Week 2



Building a global B2B community in a conservative market

ShipServ is an online B2B trading platform that helps maritime buyers find the best suppliers easily and trade efficiently.

In a notoriously conservative shipping market, ShipServ has pioneered the use of social media for sales, marketing, customer service – and in the product itself.

Central to the plan is to help globally dispersed maritime purchasing professionals become a real community – and it’s working. The company is known throughout the industry as a leader in social media, with an active LinkedIn group, Twitter feed and Facebook page – plus social features (such as ratings & reviews) built into their supplier directory.

A stream of thought leadership content lubricates the social machine – and it all feeds into the Marketo lead nurturing platform and on to the CRM system (yes, Salesforce).

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A social app lives and breathes social media

SoundCloud is the world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere.

With their product literally built as a social media platform, you’d expect the SoundCloud team to be social natives. They are. So much so that their approach is completely natural and ad hoc rather than over-thought.

The seven-person community team is the voice of the company on social channels – and the first responders for customer service issues. The content firehose that is SoundCloud is aimed every day at “BTTF”: Blog, tumlbr, Twitter and Facebook. And the investment pays dividends.

Today, SoundCloud has over 238,000 followers on Twitter – engaging with things like the SoundCloud of the Day (#SCOTD) and the crowd-sourced Soundcloud Multimix. The Facebook page has earned over 800,000 likes. Local volunteers act as network ambassadors. And artists like SnoopDog, 50 Cent, Britney Spears and Madonna have all engaged with SoundCloud.

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Rapid social response that surprises and delights customers

thetrainline is the UK’s leading independent retailer of train tickets. It lives and dies by its online execution, so a well-organised social customer service effort is essential.

The company's relatively modest Twitter following masks their real activity on the platform: listening for customer conversations around the brand and responding quickly and effectively. And thetrainline Facebook page is starting to grow as a front-line customer service resource.

Everyone in the Customer Relations team spends some time on Twitter but at least two people are on it full time, to cover the 8am-8pm support window. The team applies the same customer service principles as in any other channel but for social, the tone is a bit less formal, more personal and friendly.

Since starting with social media, customer service costs have continued to fall – and the social effort is an important part of that.

Read the interview ›

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