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Andy’s Answers: How Grainger creates customer heroes

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Brands & Campaigns

When you’re selling industrial office and warehouse supplies, you have to find better ways to engage with your customers than through content about your products. That’s why Grainger’s social media (and business) strategy is making their customers — not their stuff — the heroes.

In her presentation at’s BlogWell conference in Chicago, Sherri Maxson, Grainger’s social business leader, shares how they use social media to make even the most traditionally boring stuff remarkable.

Here are some key points from her presentation:

  • B2B buyers make their minds up before they come to your store: According to Sherri, one big difference in B2B and B2C marketing is that B2B customers make 60% of their buying decision before you even meet them. And that’s what makes social media so important for Grainger.
  • Don’t start conversations using your products: As tempting as it may be to use social media as a virtual catalog, remember that people love to talk about themselves, not your stuff. Sherri says Grainger focuses on forging relationships, not offering “solutions.”
  • Have some fun with it: Even brands that sell generators and mop buckets can have a good time with social media. For example, for April Fools’ Day, Grainger revealed their new “Zombie Survival Kit.” The joke showed the company could have a sense of humor and became their most shared Facebook post to date.

Learn more from Sherri’s BlogWell presentation below. The slides are available for download.

If you like this presentation, see more great social media case studies like it live at’s BlogWell conference Oct. 22 in Boston.