Social search drives new business

Category: Social Media

Thursday September 3rd, 2015

Long term Horizon client Brakel Airvent has identified a new business opportunity to take advantage of maintenance needs in larger, particularly public sector, buildings. The business growth initiative is all thanks to a social media search that identified a new market.

One regular task for Horizon’s social media team is to trawl online news wires for relevant industry content, on behalf of clients. And among those clients is Airvent, which maintains smoke ventilation systems around the country for retailers, occupiers and managers of large buildings. Just as they need to get fire extinguishers tested, so such people have a legal obligation to ensure their smoke vents are regularly checked and maintained.

During this online exercise, a recent Channel 4 TV News report was identified as having value for Airvent. It focused on problems at a UK hospital, built under the Private Finance Initiative, where vital components in the building could not be inspected, due to incorrect installation – a potentially major building safety issue.

A call to Airvent’s marketing team confirmed that the report highlighted issues directly relevant to Airvent’s business, for which the company already offered solutions. Having a Channel 4 TV News reporter explain the problem was valuable third party endorsement of one of Airvent’s key building safety messages.

A quick campaign was put together, combining YouTube video, the Airvent website and other social media channels including Twitter and Linkedin to ensure the issue was widely viewed. The Airvent in-house marketing team provided their sales team with tailored material, while a follow-up email newsletter and printed quarterly newsletter included reference to the news story and ensured it was seen by a larger audience.

The response was significant. Major building owners appreciated having the issue brought to their attention – especially their legal liability if systems are not regularly inspected. And Airvent was commissioned to perform safety reviews of key components on buildings across the UK. As a result, Airvent has now set up a dedicated team, to handle the additional business and implement maintenance plans for major clients.

Much has been made of social media as a way of transmitting marketing messages. But media listening can prove an equally valuable way to pick up on trends and exploit new opportunities – as this example shows.