National Instruments Enriches B2B Social With Humor, Insight, and A Little Nerd Love

B2B social interactions often receives a bad reputation for not offering the same kind of pizzazz as B2C. National Instruments Social Media Manager Joelle Pearson is trying to change that. With a brand voice infused with intelligence and wit, Pearson is helping NI take B2B engagement to new heights. We asked Pearson to talk about her role with National Instruments, and what she values most about reaching out into the tech community. 


My day begins, I think, around 2 am. During REM sleep, I’m usually dreaming about a typo I’ve posted on a LinkedIn update.  I often wake up and check my phone in the night, only to find notifications like some kid in Akron made a Rube Goldberg machine out of a pumpkin and wanted me to know about it. Then I go to work. I spend my mornings on Spredfast, combing for complaints, questions, praise, or stories from scientists and engineers who are in our network. My goal is to make anyone who reaches out (no matter their Klout) happy. I use a flowchart of company contacts and an internal message board to help me with anything I can’t answer alone—which is most everything. In the afternoons, I mine for content. I either produce it (sweet Vine series showing software in ACTION) or re-use it (sweet coding best practices from our newsletter). Content comes from or is coaxed out of all our departments. With Spredfast, we now have a measurable idea of what our audience likes and how they like it to be delivered. Sprinkled throughout it all is developing editorial calendars for 7 networks, advising our branches on content strategy, writing guides on best practices, researching exactly how Facebook has changed its algorithm this week, reporting metrics, and a bunch of other stuff I can’t even explain cause it’s going to change tomorrow. B2B tech social media is pretty sexy stuff; you’ve got to be a nerd to do it. You also need to be social (in the classic sense).



Unfortunately, I’m an introverted nerd. Being social is the most difficult part of my job. The irony isn’t lost on me. After work, I push myself to get away from my WII and connect with people. The best social media managers love people and love helping them. They’re genuine, and good at maintaining relationships. Some people argue that that our audience (younger students/graduates) isn’t our desired demographic (old, rich engineers).  But we’re building an empire, and have to start from scratch. In the future, all those kids who are following us who I spend toilsome hours appeasing will be our customers. They’ll remember when they tweeted about wanting to “murder [us] because [our] servers were slow” and within a day a senior engineer had emailed them to help, personally. And that’s pretty cool. As was the Rube Goldberg pumpkin.


We need to see pictures of that Rube Goldberg pumpkin, STAT. Thanks for sharing, Joelle! Have any thoughts for Joelle on best practices for B2B social? Tweet them to us: @Spredfast.'s picture

Caitlin Greenwood

Caitlin Greenwood is the Community Manager at Spredfast. With a background and passion for journalism and creative writing, Caitlin fosters engagement and builds meaningful relationships across the Spredfast social communities. Follow her on @mcgreenw for all things pop culture, social media, and snapshots of her corgi Marfa.