If you’re not reaching out to your potential customers via social media, you could well be missing out on opportunities to keep your valves, actuators or controls in the forefront of purchasers’ minds. While many people in this industry are not of the generation that communicates by tweets and postings, the bottom line is, social media is an important marketing tool. And it’s not going away.
The key to using social media wisely is knowing what social channels your customers prefer, and what they are looking for in the online networking sphere.
While most people have heard of Linked In, Facebook and Twitter, Google Plus is the fastest growing social media tool. In fact, according to a recent social media survey conducted by IHS GlobalSpec, 36% of industrial users now have a Google Plus account, up from 23% in 2011. The company suggests that suppliers should pay attention to Google Plus and figure out how it could supplement their social media strategy.
Also according IHS GlobalSpec’s survey, while a relatively small number of companies are using Twitter, 63% of industrial professionals have a LinkedIn account, where the two activities they perform most are searching for contacts and reading product and industry news. Of that number, almost 67% belong to at least two groups.
Get Linked Up with LinkedIn
If you are not on LinkedIn, or don’t know what a LinkedIn group is, stop reading right now and go to the site, sign up or sign in, and start hunting with the keyword VALVE. There are a couple of groups that you need to join now. While you’re there, you might as well hook up with the Valve Manufacturers Association. Hit “Follow”. That way, you will get updates in an instant news feed with all the important information posted daily for the association and VALVEMagazine.
Once you’re linked in, you can use that link to meet other members of groups that share your business interests. You can start discussions, offer comments on other discussions, and generally keep your company in the consciousness of the people in the groups.
While Facebook is a popular social networking tool, it is not as popular for industrial and technical professionals. Still, about 54% of your peers have accounts on the site, and they do “like” or “follow” companies within their sphere of interest. 32% like or comment in work-related discussions and 34% say they research and read work-related content while on Facebook. The experts at IHS GlobalSpec believe it is still a good channel for your content marketing and presents an opportunity for increasing brand awareness.
If you do not have a personal account, at the very least your company should have a page administered by someone who is responsible for updating company information and using it to network with potential and current customers.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, think of how many words a 2 minute video is worth. You Tube is the most efficient way to show off your products. In those 120 seconds, you can extol features and benefits in a setting that makes sense to your potential customers. And if you think industrial buyers aren’t checking it out, know that You Tube is used as a research tool so often that there are even guidelines on how businesses can use keywords to get the best results when searching You Tube for a business-related project.
According to IHS GlobalSpec, 47% of industrial respondents use YouTube and other video sharing sites. Given the nature of their work, engineers and other technical professionals mostly watch product demos and how-to videos. If you produce videos, you should consider publishing them on video sharing sites. If you don’t produce videos, well, why not?
The big challenge of course, once you have that social media account with the photo that makes you look much younger than you really are, is utilizing it to engage the people you are trying to attract. We’ll save that blog for next week…. But in the meantime, share your thoughts about social media in the valve industry below. You may also comment on this posting on LinkedIn or Facebook, or share it on Twitter!
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