Social Media is always thought of for a B2C engagement. But when it comes to B2B engagement, it is perceived to be difficult. Well, one company in India is trying to change this mindset and it is Ingersoll Rand India. Ingersoll Rand, the firm providing products, services and solutions to enhance the quality and comfort in homes, buildings, etc. is also making it’s presence known in the Indian social media space.
Recently, the lovely new ad of Ingersoll Rand India that is being aired on TV caught my eyes. The video is also a part of it’s Youtube brand channel. A Facebook presence to connect with employees in India, showcasing their achievements, etc is a great example for people who think twice for a B2B engagement.
With this Swati Bhattacharya, VP Corporate Relations of Ingersoll Rand is quite a Twitter lover and also is a social media enthusiast. She was ready to speak to us on the various social media initiatives being taken in her company, her role and as an employee the do’s and don’ts on social media. The email interview that we did with her is shared below.
1. Hi Swati! it is a pleasure to do an email interview with you. Can you quickly tell us about yourself and your role at Ingersoll Rand India.
Thank you Prasant. I am the Vice-President for Corporate Relations, Branding and Public Affairs at Ingersoll Rand India. Additionally, I lead Corporate Social Responsibility programs and community initiatives at Ingersoll Rand.
Ingersoll Rand is a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments in commercial, residential and industrial markets. At Ingersoll Rand, I drive the strategic direction of our brand and communication initiatives with the aim to establish the company as an industry leader in the country.
A little about my background – I’m a Marketing and Communications professional with over 17 years of experience and accomplishments in diverse fields such as IT, Retail, Industrial and Consumer practice areas.
My key expertise lies in – planning and executing Strategic Branding initiatives, Government Relations, Media and Public Relations programs, New Business Development, and Crisis Communication.
2. Ingersoll Rand India has been slowly embracing social media and it’s growing. What is the objective behind this?
At Ingersoll Rand we have a 360-degree approach to branding and communication. We believe we can link Ingersoll Rand to its various audiences and build meaningful relationships through integrated communications. We have been targeting traditional media through Public Relations (and advertising now), to create awareness about our businesses and initiatives. We are now utilizing social media to create excitement around our brands, spread our messages meaningfully and in a way that adds value to the message recipients.
3. I believe you are targeting the B2B section via social media. Any specific strategy that Ingersoll Rand has adopted for B2B social media
We are targeting key stakeholders of our company through social media. These include our customers, partners & vendors, employees, the larger industry and general public. While, we have seen a great amount of interest in our social media initiatives among B2B stakeholders, yet it is not limited to the industry. Rather, in our experience social media has been a very effective tool to reach out to the gen-next. It has turned out to be a great way to drive employee engagement and attract talent.
To the second part of your question, the larger strategy is to share the Ingersoll Rand story with our stakeholders and peers – using media that is accessed by them.
4. Along with a Facebook, Twitter and Youtube presence now Ingersoll Rand has television ads too. As a brand, do you think Social Media is just another form of Marketing?
Over the years, Ingersoll Rand has transformed into a multi-brand commercial products manufacturer that inspires progress for its people and customers through its innovative technology solutions. Through our advertising campaign that was launched in August 2011, we are letting our audience know that we make products that are high on technology but that impact lives on a daily basis. The advertising campaign effectively shows how Ingersoll Rand is inspiring progress for its people and customers through our innovative solutions.
The campaign brings all our strategic brands under the Ingersoll Rand corporate umbrella. The corporate advertising campaign communicates where we are present and how our businesses impact lives. The campaign plays a significant role in enhancing our brand image, critical to our growth and expanding footprint in India.
To complement the print and TV campaign, we have a robust digital and social media campaign running. All together, the 360-degree campaign has been instrumental in driving greater stakeholder engagement with our brand in India. The campaign has resulted in creating greater awareness and interest about Ingersoll Rand businesses and product lines.
It will be limiting to say that Social Media is just another form of marketing. Social media helps individuals and organizations – listen, network, research, innovate, collaborate, service/help customers and people, build reputation and effect sales.
5. As an individual you are also pretty much active on Twitter. How important do you think it is and what care should be taken by an individual when her company is also an active brand on social media?
I think Twitter is a very powerful tool and a great source of news, information and content sharing. As an individual, I take care to Tweet useful, relevant content about the subjects I know and I’m interested in. I follow people who tweet on topics I’m interested in. I actively engage in conversations, ask questions and reply to people using @username. I often ReTweet interesting information and participate in themed discussions using event hashtags #.
Some other best practices that organizations should keep in mind while using social media to reach their audiences are:
- Be transparent about who you are and where you work – every single time when discussing the company, brands, product and/or services. All employees are seen as company endorsers and must disclose that connection. Talk about yourself, the company and its products and services in an honest way to keep your integrity intact.
- Create innovative content and craft messages (text, videos, pictures) that are interesting to the audience – and don’t just promote your products & services
- Wherever possible, provide proof of concepts to substantiate statements
- There are no shortcuts to achieve followers/fans. They are built organically. And require effort.
- Include relevant key words in your profile
- Stay engaged with your audience constantly
6. Lastly, what would be your advice to startups and SME’s who are trying to create their presence on social media?
Social Media essentially helps build a community of internal and external audiences around a company’s brands and initiatives. It helps organizations showcase their work and how they impact the economy and society. Social media tools can help build advocates for organizations.
Organizations looking to use social media should have a clear understanding in terms of who they want to reach out to, and select the appropriate tools. Organizations should create exciting content specific to these tools and remain constantly engaged with the social media community.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that social media is not free. It requires a lot of time and energy. Also while it may help create positive brand image, it will take no time for any one with a negative comment about your company to make it viral. So it is a double edged sword! It is something that you cannot ignore, and yet something that you have to be careful with. Be sensitive to what you say, and always remember the implications are much larger with the social media, than it used to be with traditional media.
It’s great to see how Ingersoll Rand India has embraced social media as a part of it’s 360 degree campaign. Thanks Swati for sharing your thoughts and some great point’s for startups and SME’s too. Personally your bullet point list is really worth noting as employees need to be careful if their organization is also on social media.
Do you find the journey of Ingersoll Rand India exciting and what are your thoughts on how should employees interact on social media?