The 11 Most Influential B2B Brands Online

B2B marketers could be tempted to think that they have no need for social media. With a niche market and limited competition, they might not feel the urgency to adopt social media marketing the way many B2C companies have.

That thinking, however, couldn’t be farther from the truth.

B2B social media marketing allows you to:

  • Contribute thought leadership to their industry
  • Reach new customers
  • Attract top-notch employees
  • Monitor brand sentiment

Due to a smaller customer base for B2B marketers, there’s even an argument to be made that social media marketing is more valuable, because the positive word of mouth that drives many B2B relationships can be amplified online, resulting in high impact results.

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands List places a financial value on brands by weighing financial measures along with consumer measures of brand equity. We wanted to find out if there was any relationship between the value of a global brand and its digital influence.

Looking only at the B2B companies represented in BrandZ’s 2011 Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list, we ranked them in order of Twitter influence. Check out our findings in the table below.

Company

BrandZ rank

Klout Score

Followers

1. HP 18 72 70,349
2. MICROSOFT 5 71 109,106
3. UPS 17 70 6,434
4. CISCO 67 67 83,964
5. ORACLE 22 62 39,803
6. ACCENTURE 49 62 27,670
7. INTEL 58 62 54,373
8. GE 10 61 2,391
9. SAP 23 61 9,224
10. FEDEX 73 61 6,543
11. IBM 3 56 1,342

B2B Digital Marketing Insights

We found there to be little relationship between the BrandZ rank and digital influence. As one example, IBM, the highest BrandZ ranked B2B company, was the least influential of all. There are a number of factors that contributed to IBM’s relatively weak digital influence, lack of simplicity being one of them. UPS also stands out because of its high influence (ranked 3) yet its low number of followers and middle of the pack BrandZ ranking. Content and the quality of your audience still trumps audience size for UPS. Here are three main takeaways from our analysis:

  • Simple is better. IBM’s B2B social media presence is fractured, with dozens of different Twitter accounts representing every aspect of this massive company. There are 31 Twitter accounts for recruiting alone. HP and Microsoft, on the other hand, present a more streamlined B2B social media marketing strategy.
  • B2B firms can build a large digital audience. Take Cisco, whose primary roots are in B2B. With 83,964 fans they have the second highest number of Twitter followers after the much better known Microsoft.
  • More followers will typically improve influence BUT you can’t have great influence without the right content and the right followers. Get the content right and build the right audience before going for scale.

It’s clear that B2B marketers have plenty to gain from a robust social media marketing strategy. A simple, approachable digital presence attracts attention in the first place, while valuable content keeps them engaged.

Fluency Media has years of experience crafting online marketing campaigns for a wide range of businesses. If you would like to see how your B2B company’s social media presence stacks up against the competition, request a complimentary competitive digital marketing report.