default backgrounds or designs, and this campaign shows how SAP leveraged all the options available to further promote their campaign message through its graphic look. Another thing that B2B companies don’t often do is dedicate resources to building and promoting their brand image. It is usually their products, services and generally company culture and attitude that creates a sense of brand for their customers and prospects. Using some of these ideas below, with the necessary resources of course, you can start to build some of that brand image.

YouTube


SAP produced a television commercial as a core part of the campaign and shared it on YouTube. There’s nothing new or magical here, but B2B companies produce videos all the time, and forget to share them on their YouTube profiles. It’s a way to get an additional audience for videos that you are making anyway. In SAP’s case both the video and the video description have links to drive traffic to the campaign landing page.

Twitter


SAP updated their Twitter background with images from the campaign. If your B2B company has the resources to develop a compelling look and feel for your company, make sure to extend that to your Twitter background. SAP was also able to leverage Twitter’s enhanced profile pages. This is currently only available to select Twitter accounts (advertisers), but if it rolls out broadly, your should take advantage of it for your B2B company. SAP added an extra banner (835 x 90 pixels) at the top of their Twitter stream and pin a single tweet at the top as part of their enhanced profile. They wisely choose a tweet that contains the Run campaign video. This promoted tweet is always shown in the expanded mode, so the embedded media (photo or video) is always visible.

Facebook


SAP updated their Facebook Timeline cover photo with a graphic image from the campaign. This makes a big statement about what message they want to convey to visitors. B2B companies should think of the cover photo as their first impression on Facebook. Most people will come to your Facebook Page one time, and if they like what they see, they will like the Page. Future updates are seen in their newsfeed. And that is more likely if you can get some engagement with them, as Facebook’s algorithm determines what shows in fans’ newsfeed.



When you update your cover photo, it shows as an activity in your Timeline. You will notice that SAP added some descriptive text and a link to the landing page with this photo. This also means that whenever anyone clicks on the photo they will see this description and link. This update can be pinned to the top, which SAP did not do, so that visitors to the page can learn more about the campaign and have the opportunity to click the link.

Linkedin


SAP also extended the look of the campaign to their LinkedIn product page, which lets you create free banners (640 x 220 pixels) that can link to a landing page. This follows the theme of all these profiles we’ve been looking at. Create a compelling graphical look, brand your social profiles with that look and send people to a landing page for more information.

Google+


By adding a cover photo to their Google+ page, SAP tied this additional social network to their campaign. Thanks for the heads-up on this one Bill.

Slideshare


Customize Slideshare when you pay for the pro edition. It also includes private uploads, lead capture and video uploads. SAP made it look like their other social profiles, so when people download their presentations, they saw the message again. Kevin added this one below, so I moved it into the post.

Landing Page


And that brings us to the landing page, which SAP has made consistent with the rest of the campaign. The most important thing they did was embed a tag in all the links that drove here from their social profiles that identified that traffic as coming from social. This lets them track the success of their social activity against other activities. If you want a little more background on the SAP Run Like Never Before campaign, here’s a post by SAP marketer Michael Brenner.

This example was meant to inspire you to raise the level of your social media marketing and learn some simple things to do to create a larger branding impression, even if you are not supporting a global marketing campaign. Let us know you thoughts, inspirations, other examples and how you have implemented any of these ideas in a campaign oriented manner.

10 of the Best B2B Facebook Timeline Cover Photos

Hope you didn’t oversleep this morning, because if you manage a Facebook Business or Brand Page for your B2B company today is the day that the timeline goes live, whether you are ready or not. One month ago, Facebook announced the Page changes, and you had the whole month to get your Page in line. And you were able to launch the update any time during the past month.

Many B2B companies have already launched their new timeline updates. The most important functional update for many Page managers is the ability to privately message their fans, after the fan has messaged the Page first. But the most visual update in the timeline is the Cover Photo. This is an 851 pixel wide image that gives B2B companies a great opportunity to make an impact with the Page.

Below are 10 of the best examples that I have seen, and they are divided into three categories: product images, inspirational photos and illustrations. If you don’t have an existing image that works for this dynamic space, find someone either inside your company or outside of it that can help you create one.

One last thing before moving on to the cover photos. If you are still planning and preparing your B2B timeline page, here is an awesome Facebook resource post with everything you need to know.

