The Listening Post


A B2B/G2G Holiday

B2C companies have it easy when it comes to spreading the joy of the season and wishing their customers Happy Holidays this time of year. Many are very creative!

As seen on their facebook page, iTunes offered a few free downloads of holiday classics.

Verizon Wireless offered Facebook and Twitter followers a daily “Seasonal Surprise”, giving each fan who “unwrapped their gift” with a Tweet or Facebook share, some kind of online deal.

Walmart featured a “Holiday Table” tab on their Facebook page where they shared recipes for affordable holidays meals.

But what about B2B and G2G companies? Fans of B2Bs and G2Gs tend to be employees of companies who already use and are familiar with our products. For us, holiday giveaways of products are not only unrealistic but pointless.

Can you imagine landing on the Synopsys Facebook page during the holidays and seeing this:

“Hello Synopsys Facebook fan (whose company probably already pays to use our software), we are giving one Synopsys product away each day during the month of December. Perfect for all of your personal spare-time-microchip-designing needs. Just share this post and you’ll be entered to win!”

Ok, so that was over exaggerated, but you get the idea. B2B and G2G companies simply can’t do the same things as B2C companies during the holidays.

We spent some time exploring  what various B2B companies did to get into the 2010 holiday spirit.  Compared to the vast expansion of B2C examples, B2Bs are far and in between. Although creating holiday interaction is slowly emerging in the B2B world, it appears to be something that will take slow experimentation. We could probably count the examples we found on one hand and here are four:

Adobe asked its followers on Facebook what inspires them this holiday season. For every shared inspiration, Adobe donated $1 to the Mercy Corps, showing a great way to interact with your current community and show the importance of giving back during this time of year.

BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, thanked their Facebook fans and Twitter followers for following them and wished everyone happy holidays. Cisco had a similar strategy but took it a step further by attaching a link on their post to one of their blogs with highlights from 2010 and a video rap with various employees saying happy holidays and happy new year.

HubSpot, is one of our favorite examples.  Being  a very progressive company, especially when it comes to social media, they created a “Happy Holidays Video Card from Hubspot!“,  which they posted on their blog and linked to their Facebook and Twitter pages.

As you can see, B2Bs using the holidays as an opportunity to build community and interact with customers  is emerging, and will have a definite bearing on our future for us as a G2G.  What will G2G look like around the holidays? Here is what we think is coming:

Holidays are a special time to make an extra effort to humanize your company, as well as thank those that have aided in your success. A lot of people make the mistake of forgetting that a B2B/G2G company is not just a robot that automatically produces products and services, but there are actually real people behind it. This is your chance to show your followers that you…

  • Have a warm heart: Post examples of what your company has done to give back to the community.
  • Can have fun: Videos are a great way to express the “personality” of the company and build a stronger relationship with customers.
  • Are thinking of them during the Holidays: If you have an email list, send a holiday themed email.
  • Are real people: Take a “family picture” of your team and send to clients in holiday card and/or upload it to Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, a lot of these ideas cannot be strictly reserved for the holiday season, but it’s a good time to do a little more than usual.

Are there any examples of what B2B or G2G companies did during the holidays that really impressed you? We would love to hear your feedback!

From both of us, we hope that you had a wonderful 2010 and we wish you a very happy New Year!

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