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How Caterpillar Uses Social Media to Overcome Customer Barriers

By Eric Dudley

Most people recognize Caterpillar as a household name, but what they may not know is that Caterpillar’s marketing team has displayed innovative thought leadership when it comes to B2B digital marketing, specifically social media. Their story is a shining example of how to utilize social media to help prospects overcome customer barriers and become quality leads.

The biggest customer barrier Caterpillar faces is one that many B2B organizations relate to: you are your weakest link. In Caterpillar’s case, their prospects are ultimately going to visit a dealership, and if the prospect has a bad experience with the dealership, they have a bad experience with the brand as a whole. Social media is just one channel that can be used to overcome this barrier.

When launching or re-vamping a social media campaign, the first question to ask is, “Why are we doing this?” For social media to be successful, it must align with your business’ goals. In most cases, the goal of a social media campaign is to help move customers through the buying cycle so they will eventually convert. Social media content should map to each stage of the buying cycle. In Caterpillar’s case, these stages are awareness, consideration, selection and acquisition.1

In the awareness stage, the prospect is learning about your company and what it stands for and does on a daily basis. This is a great place to mention inspirational stories your team featured in a blog post. For example, Caterpillar’s dealers donated trucks to help with a tornado cleanup effort. Content like this will pique a prospect’s interest, encouraging them to move to the next stage in the customer journey: consideration.

At the consideration stage, present yourself as an innovator in the industry through content that is relevant and useful. For example, sharing a “how-to” article or quick tip that your prospects can actually use will position your business as an industry expert. The more a prospect trusts your brand’s acumen, the more likely they are to choose you over your competitors.

Next is the selection stage, where prospects are evaluating the pros and cons of specific products. This is the stage where you can provide specific metrics and value propositions about your products. Share content that demonstrates why your products and services are better that what your competitors offer.

Finally, the customer will reach the acquisition stage. All content at this stage should be targeted toward lead generation. Marketers could incorporate CTAs or promotions at this stage in the customer journey. Just make certain you incorporate a way to capture the lead in this content!

Don’t be a digital marketer who implements social media strategies just to check the box. Sharing purposeful content at each stage in the buying cycle will ensure the ultimate social media success: lead generation.

If your business is searching for new age social media strategies that bridge communication gaps and better connect to relevant audiences, contact Crafted to inquire about our services today.

1 Source: Slideshare.com

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