Packaging Revolution Interview: How ORBIS Approaches B2B Social Media

Does B2B social media make sense for reusable packaging providers? In the case of ORBIS Corporation, Juli Anne Patty finds that it certainly does, as recorded in the interview below.

Why does ORBIS consider social media an important strategy for reaching its audiences?

Social media gives ORBIS a voice with our customers and potential packaging customers. Our customers are at the center of our business and this is a very effective way to reach, engage and share industry information with them.

We know our customers receive all kinds of information throughout their business day and beyond. Social media channels help us reach them with information that is relevant to their experience with us or their specific packaging application. Not only that, it’s an opportunity to improve that experience by being there for potential and current customers, building a direct relationship.

Facebook and Twitter are especially helpful when sharing new product launches, trade show information and the latest industry trends. YouTube enables us to post videos about our products, from pallet handling guidelines to repair and new product features, all so customers can see our product in action and better understand how it can benefit them. We have found that links to these videos can be really helpful to our customers when they are making product decisions or training their peers. After all, social content is shareable. Building a presence and sharing our own information enables others to share it as well. Social media gives us the chance to build trusted, personal connections and to hear directly from people in our industry – users of our products and services. And that can be incredibly powerful for our business.

Additionally, social media also helps us show our customers the kind of company that ORBIS is in the community and with employees. It gives us a great venue to show the ways that ORBIS gives back to our community. There is definitely a recruiting and retention advantage when employees have visibility to the goodwill a company generates.

Does ORBIS focus on a particular social media network for each market segment (Facebook for 30-45 year-old males; Pinterest for young mothers; etc.) or do they use all of the networks the same way?

We have found that each social media channel has its purpose and strengths with certain messaging. We share similar messaging across all channels and modify it for that particular channel. Twitter is ideal for up-to-the minute information, at trade shows, for instance. We also find that Twitter is very accessible by many of our followers, because few corporations restrict its usage. We use Facebook for longer messages with multiple photos. YouTube is used for demonstrating actual products in use. We use LinkedIn to network with other packaging professionals and groups, like the Reusable Packaging Association.

How does ORBIS measure the effectiveness of its social media strategies?

For all of our social media channels, we carefully track our number of followers. With Facebook, we monitor engagement with comments from followers. With Twitter, we watch re-tweets and the traffic we drive to our website. If we are able to develop social interactions and relationships in a way that we can elevate to our sales team – that’s a great positive. With YouTube, we check our video views of each of our clips, to check their effectiveness and usage. During and immediately after trade shows or key events, we see higher levels of engagement and we’re looking forward to that continuing to grow as people continue to adopt and become comfortable using social media as an information source and a direct line to companies they work with or are interested in. Social media is deeper than information broadcasting. We embrace it as a chance to build relationships and trust.

Is social media a primary marketing communications tactic for ORBIS, or is it a second-tier tactic?

Social media is an integral part of our marketing communications mix, and is strategically intended to complement and promote our other vehicles. We find we are able to get more current messaging out to our customers on a more frequent basis, which helps when promoting upcoming events and news.

Does ORBIS have a full-time person or team to handle its social media, or is it a function of the marketing team?

Initially, our cross-functional Social Media Team met monthly to create a strong social media policy for employees and brainstorm ways to really leverage social media to advance our business and engage packaging professionals. Once our social media channels were in place, the content became a day-to-day tactic within marketing. Content is developed in conjunction with marketing programs, corporate news, community giving or employee events.

Are there any new social networks that ORBIS is targeting (i.e. Quora?)?

We are always looking for the next widely used tool, social or otherwise, that will complement our current mix of B2B marketing tactics and that will have a broad reach with packaging professionals. Today, we are focused on maximizing our presence on our current channels to reach and engage more packaging professionals.

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