B2B Social media case study: Turning IBM’s sales consultants into industry thought leaders
|July 5, 2012||Posted by admin under Marketing, Social Media|
IBM UK wanted to encourage its army of sales consultants to become more eminent in their respective industries, to highlight the breadth of the specialist knowledge and skills offered by the company.
To achieve this, IBM asked Text100 to coach over one hundred of its leading consultants to raise their professional profiles through the use of social media. The vast majority of consultants had very little existing media profile within their industry and practically no experience of using social media.
Text100 devised a two day training course to address IBM’s requirements. During the first day, consultants participate in workshop sessions to help them identify their own areas of expertise, which audiences might value that expertise, and how to create messages that offer valuable insight to their audiences whilst also helping IBM to achieve its business objectives.
Working on the premise that an increased profile might bring the consultants into contact with journalists, the first day also included a basic media training session. Finally, the consultants were given a high level introduction to the evolution of social media and the impact it has had on business.
During the second day of the course the consultants were given practical training in how to make use of Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and YouTube in order to share their expertise and build an audience of relevant followers. The session covered content creation, content curation, and participation in industry discussions on appropriate blogs and discussion groups.
The overall aim of the course was to help IBM’s consultants understand who their audience is, what their messages are, and how to use social media channels to take their messages to the audience. The objective of doing things this way was to help each consultant develop a profile as a thought leader with valued expertise within their particular industry.
The course was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from all consultants, which prompted IBM to repeat the programme for a second year. Many of the course attendees went on to develop their professional profiles in social media, with reports of tangible improvements in sales pipelines as a result.
Positive feedback for the training led to a more advanced version of the course being commissioned for a group of IBM’s senior UK executives.