Currently the top business pages on Google Plus are dominated by an array of entities ranging from sports teams and charities to universities and news outlets. However, despite this, a number of business to business (B2B) technology companies have begun to embrace the social power provided by Google Plus.
The key to success for any business on any social media platform is successful and consistent engagement. The business to business companies that are making use of Google Plus are using it to build and develop relationships with prospects, in a similar manner to how they are on other social media platforms. However Google Plus gives business to business companies an opportunity to both engage and inform potential prospects, with a depth unavailable on other platforms. This depth is provided by Google Plus for businesses.
Increasingly businesses and companies are turning to leading thinkers and trustworthy content for solutions to their business problems. This has paved the way for the rise of the B2B Social Buyer, who combines social media with knowledge and expertise in order to outshine the traditional peer influencers.
Collected beneath are a number of examples of how well known business to business brands are harnessing the power of Google Plus.
Some may argue that Dell is not strictly a B2B brand and is more of a consumer brand but this view is not strictly true. A large percentage of the company’s business is B2B, whether it be selling computers to schools and colleges, or selling computers to businesses and government bodies. Dell’s B2B efforts do not end here. The company has also made a sustained effort over recent years to break into the IT consulting industry. This move is clearly demonstrated by the image the company has created on their Google Plus page, where they are promoting their expertise in cloud security, data storage and overall systems management among others.
How Dell are getting it right:
- Posting: the Dell account posts several times each day, the content posted is varied, including everything from infographics and videos to industry and business news, punctuated with insightful and interesting facts.
- Hangouts: Dell began using Hangouts in September 2013 and used the forum to interact directly with their following.
- Transparency: Dell have used the Town Hall meeting option to provide business transparency by displaying meetings with the company’s president Michael Dell.
- Setting up communities: Dell have set up the Dell TechCenter and Enterprise IT Security, whilst these communities may not be heavily populated, modulators post content on a daily basis. The TechCenter serves as an additional online customer service forum where users of Google Plus are able to access five additional means by which they can troubleshoot IT issues.
What could Dell be doing better?
- The brand’s video channel: currently Dell are making little use of their Dell Brand Videos tab and the videos they are posting are poor. Unfortunately for Dell this means that they are missing an excellent opportunity to tell their brand’s story.
The blue chip company has been one of the contributing forces behind the global technology revolution for over four decades. Due to this position, it is unsurprising that the brand is prospering on a number of social media platforms, including Google Plus. Intel use Google Plus as a means of inviting members of their following to engage directly in conversations around technological breakthroughs and product launches.
How Intel is getting Google Plus right:
- Quality and quantity of posts: Intel are not only ensuring that they post regularly on Google Plus, they also provide a good balance when it comes to the content of their posts. Intel’s posts are comprised of a mixture of product information, educational content and thought leadership.
- Aesthetics: Intel are taking full advantage of the larger image format provided by Google Plus.
- Excellent use of video: Intel have provided a number of Google Plus exclusive videos which have been launched to accompany current and upcoming industry events.
- As part of their cross-platform promotion efforts Intel have made excellent use of Instagram in conjunction with Google Plus.
- They have broken down their audience: rather than feeding all of their audience all of their content, Intel have split their audience into a variety of categories. These categories include Tech Enthusiasts and IT Experts. The brand also provide a Newsroom and a Trends section. This approach enables users to gain direct access to the news and content which is most relevant to them.
Where could Intel improve their Google Plus performance?
- There have been inconsistencies with their daily posts. There have been ten day windows where the brand has posted no new content, which for a brand of their size can only reflect badly.
MATLAB offer their customers a high-level language and highly interactive environment which enables them to perform intensive and demanding computing tasks quicker than is possible with traditional coding languages such as C and C++. Based on this description you could think that MATLAB would only be relevant to a specialist audience of computer engineers, however over 22,000 individuals have added the company to their Circles on Google Plus.
How MATLAB is getting Google Plus right:
- Demonstrative videos: MATLAB are using Google Plus as a means to showcase a number of technical videos which explain to users a range of complex system design variations.
- Engaging posts: MATLAB post daily and consistently and receive respectable levels of engagement in the form of both comments and shares.
How MATLAB is getting Google Plus wrong:
- Poor visuals: each post is accompanied by a thumbnail, however most of these images are largely irrelevant to the content they accompany.
- Video: there are some aspects of video which MATLAB are using well on the platform, however there are other areas where they could use video better. Currently the company is missing out on a huge opportunity to display their content to a larger audience, as currently they are featuring only links to video content as opposed to posting the video itself.
The three business to business companies listed above are doing a lot of things right when on Google Plus, however there are large holes in each company’s performance. As it stands it is only Dell who are taking advantage of the Hangouts feature, this is an area which others are likely to begin to utilise, in order to provide deeper and more effective interactions with their audience.