Home / Internet Marketing News / Social Spotlight: Square and The Power of Focus

Social Spotlight: Square and The Power of Focus

Welcome to the Social Spotlight, where we dive deep into what we love about a brand’s approach to a specific social campaign. From strategy through execution and results, we’ll examine what makes the best brands on social tick — and leave you with some key takeaways to consider for your own brand’s social strategy.


Telling compelling stories as a B2B software company isn’t always easy–trust us, we know. But in the case of mobile payments processor Square, a laser focus on its primary buyers has allowed the brand to go deep with the stories it finds and champions. Making payments processing more human is no easy task, but Square has found a way to create connection by using beautiful photography, videography and custom illustrations to reveal the people behind the business. This approach creates maximum relevance for its audience–rather than trying to create multiple connections across diverse audiences, which often results in limited relevance and forgettable stories. Instead Square stands out in its category for being approachable, relatable and, let’s face it, a whole lot prettier on social than its competition.


Square, founded in 2009 by Jim McKelvey and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, was born of necessity: McKelvey is a glass artist who was losing four-figure sales because he couldn’t accept credit cards. Together McKelvey and Dorsey realized that democratizing the ability to accept credit cards securely and easily would change the game for small businesses, opening them up to new sales opportunities, venues and revenue streams. The timing was exactly right, as a renewed interest in “maker culture” and shopping local took hold in urban areas and more and more small businesses opened to meet that demand. Square’s first hardware product, the Square Reader, plugged into the headphone jack of a mobile phone to enable vendors to accept credit card payments through Square’s app from anywhere they had a cell signal. This leveled the playing field for businesses that didn’t operate out of brick-and-mortar locations, and everything from food trucks to farmers’ markets were now able to offer a cashless, convenient payment option to customers. Small business needed Square, and Square built its brand by being an ally to small business.

  • Goals: By honing an unwavering focus on the stories, challenges and triumphs on the small business audience their product was most effectively able to serve, Square’s social storytelling has created emotional relevance and brand affinity that drives conversion and loyalty. Beautifully executed video and photojournalistic content like the Dreams series presents Square as a champion of the entrepreneurial spirit and the people who act on it. Without expressly calling it out, the series’ content appears to focus on business owners who represent a wide spectrum of intersectional identities, creating yet another touchpoint of relevance for an audience that has struggled to see themselves in the marketing of the big credit card operators.
  • Offline connection: Rather than using social to drive, enhance or report on offline experiences with its products, Square turns the tables and uses the offline experiences to make its social content richer and more relevant. A great example of this is using its own proprietary data–how, when and where customers are spending through the Square platform–to join relevant cultural conversation that may have business implications for its small biz owner audience.

View this post on Instagram

Millennials are at it again. 🥑

A post shared by Square (@square) on


  • Key channels: YouTube is the primary content hub for the Dreams videos and other Square customer profiles that put the company’s commitment to small business in the spotlight. With more than 42K subscribers, the message is resonating: Square cares about your success and the success of your business. And the brand doesn’t stop at current business owners–there’s plenty of how-tos, demos and tips on how to get your small business off the ground, too.

    Instagram, which credits several different professional photographers as contributors, is a visually engaging platform for Square to champion the successes of its customers. This is done most effectively through portraiture supported by a direct quote from the customer, a style borrowed from culture documentarians like Humans of New York. Instagram is also the primary channel for Square’s promotional content, such as the 12 Days of Square contest run during the holiday season. Participants could win Square hardware by sharing their own small business success stories or examples of how they tackled a particular challenge faced by small businesses.



When you make great software, it’s tempting to try to appeal to every audience possible in order to maximize reach. But the result is often a lukewarm reception, because the audiences you do reach may have a hard time seeing themselves in your stories. It may take awhile for your business to reach the point where you know, and can optimize for, one specific audience. But the depth of connection that kind of focused relevance creates will be well worth it and pay off in the brand loyalty it creates.


  1. Be a champion for your audience.  If you’ve ever heard a talking head say “B2B isn’t just business to business, it’s also human to human,” look no further than Square for a guiding example. There are real people, with real challenges and triumphs, behind every business you sell to. Find them and let them tell their own stories. Chances are, your B2B product makes it easier for them to succeed and they’ll be happy to share that. And all of those challenges and triumphs they’re navigating are shared by others, and that’s the emotional resonance that sticks with a potential customer when they’re making a purchasing decision. The more you show not only how your product makes a business better, but how it makes the lives of the people behind the business better, the more likely you are to win–and keep–loyalty.
  2. Think about how the product experience can drive social content. Every day, your customers (and often their customers) are interacting with your products or services. It’s easy enough to show that interaction on social, but think about ways you can really bring it to life. What’s happening in that interaction that you can use to drive new ways to engage with your social audience?
  3. Your data is yours–use it. Especially for high-volume B2Bs like software companies, tens of thousands of data points are created and quantified every single day. Mine that data for the interesting tidbits that go beyond your business and reach the level of mass culture. There are fascinating stories in your data that have wide appeal, emotional energy and instant cache for your brand.

