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Andy’s Answers: 5 shortcuts Hitachi Data Systems uses to earn B2B sales leads through social media

Hitachi Data Systems is a large, conservative, business-to-business brand that sells to C-level executives through 18-month sales cycles, often through partners. So, when Hitachi’s Sharon Crost shared a case study at our BlogWell conference, she was candid in saying the company wasn’t sure social media were right for it.

But Hitachi was willing to give it a shot if it could keep the budget low and use tracking to closely monitor results.

In her presentation, Crost shared five shortcuts learned along the way and how the test project more than doubled Hitachi’s goals for Web traffic, social engagement and live sales leads.

Her shortcuts:

  • Test early and often. You’re not going to know which content is socially engaging until you start testing and trying things out.
  • Segment. Provide different levels of engagement for your audience, and let it self-select.
  • Amplify. You don’t need a big budget to amplify what you’re doing. Hitachi worked with partners, used its corporate site and engaged industry influencers to raise awareness for its social campaign.
  • Measure. Focus on a few key performance metrics, and integrate them into your campaign. Use early results to shift resources. (For example, Hitachi found that Facebook outperformed LinkedIn and Twitter for its campaign, so it shifted focus and resources there.)
  • Nurture. Social media interaction must be nurtured. Crost encouraged having fun and developing an experience map for how each touch point leads to a nurturing goal.

Watch Crost’s presentation. Slides are available.