Embracing social media will open up new marketing channels and put you ahead of your competition.
Though many industrial marketing plans fail to incorporate it, maintaining a social presence has become an essential marketing component of many businesses. Companies are using these platforms to drive business, build relationships and attract new customers.
Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are changing the way companies interact with their customers and prospects. Many of the industrial companies I meet view social media as a necessary evil, rather than a helpful resource.
The common question I get is “How does that apply to our business?” Often the challenge is finding the time and resources to create an effective, ongoing program.
How do you manage a social program while maintaining your business and keeping your sanity?
Here are some tips to help you out:
- Develop a strategy. Define what you want to achieve. Are you looking for increased sales? Improved customer satisfaction? Positioning as an authority in your field? Promotion of your brand?
- Identify where your customers and prospects are most likely to be. Different social platforms promote different activities. Don’t feel the need to be part of every platform. Concentrate your efforts where your customers are, and align your resources accordingly.
- Plan ahead by developing and maintaining a monthly editorial calendar. This will keep you organized and on track.
- Place a limit on the amount of time you want to spend on your program, and stick to it! This will force you to focus on the task at hand and not lose yourself in your social efforts.
- Streamline your efforts. Social media time management tools such as HootSuite, Sprout Social and Buffer can help streamline your social marketing efforts.
- Hire a seasoned social media expert. Informed about the latest trends and changing technology, a seasoned expert can help you grow your social engagement. Whether you hire someone in-house or outsource to an agency, experience is key. A professional could mean the difference between a flourishing social media presence, or permanent damage to your brand.
Social media is not a necessary evil, but rather a powerful tool for marketing your business and services. It will reach out to your current and potential customers in new ways. It should be a key weapon in your industrial marketing arsenal.
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