In last weeks post, I discussed the benefits of social media being used at FlashStock to engage employees through the use of a social tool/central communications hub for driving improved business performance. This week, I will continue to focus on engagement, however, one form that businesses are consistently familiar with: customer engagement. I question and explore how FlashStock uses social media as a channel to help with brand awareness, creating thought leadership and market penetration to increase business performance.
I think it is important to quickly give you a bit of background to FlashStock. Flashstock Inc. is a Toronto-based B2B tech start-up. We are part of a growing sector called CaaS (Content as a Service). FlashStock is a technology platform used by Fortune 1000 global brands to help accelerate the creation of custom images and videos, connecting a global network of creative contributors. We are partners with Instagram and Facebook, helping businesses generate higher engagement through social and digital channels. Since we are B2B, we use the likes or @mentions as ways to learn about what our clients like and understand their buying process better. Data that helps form what compelled a client to engage with us, helps us understand more about our target audience. As we understand more, we can continue to measure valuable and consumable data in the form of knowledge.
As a growing B2B organization, our salespeople sell to business executives who are working over and above and often, over communicated to. FlashStock’s use of social media has been to help create brand awareness, position FlashStock as a leader, and operate as a trusted source. Companies seek assistance through Flashstock to rapidly measure their content needs and keep their clients engaged with relevant content. At FlashStock, we have a well-supported and staffed sales organization which is the main driver of revenue for the business today. As we continue to evolve and have more data to analyze, our marketing team is going to be able to understand what our clients and prospects are interested in. They want to learn about and serve up relevant content in the form of future webinars or whitepapers, which our founding leader, Grant Munroe, is a contributor.
FlashStock finds itself clearing new paths. An important factor is its growth and getting the word out. Showing your audience that you can add value beyond a product is key to a business’ success. Using social media has given FlashStock, a rapidly growing company, the voice and reach we need to connect with our customers and prospects near and far. One example of how we do this is through webinars that are shared across corporate digital and social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and our own. The sales team also shares the upcoming events on their own personal social channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn. We don’t talk about our product and we showcase particular personnel such as our aforementioned CEO. Topics discussed include best practices within the industry and new research conducted with our leading partners, Facebook and Instagram.
Having influencers such as internal thought leaders who are describing their experience, best practice, or vision can help connect potential customers and new prospects. They may engage deeper with existing customers and give them something new and interesting to learn or experience. This “free” advice is providing continued value to your clients, keeping them engaged wherever they may be. Social media is a great tool to use to serve up product and company information because as more and more people engage with it – “90% of young adults (ages 18 to 29) use social media. 35% of those over age 65 do. (Pew Research Center)” you are able to connect with an even larger audience, providing scalable reach.
With more and more people turning to social media as their main source of communication, our sales team has also adopted social selling to help us cut through all the noise clients are inundated with. While it’s no secret that social selling has been on the rise “75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level or vice-president level executives use social media to make purchasing decisions.” . What this alternative connection point with the client means is that whenever or wherever they may be, searching for a solution to a problem that we can solve, the client’s recollection of FlashStock, or recommendation of FlashStock has a higher probability.
Creating a following of advocates is something a growing startup can benefit from and having them share their stories publically helps other similar type businesses or completely unrelated ones find new ways and approaches to solving a need for “scaling content”. At FlashStock, through the permission of our clients, we have shared some case studies on our blog and website where clients advocate for the benefits to working with our technology. We will continue to pursue other ways of using advocates such as Twitter or podcasts in the future which will only help with engaging further with our customers.
Lessons for Others
To summarize, FlashStock is in the 3rd year of operations and has seen tremendous growth. We continue to see a great deal of potential to exceed our goals. I touched on customer engagement through this post and how FlashStock is using it to help drive business performance with the help of social media. Our buyers are everywhere and we need to keep engaging through listening and teaching. We will continue to create more value for both sides of the table.
Industry: Technology, SaaS, CaaS
Name of Organization Contact: Gary Parkinson - Marketing Manager
Authored by: Linas Ruslys
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
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Inquirer – Three tips on social media management – Retrieved May 23 2017 http://business.inquirer.net/229571/three-tips-social-media-management
Business 2 Community – Retrieved May 23 2017 – http://www.business2community.com/social-media/4-reasons-msp-sales-reps-spend-time-social-media-01079497#QSME2f8SrbyHMPii.97