I was asked a question recently that is posed to me a lot: what company is doing social media right?
In the B2B space, it’s usually a tough one to answer, as the fun and exciting stuff tends to happen over the consumer marketing world. This time around, however, I had an answer at the ready: the New York Stock Exchange.
In retrospect, it makes sense. NYSE has had a strong marketing presence for years, and it excels at creating spectacles … as evidenced by the opening bell ceremonies and the action on the floor that follows. Harnessing that buzz represents the sort of marketing that can’t be bought.
And, it’s in taking the spectacle that NYSE produces and extending it into the social sphere that NYSE has distinguished itself. So, when I had the opportunity to sit down with Marisa Ricciardi, senior vice president of global marketing and branding for NYSE Euronext, I jumped at the opportunity.
Sitting across a table in the venerable establishment at 11 Wall Street, I asked Ricciardi about two promotions in particular: the Bankrate and Michael Kors IPOs. Both were high profile, and I found out from Ricciardi, highly effective.
It was the Michael Kors IPO that led to this conversation. As I walked up Broad Street, I saw the banner hanging from the front of the exchange celebrating the fashion company’s listing – hardly a surprise. When I got back to my office, however, I saw a promoted tweet – and then several more. The tweet may not have stayed with me had I not received an email, several months earlier, from Gogo In-flight, containing a NYSE-sponsored promotion celebrating the Bankrate IPO.
It was all coming together.
Ricciardi explained that NYSE is “always looking at new marketing channels, especially social media.” In particular, with the fact that social marketing is measurable and direct being the greatest selling points. This isn’t news to seasoned marketers, but the fact that NYSE is at the cutting edge probably is – truth be told, I got curious looks when I told friends in the field about what I saw.
When you stop to think about it, though, the whole thing makes sense.
NYSE has had feet in consumer consciousness and B2B sensibility for years, as evidenced by the images from CNBC that are burned into our memory. The exchange has advertised on television and has invested in becoming a household name.
Dovetailing with this is NYSE’s commitment to co-branding, notes Ricciardi: “Co-branding has always been part of our value proposition.” In promoting the exchange, in conjunction with its listing clients, NYSE is able to simultaneously benefit from the “spectacle,” bolster its own brand and support its clients. The last of these has become particularly important, given the increased competition for listings in today’s marketplace.
“We have to evolve with the media landscape,” Ricciardi tells me, but the rest of the conversation reveals that “evolving” isn’t enough. Staying up front is the key.
The promoted tweets associated with the Michael Kors IPO provide a great example. Sources currently advertising on Twitter tell me that the benchmark for engagement levels on promoted tweets is 1 per cent to 3 per cent. According to Ricciardi, NYSE is averaging an engagement rate of 4 per cent. Now, this success rate is likely supported by the broader programs in which Twitter is included. After all, combining Twitter ads with a high-profile IPO, a televised bell-ringing ceremony and a naturally interested audience is fertile ground for engagement. And this is what makes the approach NYSE has taken particularly powerful.
In general – NYSE also advertises on Facebook and LinkedIn – Ricciardi tells me that the “instant feedback” is powerful, as it allows her to tweak her message and optimise her campaign, which also leads to the improved results.
Beyond advertising on social platforms, NYSE has gotten creative in its overall media mix. From hashtags on the banners hanging from 11 Wall Street to digital out of home integrated with Twitter to QR codes, NYSE has experimented with a number of combinations. Experimentation, Ricciardi observes is crucial to driving results through social marketing.
And, it’s likely this thinking that led NYSE to Gogo Inflight.
Following the Bankrate IPO, NYSE offered 30 minutes of free in-flight wi-fi through Gogo, a clear benefit to anyone stuck on a plane with dreams of reaching beyond the fuselage. Well, the benefits to NYSE were every bit as tangible. Ricciardi says that the investment in the Gogo sponsorship was only 10 per cent of that particular program’s budget, yet it drove 21 per cent of the traffic that reached the microsite. In all, it required a relatively low investment for a relatively strong performance.
As a B2B marketer, I have been frustrated for years by the lack of case studies and insights available – what we have is far smaller than what’s available to the B2C crowd. Finally, when asked who’s “doing social media right,” we have an answer to give.
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