This post Social Spotlight: Square and The Power of Focus originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Click Here For Original Source Of The Article

Ads by WOW TRK

About Daniel Rodgers

A lot of news that you will not see in the paper. A lot of technology that is coming out that will not see in the paper.

Check Also

Digital Marketing News: Coronavirus’ Impact on Marketing Budgets & Social Media Usage, LinkedIn’s New Conversation Ads, & Instagram Story Changes

2020 March 27 MarketingCharts Chart

2020 March 27 MarketingCharts Chart

LinkedIn rolls out Conversation Ads, aimed at improving personalization in messaging
LinkedIn has begun launching its new Conversation Ads, with real-time engagement ad options that include multiple calls-to-action. Conversation Ads are rolling out to all LinkedIn (client) advertisers over the next several weeks, the firm recently announced. Marketing Land

Social Media Consumption Grows Amid Coronavirus
Social media usage has sharply increased in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain Instagram #ad campaign post likes have seen an increase of up to 76 percent during the past two weeks, as the majority of workers have shifted to temporary remote work. AList

CX in B2B Marketing: Top-of-Mind Strategy in 2020
54 percent of B2B marketers say their organizations are focusing most on customer experience and loyalty in their marketing efforts, according to newly-released report data examining global B2B customer experience priorities. MarketingProfs

Coronavirus: Emarketer lowers global ad spend projections for 2020
Worldwide ad spending will decrease due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a previously expected $712 billion total being revised to $691 billion for 2020, a 3 percent decrease, according to newly-released forecast data, with many expecting even sharper forthcoming ad spend decreases. Marketing Land

B2B Senior Marketer Survey: The Most Effective Approaches for 2020 [Infographic]
LinkedIn (client) is tops among senior B2B marketers for nurturing leads, with some 84 percent saying the Microsoft-owned platform is the most effective social media channel, followed by Facebook at 43 percent and YouTube at 25 percent, according to recently-released survey data of interest to B2B marketers. MarketingProfs

Facebook Warns of Ad Approval Delays Amid Staff Changes Due to COVID-19 Impacts
Facebook was among the first social media platform to announce that the COVID-19 pandemic would affect how it reviews and approves certain content including ads, with a full slate of Facebook monetized content options being impacted. Social Media Today

2020 March 27 Statistics Image

Sales And Marketing Are Misaligned As Email Lags In B2B Nurture Mix: Study
While some 64 percent of marketing teams said that their organizations use account based marketing (ABM) for at least half of their marketing, 90 percent consider it challenging to successfully use it across multiple channels including sales — two of several findings of interest to digital marketers in recently-released survey data. MediaPost

Instagram's Testing the Capability to Add Hashtags and Location to Stories Highlights
Marketers may soon be able to add location information and up to four hashtags to the Highlights option of Instagram Stories, which stay active beyond the usual 24-hour active period, according to recent test observations — changes that could eventually bring an array of new targeting options to digital marketers' toolkits. Social Media Today

Amazon could win big in the post-coronavirus retail economy
Marketers may swivel more ad dollars to Amazon, which has seen sizable demand increases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm announced that it was hiring more than 100,000 new workers, and a jump in ad revenue also appeared likely as some marketers have shifted more spend to the e-commerce giant. Marketing Land

Data Hub: Coronavirus and Marketing
28 percent of industrial marketers plan to shift marketing budgets from trade shows cancelled due to COVID-19 to digital advertising instead, while 14 percent will allot that spending to content marketing — one of several statistics of interest to digital marketers contained in newly-released report data from MarketingCharts. MarketingCharts


2020 March 27 Marketoonist Comic

A lighthearted look at how not to communicate right now by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne — Marketoonist

Diabolical Mailing List Admin Twirling Mustache and Cackling at Dead “Unsubscribe” Link — The Hard Times


  • SAP, Dell Technologies — 3 Tips For B2B Marketers When Your Big Trade Show Is Cancelled Due To Coronavirus — Forbes
  • SAP — Event industry and COVID-19: An insider’s point of view — The Future of Commerce
  • Lee Odden — Marketing During a Pandemic – Resources for Small Businesses in the Coronavirus Crisis [Roundup] — Simple Machines

Do you have your own top B2B content marketing or digital advertising stories from the past week? Please let us know in the comments below.

Thank you for taking the time to join us, and please return again next Friday for a new selection of the most relevant B2B and digital marketing industry news. In the meantime, you can follow us at @toprank on Twitter for even more timely daily news. Also, don't miss the full video summary on our TopRank Marketing TV YouTube Channel.

The post Digital Marketing News: Coronavirus’ Impact on Marketing Budgets & Social Media Usage, LinkedIn’s New Conversation Ads, & Instagram Story Changes appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.