Q: We are an industrial company and the engineers we want to talk to are not interested in gossip – so what has social media got to offer us?
A: Well we believe that this is the early stage of Social Media for industrial companies – just as it was some time ago with the internet. We can see a steadily increasing relevance of blogs and the wider social media for organic search listings and for dealing with issues such as rapid distribution of small information packets, e.g. new products, recruitment, novel applications, corporate change.
Q: That is all very well, but isn’t it expensive?
A: Well it may look it at first glance but it may enable you to more effectively do what you are presently spending a lot of money doing with advertising and exhibitions, but actually allow you to save money. Also, social media activities enable you to do things that you may not be able to do in traditional ways or perhaps were able to do only poorly.
Q: Even so, we don’t have time to spend all day on twitter or facebook and I don’t suppose our customers do either
A: Actually once organised properly with a Social Media Manager you won’t personally need to go on social media at all and your customers/prospects will receive updates, tweets etc automatically, so it can actually be more convenient for engineers than having to actively keep up to date. Although if you elect to employ a Social Media Manager things will work best if you spend some time talking to them and even posting some material from company personnel.
Q: I can’t get on with all these sites – do we really need to get involved?
A: A few years ago industrial companies didn’t want to get involved with the internet – now most are. The same is true of social media – you may not like it but as the engineering demographic changes your customers will increasingly expect to receive information this way – already there is significant web traffic from hand-held devices and the social media sector, while social media is the fastest growing aspect of industrial marketing.
Q: O.K., but what can social media do that I can’t do otherwise?
A: Well there is increasing interest in video demonstrations on sites such as Youtube and if you want to take a straw poll of views then you can do that quickly with a social media campaign. Just two of the possibilities.
Q: I don’t have a budget for this?
A: Well, yes you probably do – if you are spending on advertising, P.R., exhibitions etc it is simply a question of re-assessing the priorities and re-balancing the expenditure.
Q: No, actually we don’t spend anything on marketing at all.
A: If you have succeeded in surviving and growing by just customer word of mouth – that is great – but few manage this long term. For everybody else a Social Media Program simply creates that word of mouth promotion – and if you just haven’t spent and have only survived then we would encourage you to seriously consider it.
It is our experience that clients spending a modest amount on marketing over a continuous period reap the benefits in recessions and in growth years.