Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Lesson in Social Media from 3M

A Lesson in Social Media from 3M by Jonah Engler

In today's ever-changing corporate world, it's more important than ever to have a viable presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. However, while many companies fail to see just how much influence these sites can have on such areas as branding and customer loyalty, 3M has done the opposite. The company, famous for such products as Post-its, Band Aid and Scotch tape, has found added success by embracing these sites and letting customers know anything and everything about 3M and its products. But how did this so-called "boring" company suddenly become so hip?

Know Your Customers

With more than 121,000 followers on Twitter, 3M has stomped on the myth that "boring" companies can't be successful on social media. Customers who buy products from a company are always interested in that product or the next product being produced, which is what 3M discovered and used to its advantage. By constantly giving out updates on new products and interacting with customers, the company has built a loyal online following that is only getting bigger.


Many companies choose to outsource their social media presence, letting marketing firms handle everything from creating a page to sending out information. However, what fails to happen along the way is the connection between customer and company. 3M realized this, and instead chose to take a do-it-yourself approach to its social media presence. One of the most important decisions made by the company was to create a social media team of 10 people to be in charge of social media. Spending time posing photos and videos, tweeting information about new products, and writing blogs all paid off at the latest trade show they attended, where they had demonstrations of new products that had been talked about on Twitter. Because of this, 3M had one the largest number of customers of any company at the show.

Management and Social Media

Ultimately, what has made 3M so successful in social media is the fact that upper-level management bought into the idea of using it as a key marketing tool. With the company's Chief Marketing Officer and Senior VP of Sales fully on board, it has been able to grow customer loyalty without the fear of failure.

With the success of 3M, other so-called "boring" companies are now starting to have hope and embrace social media as a viable way to keep themselves interesting to customers.

Jonah Engler is a successful entrepreneur, investor, franchise owner and coffee lover who hails from New York City.

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