Espinosa also found that a single Facebook page for the entire company does not work when customers are as diverse as Caterpillar's. "The mining companies aren't interested in talking about electricity. You have to get into a segment-specific strategy. We had to make sure that when we're talking about mining on Facebook, we should be talking to the mining community and have a page that supports that. If we want to reach landscapers, we should reach them on their own Caterpillar-branded Facebook page. We're working with our product groups to make sure our marketing plan is integrated with the social media like it would with print."
Eventually, Caterpillar's plan is to have a social media expert embedded within each product group. "If we're trying to market globally from a central point of view in Peoria, Illinois, it won't be successful," Espinosa said.
Social media must be synchronized with other marketing channels, he says. "You want to integrate it with other efforts. Make sure there's a long-term plan around each product group. We need to know the region and the language they communicate in," he says.
The firm's social-media communications including Facebook and Twitter posts will eventually be syndicated to all dealers. "They can accept those posts or not, or modify them to their liking. We syndicate our content now through the website. We're going to do the same thing through social media," he says.