Sulzer : Engineering social

Related links reveal a clear tactical understanding of social media.

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The feature

Sulzer, Switzerland based industrial engineering group, is selective about where on its website it provides links to social media tools and content. Sulzer uses the right-hand column of its corporate website extensively to provide graphic related links from the current page. These include prompts to reports and publications as well as to selected information including in other media, such as Twitter, and alternative viewing devices, such as iPad. The links are placed selectively according to page content and the prime target audience. For example, Events in Investors has a link to Twitter that shows the latest posting and a prompt to ‘Read our publications on the Sulzer iPad app’ that launches the Sulzer Report Library in the iTunes store. Elsewhere in the section the Twitter link is included only on the News Releases page. It appears throughout the separate Newsroom section. The iPad prompt is included extensively in Investors but highly selectively in About us; for example, it is at _> Corporate Governance> Annual General Meeting_ but not any of the other 10 sub-sections of Corporate Governance.

The takeaway

Sulzer shows many of the outward signs of social media savvy – site users can visit a Social Media Newsroom; find the company from there on Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing (a German business professionals network) and YouTube; and acquire its iPad app. But Sulzer’s selective seeding of links to this content demonstrates it is more than a dedicated follower of fashion. Its alignment of links with page content and its target audience is a clear sign that it understands the strengths (and weaknesses) of the different media and platforms – and engages them appropriately. Journalists use Twitter as a ‘source’ of breaking news, so Sulzer embeds a related link throughout Newsroom while limiting it to relevant pages in Investors. Conversely, the iPad app is liberally associated with content aimed at investors and analysts, who appreciate being able to consume it offline and on the move. (A further sign that Sulzer ‘gets’ social media is the absence of Facebook from its Social Media Newsroom and the presence of Xing.)
First published 02 April, 2013
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