Product Images


Fluke Corporation


Dell Enterprise


Volvo Trucks

Inspirational Photos


SAP


Salesforce.com


Ogilvy


Cisco


Caterpillar

Illustrations


Dow Chemical


Marketo

Have you updated your B2B Facebook Page to get ready for today’s roll out of the new timeline? Have you seen other great Cover Photos that you want to share in the comments? And yes, you can share your own Page if you are proud of it.

8 B2B Facebook Landing Pages

B2B marketers see the growing numbers of Facebook users and join the ranks of businesses who set up outposts on the world’s largest social network. As Facebook is a tightly controlled environment, there are few opportunities for branding and creating a branded experience for your customers and prospects. The prime one is the creation of custom tabs, and especially landing pages that people see when they first arrive at your Facebook Page.

These Pages are now fully functional web pages hosted within the Facebook environment. This gives B2B companies more flexibility in design and functionality for these landing pages. One of the things marketers need to consider in creating a landing page is what action the visitor needs to take. The first should be to Like the Page, and many landing pages remind viewers to do that. After that, anything is possible, but there should be actions that keep them on the Facebook Page, rather than immediately driving them somewhere else.

Below are 8 examples of B2B company Facebook landing page tabs with a short list of features of each.

Buddy Media


Buddy Media
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 2 download white paper buttons
Video: No
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Embedded Facebook comments and poll

Dell Enterprise


Dell Enterprise
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: Event Calendar
Off Site Call to Action: 8 solution links and 1 download white paper button
Video: No
Social Profile Links: Yes
Other Notable: n/a

eMarketer


eMarketer
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 1 product link
Video: No
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Customer testimonials. Note this is an About tab, and is not set to load as a landing page.

EMC


EMC
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 1 award submission button
Video: No
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Temporary landing page for award submission

Google AdSense


Google AdSense
Like Call to Action: No
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: 1 sign-up button
Video: Yes
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: Sparse look, like Google brand.

Intel


Intel
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: Interactive map, products, jobs and deals drive to other Facebook Pages or apps within this Page
Off Site Call to Action: No
Video: Yes
Social Profile Links: Yes
Other Notable: Embedded Twitter feed

SAP


SAP
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: Conference registration, product page and YouTube channel buttons
Video: Yes
Social Profile Links: No
Other Notable: n/a

SAS Publishing


SAS Publishing
Like Call to Action: Yes
Other Facebook Call to Action: No
Off Site Call to Action: Links to store, blog, podcast, community, forum and Twitter
Video: No
Social Profile Links: Yes
Other Notable: Sets expectations for Page, shows people who manage social profiles

Are there other B2B Facebook landing pages you have seen that are effective at generating engagement and driving traffic? Let us know in the comments below.

B2B E-Book Marketing Example: SAP

When many people think of e-books they likely think of the Kindle or of spammers flooding social networks with notes about free e-books. E-books though are an important part of the B2B online marketing arsenal. They offer a digital format that is easy to display and distribute a large collection of information. While blogs, social networks and web sites are great, they are best for short content. Most blog posts are only 500-1000 words, or sometimes even less. Some topics need more depth, and this especially applies to B2B where companies often talk to niche groups with a very deep interest of a certain issue.

How Does A B2B E-Book Work?

Recently SAP, the business management software provider, released e-book for its community network.

The book, in addition to being available as a PDF download, is also a fully interactive online book. SAP has done an excellent job of compiling in-depth comments and information about their community network in one place, while includes ample links and media allowing readers to dive deeper on topics of interest. This includes integrating video and text testimonials, which are an important factor when making a larger software purchase the likes of SAP’s product line. The web interface for the e-book also allows for users to jumps easily to the sections and items of the book that most interest them. By segmenting the 36-page book, along with its links and media, SAP should have a large amount of data from user behavior viewing the book which can help drive future marketing decisions. This is a good model for being able to attach analytics and data mining from long-format web content, versus simply providing a download.

How Could SAP Improve This E-book Experience?
When it comes to content distribution it is often the little things that make the biggest difference. While I credit SAP for putting together a good example of long form online content they or anyone else doing a B2B e-book can do better.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Make Simple URL – As you can see from the screen shot below, the URL used is not really easy to remember and hard to share because it is so long. It should be a shorter URL that could easily go in print materials. Using a custom URL shortener could help this, but creating a descriptive URL would also help with search engine indexing. When making an investment in creating this type of web content maximizing search traffic should be a major priority.

