BlogWell: How Big Brands Use Social Media is an amazing series of events presented by that features 8 great case studies in corporate social media. To learn more, visit

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In her BlogWell San Francisco presentation, Hitachi Data Systems' Global Online Marketing/Social Media Manager, Sharon Crost, shares how they are using social media as a shortcut for generating leads.

Sharon explains each of the five shortcuts they use and gives tips about social marketing based on the outcome of their two Facebook campaigns.

Below is live coverage from the event:

– Hitachi cheering section is a product of how we built up energy. Hitachi associated with servers, bringing social to the next level was essential. Being more social and delivering ROI. Five shortcuts on social media.

1. Test – Different channels
2. Segment – Let all participate, and audience self-select
3. Amplification – Use influencers to push your message
4. Metrics – Measure results
5. Nurture – Thank participants

–Is social media a good investment for a large B2B conservative culture that sells to C-level partners with an 18 month sales cycle?

Answer: Not sure. We don’t have a proven ROI. B2B audience was not thought to be as present in social media. Big tickets with long sales cycles don’t do social.

Created a microsite. Goals 3,000 visitors, 300 leads. Quiz campaign launched. User must, like a treasure hunt, find details about a character. Directs users to YouTube, Facebook and other sites.

Global campaign: Spin the globe. As you look at the globe, customer testimonials are spread all over the world. Stars represent Tweets. As you tweet, it appears on the globe.

Quest for Scalability. Goals 6,000 visitors, 400 leads. As adventurers go around the globe, they are questing for the brand.

What’s socially engaging content in your arsenal? What’s exciting about it? It’s not necessarily your products.

– What do you do about people not of your target market who engage in your campaigns?

Answer: Be nice to everyone, make a clear distinction between who’s who.

Use audience segmentation for your campaign. Gamification for “Storage Economics Assessment” and download eBook to find out who’s who. Two choices: iPad vs. Storage equipment. Gives everyone the chance to opt in.

Provide simple segmentation options.

– I have a limited budget, can I market on “the cheap”?

Answer: Absolutely. Hitachi used the full portfolio. Earned, owned and partnered networks and not paid ads. Using social media channels, your own .com, and channel and alliance partners.

– What drives the greatest number of registrations? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or traditional media

Answer: Facebook. For a small amount of money you can see ROI. Start out small in each channel.

– What is the top benefit of adding social media to the marketing mix?

Answer: Cheaper marketing, re-engagement, leverage influencers.

– Results

Campaign #1 – 8,000 visitors, 604 leads, 43% uplift just in Facebook alone.

Campaign #2 – 14,580 visitors, 369 leads. 494 engagements, 9,000 clicks on collateral.


Q: How did you involve partners?

A: Internally we have the social media investments club. Hosted an internal conference and used badges to encourage social sharing. Gave away an iPad to the person with most points. Externally, we used sister divisions and influencers. We used bloggers to help nurture relationships.

Q: How does this translate to the Japanese audience?

A: Japanese sect of Hitachi adopting social media, but more slowly. They are less open to it.

Q: How did you measure your campaigns?

A: Initially, we had a challenge. Started getting more internal support after landing a sale via Twitter. Used social media dashboard to show trends. What would it have cost us to pay for these 9,000 clicks? That’s the ROI.

Q: How did you approach tracking leads?

A: Company uses an official lead generation form to capture legitimate leads. Includes company information and other details. That is the only way to be counted as a lead. All other tracking was done with social media results.

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