2. Improve Lead Generation Support – As you can see below SAP did a good job of cross promoting opt-in behavior on other social networks, however it did so only at the end of the e-book. It is likely that a sizable percentage of readers won’t make it to the end of the book. These cross promoting links should be actionable from all, or at least more, pages.

3. Contain A Stronger Call To Action – In the upper right hand corner of the screen shot above you see a contact us link on the web page. SAP should have a stronger call to action for lead generation purposes on that page. This could be in the form of a special offer or a request for additional content that might be interesting to the user.

4. Make it Easier To Share – The social web is largely about making content easy to share. While SAP built in sharing functionality to this e-book, they hid it at the bottom of the page. Additionally, when you click to share, your only option is to share via e-mail. While e-mail is very important, providing other methods of sharing can help improve the reach of your content.

Do you have other suggestions for SAP? What have you found to be e-book best practices?

B2B Apps for the iPhone

Yesterday we joked that there is not an iphone app to help with influencer marketing in the B2B space, so that got us thinking about what iphone applications there are for B2B. While the Blackberry is still the smart phone of choice in larger organizations, the iphone is making inroads into corporate America. The number of available business apps is one major component that will help that growth.

1. The Obvious


Twitter Apps: There are a slew of Twitter apps including Tweetie, Twitterific and even Tweetdeck for the iphone. While I am looking forward to the new version of Tweetie, which should be released any day now, there are small differences between these apps. Each one handles things a bit differently, so you just need to find the one that works for you. Many people stick with their first Twitter app, but you can ask others what they use. Ask them what they like about it.

Social Networking Apps: We have already covered the Facebook app in depth, so what about LinkedIn. This app is mainly focused on your connections, rather than bringing the LinkedIn experience to the iphone. It shows you Network updates, connections and status. You can view your profile, but you don’t have the ability to edit it. The only interactive functions are the ability to update your status, send an invite and a limited search function. The social side of LinkedIn – Groups, Answers, Events – are missing from the app. Hopefully a new version of this app is in development with more functionality.

2. The Enterprise and CRM


The biggest enterprise software companies, Oracle and SAP, both offer iphone apps that feature a small window into the data housed on your corporate network. According to this post, Oracle displays business performance reports, analytics and access to their CRM module, while SAP displays contacts and account information. These are primarily viewers and provide limited interaction with the main system, but that is changing. As the iphone becomes more ingrained in the corporate computing world, mobile employees will have the more ability to update the home office from their smart phones. If your company uses either of these enterprise solutions, explore these mobile platforms with trial versions and start talking up the importance of mobile data.

The leading standalone CRM solution, Salesforce.com has an iphone app that connects to your version of Salesforce.com. Create new leads, convert them, log phone calls, all from a native iphone app that syncs with the cloud version. This free app is a must for all mobile employees using Salesforce to track their business. While “Leads” is featured on the bottom navigation menu, selecting “More” brings up contacts, opportunities, tasks, events, cases, solutions, and dashboards to fully manage all functions from the iphone. A free 30 day trial of Salesforce is available, so you can try out the app and see how it syncs to the web.

3. The Marketplace


Many B2B companies around the world use trading sites, like Alibaba.com, to find products, manufacturers, import and export partners. There is an iphone app called World Trade Center, which calls itself a B2B hub with one-click access to top sites, B2B facilitators, and products. It costs $2.99, so I have not downloaded it to see how it works. It does not look very elegant, and may be not much more than the links shown on the front screen. If your business regularly uses sites of this nature, this mobile app may be of value to you. As more people go mobile, this is sure to be a growing category of apps that interact with online trading partners. If you have used this app, or something like it, please let us know below.

4. Resources


And finally, if you are looking for information and ideas about B2B marketing and social media, Marketing Profs has an iphone app with a B2B marketing section under the More menu item. These articles provide summaries of posts on the Marketing Profs site and other sites. While every post includes an upsell to Marketing Profs membership options, this app provides good content that is easily consumed on the go.

And finally, I used this post as an opportunity to add a Word Press plugin called WPTouch, that optimizes this blog for the iphone, and other touch screen smart phones, so you can more easily read SocialMediaB2B.com on your iphone.

So if there are other iphone apps that you have found indispensable in your B2B world, whether to manage Social Media, Marketing, or Business in general, share those with our readers below.